by Ken Rolheiser
The Rosary as a Journey of Faith

Over the past year I have experienced a renewal of faith through the rosary. Through this simple prayer Mary leads us into eternal mysteries. From the first moments of her “Yes” Mary has been the bringer of graces and a go between us and God.

The Rosary is for non Catholics as well. In Cameroon, a Catholic newspaper reported that "when non-Christians were asked why they pray the Rosary many said, “I just like it.” Some testified that when they pray the rosary they are saved from the hands of the devil and find true peace."

The nuns of the St. Theresa Congregation say that non-Catholics thank them for the peace they get by praying the Holy Rosary. Through Mary God's children will come together as one.

The rosary reminds us of key aspects of salvation. Beginning with The Apostle’s Creed, we recall God, creation, incarnation, redemption, final judgement, the Holy Spirit and the Church on earth leading us to our own resurrection.

The various mysteries take us through our salvation story. In The Joyful Mysteries the Annunciation and Mary’s Visitation and lead us to the Birth of Jesus. That would be enough to bring us to salvation. As we recall Christmas and the joy and innocence of childhood, we find a Jesus we can approach.

We find a theology we can touch. God wants us back in that childhood innocence of Gift and joy and open heart and mind. Open to miracles and the Christ child (or St Nick). From there we go to Simeon in the temple recognizing the Savior and rejoicing with us. We leave Jesus in the temple going about his Father’s business.

The Sorrowful Mysteries really impact us with the Love Jesus has for us as sinners. He seeks compassion; to absorb all the hate and anger and sin. The Agony in the Garden, the Scourging at the Pillar, the Crowning of Thorns, the Carrying of the Cross and the Crucifixion tell the story.

In The Glorious Mysteries, the Resurrection gives us the knowledge that we will rise in our bodies at the time when the Kingdom comes. In The Ascension Jesus returns to the Father, but not before lighting a fire in the disciples and in us to go and share the Good News to the whole world.

The Descent of the Holy Spirit truly gives us God’s life and the love to share it. And this life will carry us through the gates of death. We have joy in the defeat of death and the promise of heaven. In the Assumption Mary was the first human to go body and soul into heaven. That is our destiny. That is why we celebrate The Crowning of the Blessed Virgin in Heaven in this fifth mystery.

Pope St John Paul II gave us the gift of The Luminous Mysteries. The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan gives us pause. Jesus wants to be with us. He shows us the way. Then The Miracle at Cana tells us God wants us to celebrate human love. More wine. It is good.

Jesus proclaims The Good News of the Kingdom to the poor and justice to the world. The Transfiguration reminds us of that final journey before we meet Jesus and the Saints. And The Institution of the Holy Eucharist is our food for the journey with the promise: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life everlasting” John 6:54.

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