Kitchen Catechism: Featured Articles
by Lois Donahue
We always enjoy so much the comments you send us and because of two of those comments I would like to pass along (in the next two times we chat) a few thoughts in the hope that they will, at least in some small way, help Shirley who wanted the mysteries of the Rosary explained and Catherine who asked for some clarification about meditating while praying the rosary.
First I would like to make an effort to respond to Catherine’s concern about meditation and please remember this is simply my opinion. We must remember that the Rosary is considered to be basically a ‘private’ devotional prayer (whether we say it when we are alone or together with others). Therefore it stands to reason that none of us will pray the Rosary in exactly the same way. Of course the traditional prayers of our Rosary always remain the same, but our meditation, the way we personally think about each mystery, will vary depending on many factors – what we know about the event - what is happening in our life at the time – how we feel physically or mentally – how many interruptions we have etc. Our thinking has no set pattern. However, it has been said, and I truly believe, that any sincere effort to pray and meditate on the Rosary of His mother ‘draws us into the presence of God’.
Also, regarding Catherine’s question as to whether she had to ‘read the whole story of the mystery” in the process of praying your rosary. I would say ‘no’. I think that once we are familiar with the “whole story” as found in the Bible, whatever our faith prompts us to think about as we begin each mystery and for how long we choose to ‘meditate’ is up to us and whatever our choice, I’m sure both God and His mother will be pleased. (However, Catherine, if at times you would like more specific references to Bible passages after every Hail Mary, you might want to try praying the Scriptural Rosary, which you will find on our Website.) .
But let’s move on.
I’d like to insert here a kind of random thought about the Rosary. It has not only been called “The Gospel Prayer” but has also been referred to as an Epitone of the Gospel meaning it is a “summary or condensed account”. This is obvious because when we look at the named events in the lives of Jesus and Mary given to each of the Rosary’s twenty mysteries we see that, combined, they offer us a capsulized look at God’s plan for our salvation which has been revealed in more detail and at greater length in the Bible---the Joyful mysteries taking us from the announcement of the birth of Jesus through His l2th year – the Luminous Mysteries covering His Public Life – the Sorrowful Mysteries His passion and death and the Glorious Mysteries tell us of Him rising from the dead, ascending into Heaven, sending the Holy Spirit and taking His mother to Heaven to reign as Queen. By the way, if you ever wonder why the title ‘mystery’ is given to all of the events listed in the Rosary in spite of the fact that a great many of them are not “unknown” of “unexplainable” as the dictionary defines a mystery, here’s how it was explained to me. While certainly every one of the twenty events referred to in our Rosary might not, in itself, be literally, a ‘mystery’, still all of them were selected by God to be, in some way, a part of the great and all encompassing ‘mystery’ of our salvation which, again as the dictionary defines, is to us humans – “incomprehensible”
So much for now except for this parting thought. When we pray the Rosary, or any prayer for that matter, I think it is important for us to try our best to be praying, talking to, communicating with SOMEONE not just uttering words but knowing and believing SOMEONE – is aware of our words – is listening - and will, in some way that will benefit us the most, – respond to those prayers.
Next time, in hopes of offering a response to Shirley’s comments, I’ll give my simple explanation of the Mysteries of the Rosary, supply Bible references and possibly pass along any other related information from legitimate sources which I think might be of help.
‘til then ---------