The New Gasparian
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A journal dedicated to the life and mission of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, and to a life lived in response to the call and the cry of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our on-going mission is to share good news of hope and communion.

Monday, October 14, 2002
More on the Rosary

Disputations Has had a great deal more to say on the Rosary on this month of the Rosary.



posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 7:26 PM link
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The Rosary as
a Prayer of Communion


This article was originally published in Precious Blood Family. It is reposted here in honor of the new apostolic letter referred to in the previous post, and in honor of the month of the Holy Rosary.

The Rosary is a familiar form of prayer for many Catholics, but it is also a greatly misunderstood prayer as well. Many Non-Catholics believe it is an exercise in mindless repetition or idolatry of Mary. Many Catholics believe that rosary will gain us extra favors or that it can be used as jewelry. Our community has what it refers to as the Precious Blood Rosary as well as what is understood as the more traditional Marian rosary.

The heart of the Rosary is a living relationship with the Lord Jesus and a desire to spend time in his company immersing oneself in the mysteries of his life, death and resurrection. Meditating on these mysteries enables us to remember and to live the heart of the gospel. Knowing these 15 stories, not only with our minds, but with our hearts enables us to walk with Jesus, to pray with him, and to do his will.

The Rosary is essentially a prayer, contemplative prayer. All the emotions of wonder, awe and reverence go with this prayer. All the aims of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina are relevant here. Meditating on the mysteries enables one to “read” the life of Jesus each day. More than reading, meditating on the mysteries in this manner enables one to “chew” the words, to taste them in much the same way as Ezekiel took the scroll on which the Word of God was written and ate it.(1) The use of imagination helps us to enter the story, to hear the voices and to feel the emotions. As the Angel greets Mary in the Annunciation we feel her wonder and doubt. Imagine, the creator of the world being given to you to hold and to care for. Imagine yourself saying “be it done to me according to your word.” Immersing ourselves in the mystery of the Visitation allows us to join in the chorus of “blessed is the fruit of your womb” and to celebrate that “nothing will be impossible for God.”(2)

The praying of the rosary is not about the repetition of many prayers, but a time piece to mark the moment of prayer. Spending time with one another is exactly how a relationship grows and we are drawn into a communion with one another. The prayers we use to mark this prayer experience are fundamentally conversations with the Word of God drawn from the Scripture. The first part of the “Hail Mary” is two passages from the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel. The second part of the “Hail Mary” is the prayer of the church in response. So too, in the rosary we add our own voice, listening to the Word of God and responding from our heart.

The Rosary is an incarnational prayer. The Word was made flesh. In this prayer we use not just mind and heart, but voice and hands as well. In the rosary we are impelled to offer our “bodies as a living sacrifice.”(3) Many of us carry the rosary in our pockets or purses as a reminder, as a tool to carry the prayer with us throughout the day. In this way we follow the command to “pray without ceasing.”(4)

It is through Mary that the Word was made flesh and so in this prayer we also honor the mother of God. She is the one who believed.(5) She is the one who pondered all these things in her heart.(6) She is the one who stood faithfully at the foot of the cross.(7) She is the one given to us to take into our home.(8) For Precious Blood people who remember Gaspars’ devotion to Mary, the Rosary is an important prayer. It is a tool by which we imitate Gaspar who accomplished everything by prayer, we pray with Mary to whom he was so devoted, and we accompany one another in the bond of communion which he so wonderfully preached. Without the correct understanding of Jesus and Mary, without the knowledge of the scripture and the mysteries of the Life of Jesus, the Rosary would be incomprehensible. But with all these things, the Rosary enables us to enter more completely into that intimate communion Jesus established in his own blood.

(1)Ezek 3:3
(2)Luke 1:37
(3)Rom 12:1
(4)1 Thess 5:17, see also Luke 18:1
(5)Luke 1:45
(6)Luke 2:51
(7)John 19:25
(8)John 19:27




posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 1:03 PM link
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Luminous Mysteries

Catholic World News and other sources are reporting that John Paul II is set to issue a new apostolic letter on The Rosary. I can hardly wait to read it. Reports indicate that the Pope is proposing a new set of five mysteries for our meditation.

They report: The five new mysteries, the "luminous mysteries," will focus on the public life of Jesus Christ, Vatican sources say. They will be: the Baptism in the Jordan, the temptation in the desert, the proclamation of the Kingdom, the Transfigurations, and the entry into Jerusalem.

I have been using the rosary for years as a means to meditate on many different stories from the scriptures. The "Hail Mary" itself is classic lectio. Combining scripture texts with personal prayers in a prayerful conversation the "Hail Mary" is a perfect image of intimate prayer. "Hail Mary, full of grace," and "Blessed are you among women," are excerpts from the Gospel of Luke. "Holy Mary Mother of God," is personal intimate prayer. Its origin is unknown. The example of twinning scripture with conversation has always been an inspiration for me in praying the scriptures.

Teaching, learning, and meditating on the 15 mysteries is an excellent way to learn and appreciate the stories of the faith and life's mysteries. Now with 5 more official mysteries to meditate on as a whole church there are significant stories and insights which will become a common treasure of all the faithful.

A while back I wrote an article on the Rosary for the Precious Blood Family magazine. I will go looking into my computer files and see if I can find a copy to post here.



posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 12:35 PM link
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