Rosary Markings

  Year of the Rosary, October 2002 - October 2003

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The Glorious Mysteries

[Mary with rosary]

This is the week of the Glorious Mysteries for, as John Paul II wrote, "The contemplation of Christ's face cannot stop at the image of the Crucified One.  He is the Risen One." (Novo Millennio Ineunte, #28) We invite our readers to meditate upon the Glorious Mysteries with the help of a recently published booklet of meditation on the rosary by Sister M Jean Frisk, our dear and dynamic collaborator.  Called  The Rosary of Jesus and Mary (Pauline Books and Media, Boston 2003), this slim volume leads the reader through all the twenty mysteries of the rosary using Scripture and John Paul II's Rosary Encyclical with great effect.  Drawing on the Pope's suggestions for the Rosary, the booklet also offers rosary basics for those who want to know more about the rosary and where it comes from.  In sum, this handy little reader offers a fresh approach to a favorite prayer. This is particularly true for the engaging meditations at the end of each mystery.  The following are a selection of excerpts from the Glorious Mysteries.

I. Jesus rises from the dead.

[Resurrection]
"Where were you, Mary, on Easter morning?  And why are the Scriptures silent? Some saints say Jesus came first to you--an encounter so private it remains hidden like the thirty years you spent with him in Bethlehem, Egypt, Nazareth, Jerusalem, and Cana.  So little is publicly known.

"So, did he come as I would hope a son of mine would?  Or was it enough for you to know at Magdalene's word: He lives, Mary, he lives!  So shall you, and so shall I--forever." (pp. 50-51)

II. Jesus ascends to the Father.

"Mary, can you make the immensity manageable?  How can I relate to him now?  Mary, what were your thoughts at the setting of the sun on that ascension day?  Were you, like the others, filled with joy upon returning to Jerusalem (cf. Luke 24:50)?  Let me walk with you in the evening of the day and wait with you for him at dawn--certain he will return." (pp. 53-54)

III. The Holy Spirit descends upon the early Church.

[Pentecost]
I remember the saying: the measure of our desire is the degree to which it will be fulfilled.  Did you powerfully intercede and hunger for his coming?  Was it like that wonderful overshadowing some thirty-three years before?  Was his presence in the room again--in the wind and flame, cloud and light, blessing hands and hovering dove, the water, the anointing, and the seal--never, ever to leave his people again?

"Look out from the upper room with me, Mary, and see the dancing hearts of the new three thousand." (cf. Acts 2:41)  Take me with you to "the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." (Acts 2:42) (pp. 56-57)

IV. Mary is taken to Heaven body and soul.

"The beads slip by and I ask you again and again to pray for me at my dying.  Will he come for me as he did for you?  Will he present me to the Father, face to face, and will you be there?  Will the Spirit purify the fire in my soul into a love transformed to resemble you, full of grace?  Will it be the same for all those for whom I pray?  This is my hope." (p. 60)

V. Mary is crowned Queen of Heaven and earth.

[Coronation of Mary]
"Mary, it's time to celebrate, to shake off anxiety, and to prepare the festival.  The King leads his queen mother to his throne!  Our humanness is free and oh, so beautiful in you!

"And when we crown you, Mary, in the traditions of our cultures we use things of the earth--violets, roses, and filigree; gems, silver, and gold--to praise you, for you brought him to dance here with us for a time.  And you crown us in return.  We, too, share the throne and your nobility--love for love, crown for crown!  That is our destiny.  The dance whirls on and on--to thank you, to love him, and to look forward to the crown he has waiting for each one of us." (pp. 64-65)

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