The month of October is traditionally marked in the church as the month of the Rosary and today, 7 October, is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
After a decline in use of the Rosary in recent decades, the last few years have seen a resurgence in the popularity of this Christ-centred prayer.
Perhaps the decline was due to a misunderstanding of this prayer. The Rosary is not a prayer to Mary but a prayer alongside Mary, enjoying her intercession on our behalf while together centering our focus on the life of Christ.
Eighteen of the twenty mysteries of the Rosary are gospel events in the life of Christ inviting us to rest in the scene of that mystery, pondering our reaction and our response and deepening our relationship with Jesus by accompanying him through his life on earth.
The final two Glorious mysteries bridge the earthly and eternal life of Mary reminding us that we too are created for life in abundance both now and eternally.
Beads are used for prayer in many religious traditions. They help to engage the sense of touch along with the interior senses of sight, taste, smell and hearing used when placing oneself in the scenes from the life of Christ.
The names of the mysteries and the prayers of the Rosary might take a bit of learning, but a five-year-old child can easily master these. Then the attention can focus on the gospel reflections. When this prayer (even a decade at a time) becomes a routine part of daily life, then even touching the beads carried in the pocket can return us to healthy Christ-centred perspective in the midst of a busy day.
I am happy to provide Rosary Beads for anyone who would like these all you’ll need to do is to cover the cost of postage. The one condition is that they are given to those who will make good use of them. If you are a teacher in a school and would like to make at least a part of the Rosary a part of the prayer life of your students (and other staff) let me know and I’m happy to help with larger numbers of Rosary Beads. To arrange email me on email@example.com
I really like that, “The Rosary is not a prayer to Mary but a prayer alongside Mary.” The Rosary provides a real strong basis for prayer and adoration. We, as human beings, need that. It seems restrictive on the face of it but in reality it is deeply, profoundly liberating. Sonnets and fugues have really strong structure and have challenged poets and composers through the ages but their imposed order is precisely why they have inspired so many great masterpieces. The Rosary likewise offers us the order we need to calm our minds and free our hearts to respond, however inadequately, to the infinite love and mercy of God.