Rosary Markings

  Year of the Rosary, October 2002 - October 2003

The Rosary: Another Look

 

In "Just Do It: How Practice Makes Catholic" (U.S. Catholic, October 2000) Fr. Robert Barron concludes by "Saying a word in support of the much maligned rosary as a practice."  He writes: "First, the rosary is concrete, densely objective--it is something you hold in your hand.  Anthony de Mello said that the simple feel of the rosary puts him in a mystical frame of mind.  Second, the rosary is a way of disciplining what the Buddhists call the "monkey mind," the mind that leaps impatiently from branch to branch . . . As long as that mind--skittish, superficial, obsessive--is dominating, we never move to the deeper realms of the soul.  The rosary prayer, precisely as a mantra, is meant to dull and quiet the moody mind and allow the depths to rise.  Third, the rosary slows us down.  (Even my Irish grandmother who prayed the rosary at ninety-five miles miles an hour, took  fifteen minutes to get through it!)  The surface of the psyche is in constant motion, hurrying to its next thought, its next objective, its next accomplishment.  But the spiritual center likes to see, to hear, to savor . . . Ewert Cousins, a theologian at Fordham University, has said that the genius of Catholicism is that it never threw anything away.  How sad that so many Catholics run to the religions of the East and to the New Age to find embodied practices of prayer when we have them in spades in our own ecclesial attic!"

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