“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” (Luke 1:42)
One day, I was preparing to give a talk on the sacrament of matrimony and decided to go to adoration to prepare. I read the Catechism, Scripture, and other materials on this sacrament. While I was there, I could not get the rosary out of my head, no matter how hard I tried. It was like Mother Mary sat next to me poking me with a pencil, and she would not stop.
I have never been so distracted in prayer by prayer. It took longer than it should have, but I realized that God wanted me to meditate on the rosary. Growing up, I thought the rosary was boring, repetitive, and long. It was not one of the gifts of the faith that I found to be enriching. This conversation with Jesus opened my eyes to the beauty of the “boring” and powerful rosary.
Life is mysterious
Life is like the rosary, full of mysteries. The mysteries, joyful, sorrowful, and everything in between, begin before we are born and end after we die. The majority of our lives are spent either in anticipation or reflection of these big and small life events that transform us. The anticipation in having a baby, celebrating a milestone, or accomplishing a goal are some of the good. The reflection of losing a loved one, processing a trauma, or failing an endeavor are some of the bad. There are many defining moments in each of our lives, but the majority of our time is spent doing the mundane.
Come to know Jesus
The rosary is a way to reflect and meditate on the big moments in the life of Jesus. It is a way to walk with Him, come to know Him, and grow deeper in a relationship with Him. When we pray the same prayers over and over again, it is not a superstitious number to accomplish something. Repetitious prayer allows us to unpack the mystery of Jesus we are coming to know. Through this deep meditative prayer, we can know Jesus intimately, and become more like Him. Through the rosary we are able to see Jesus, walk with Him, and do so with His Mother’s gentle, caring heart.
Mary is a gift
“Mary's greatness consists in the fact that she wants to magnify God, not herself,” Pope Benedict XVI once said. The rosary is an opportunity for us to walk with Mary, the Mother of God, to reflect on the life of Jesus. It can be hard to believe that Mary knows and understands our suffering. Mary said “yes” to something that was culturally and socially unacceptable: “I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be to me according to your Word” (Luke 1:38). Mary watched her Son die a brutal death, for something that He did not do. Mary trusted God through trials that most people will never know. She did it with the grace, faith, love, and trust God calls each of us to have. Mary is a gift through which we can come to know Jesus Christ.
Who is Jesus?
A worldwide pandemic, a polarized country, fear around every corner, and injustice in many forms have been in the headlines for a while. If social media, news stations, and cellphones existed in the time of Jesus, what would be the focal points in His life? What would be the headlines of His day? Whose perspective would you want to hear? How would you come to understand Him as a person and what He wants from you? Mary, His mother, has a special invitation for you to know her Son in an intimate way, and it is through the rosary. A momma’s heart can see things like no one else, and through Mary we can know Jesus who can help us become who we were created to be.
Let us conquer the world
Many saints have spoken of the power of the rosary. “If I had an army to say the rosary, I could conquer the world,” Blessed Pope Pius IX said. It might seem like a small gesture of faith or a boring prayer, but the rosary can transform everything we are facing today. “The rosary is a weapon for these times,” St. Padre Pio said. The rosary is not a weapon because it has a magical power that takes away suffering and ends trials. The Rosary is a weapon because it brings us closer to Jesus, who gives us hope in salvation. “If you invoke the Blessed Virgin when you are tempted, she will come at once to your help, and Satan will leave you,” St. John Vianney said.
Mary Morasso is a mother and parishioner of SS. Cyril and Methodius Parish in Sterling Heights. She holds a bachelor's degree in pastoral theology from Sacred Heart Major Seminary and has taught theology at the high school level.