Pray the Rosary, Enter Deeply into the Mystery
Jean Galot, S.J.
Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary: 7 October
The special feature of the prayer of the Rosary is seen in the fact it is addressed to Mary. Nevertheless, in this intimate contact with the Mother of Jesus, we are made to feel the need for a deeper relationship with Jesus.
Those who pray to Mary realize that their gaze cannot simply stop at the face of the Mother, for Mary is essentially oriented to her Son and only in relation to him does she come to play a role in Christian life.
Mary's thoughts were filled with Jesus. If we are to penetrate her deepest desires and feelings, we must share in her attachment to the One she adored as her God, admired as the Savior of humanity and loved not only as her own son but as the Son of the eternal Father.
Mary's love for Jesus, who had been announced by the Angel, was absolute; it was her consent, a mirror image of total obedience, that brought him into the world.
By virtue of her totally open "yes", Christ developed in his Mother's womb and took possession of her, fully committing her to his service. By offering herself as the "handmaid of the Lord", she made herself available for the important work of the Messianic kingdom announced by the Angel.
Mary received Jesus as the most desirable guest; he took possession of her maternal being to involve her in establishing the Kingdom.
Thus, a new approach was impressed on the whole of Mary's life, and Christ used it in his "mystery".
This mystery is not only an amazing truth to be discovered: when Jesus said to the Apostles, "to you has been given the secret of the Kingdom of God" (Mk 4:11), he meant by these words that the mystery refers to the divine plan of salvation which is fulfilled with the establishment of God's Kingdom on earth.
If this mystery was given to the Apostles for the full development of their faith and the fulfillment of their preaching mission, it must first have been given to Mary, who was the principal cooperator in the plan of salvation brought about by Christ.
Mary entered fully into the mystery, receiving the superior light of the divine design; gave her whole self to carrying it out.
One mystery: the Kingdom of God
In the prayer of the Rosary, the meditation on a variety of different "mysteries" sheds light expressly on the Virgin's relationship with the mystery of Christ. The variety of mysteries gives us a more vivid picture of the events lived by Mary and enables us to share deeply in the feelings that the Mother of God felt, in her union with Christ and in her specific contribution to the work of redemption.
Traditionally, the mysteries were grouped as joyful, sorrowful, and glorious. Pope John Paul II suggested adding a new category: the "mysteries of light".
His addition has the special advantage of proposing the episode of the miracle of Cana as a topic for meditation. It was an important miracle for Mary's cooperation in Christ's work and for the effectiveness of her intercession.
The importance of this first miracle is emphasized in John's Gospel, but there was no formal reference to it in the "mysteries" of the Rosary.
The number of mysteries cannot make us forget that they are all an expression of a unique mystery: "the mystery of the Kingdom of God", according to Jesus' assertion, set down by Mark.
The Rosary is an invitation to enter deeply with Mary into this mystery, which is the mystery of Christ.
Weekly Edition in English
28 September 2005, page 10
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