When I was little, our family vacations always involved long car rides in our 8-passenger van. When the trip began we’d fight over who had to sit where, mid-trip we’d fight over someone not sharing their snacks, and by the end of the trip we’d fight…well, just ‘cuz.
At the height of this chaos, my mom would yell, “I think it’s about time we all said the rosary!” I don’t know if this tactic worked, but it certainly gave me an aversion to saying the rosary.
A couple of decades later, I’m finally working up to saying it voluntarily and with a sense of peace.
Recently, I was given a copy of Pope John Paul II’s “On the Most Holy Rosary” written in 2002. He wrote this apostolic letter during the twenty-fifth year of his papacy, as he added the luminous mysteries and declared October of 2002 to October of 2003 to be The Year of the Rosary.
First, John Paul II affirms that the rosary is a Christ-centered prayer. “Among creatures no one knows Christ better than Mary; no one can introduce us to a profound knowledge of his mystery better than his Mother.”
Next, he shows how, through meditating on the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious mysteries, we “encounter the sacred humanity of the Redeemer” in a personal way. As we approach Him, we are reminded to “cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you.” (Psalm 55:23)
Finally, John Paul II invites us to improve “the method” by which we say the rosary: placing ourselves in each mystery using our imagination; reading a Bible passage that corresponds to the mystery; pausing for a moment of silence to focus on the mystery; and appreciating the goal of each prayer we recite.
It’s a great read (and a short one!) which I highly recommend!