12/30/2021 – The Rosary, a Beautiful Method of Prayer
As 2021 ends, let’s spend the last two days reflecting not just on the rosary, but on how we have prayed it this year and how we can, with the help of the Blessed Mother, deepen our rosary prayer going forwards.
‘The Rosary is a beautiful prayer that can be used to contemplate the mysteries of God.While some may view the Rosary as outdated, the Catholic Church continually points to it as a beautiful method of prayer.
In particular, St. John Paul II believed it was a perfect way to practice contemplation.
He wrote about it in his apostolic letter on the Rosary:
“The most important reason for strongly encouraging the practice of the Rosary is that it represents a most effective means of fostering among the faithful that commitment to the contemplation of the Christian mystery which I have proposed in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte as a genuine “training in holiness”:
“What is needed is a Christian life distinguished above all in the art of prayer”.
St John Paul II even went so far as to compare it to other methods of contemplative prayer that were developed in the East:
“The Rosary belongs among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation. Developed in the West, it is a typically meditative prayer, corresponding in some way to the “prayer of the heart” or “Jesus prayer” which took root in the soil of the Christian East.In fact, he even said that the Rosary without contemplation is a “body without a soul.”
“The Rosary, precisely because it starts with Mary’s own experience, is an exquisitely contemplative prayer. Without this contemplative dimension, it would lose its meaning, as Pope Paul VI clearly pointed out: “Without contemplation, the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation runs the risk of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas, in violation of the admonition of Christ:
‘In praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think they will be heard for their many words’ (Mt 6:7). By its nature the recitation of the Rosary calls for a quiet rhythm and a lingering pace, helping the individual to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord’s life as seen through the eyes of her who was closest to the Lord. In this way the unfathomable riches of these mysteries are disclosed”.’ (Philip Kosloski)