Thought for the Week

4 Oct 2018

Month of October – Our Lady of the Rosary

Mary’s Rose Garden – The Rosary

This month we focus upon the Holy Rosary.  We are encouraged to think about Our Lady as we dedicate this month to Her as Queen of the Holy Rosary.  Earliest origins of the Rosary style prayer as beads being counted as prayers were said was supposedly created by monks and religious who made the prayer beads by stringing 150 berries together and then dried them to make prayer beads which would help them to recite the 150 psalms as part of their daily prayers.

The word “Rosary” means simply ‘rose garden’.  As we say each Hail Mary prayer and the prayers of the Rosary with love and concentration, focussing on the words and asking Our Lady to pray for us, it’s like us giving Her a beautiful rose.  The more we pray the Rosary, the bigger Her rose garden will be!  Each beautiful rose replaces each one of the thorns from the cruel Crown of Thorns which Jesus wore during His suffering and death.

Each set of Mysteries of the Rosary also have their own special coloured rose.  The Joyful are snow-white rose buds and flowers to symbolise the purity and love of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the Most Holy Eternal Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.   The Luminous or Mysteries of Light are bright pink rose flowers to symbolise the radiance of the Father’s Glory and the Holy Spirit in the Life, Work and Ministry of Jesus on earth, and His proclamation of the Kingdom of God.  The Sorrowful are blood-red roses to symbolise the Passion and Death of Jesus as He gave His Life for us.  The Glorious are bright golden yellow with tinges of red on the petals to symbolise the Glory of the Resurrection and the Risen yet wounded Christ and sorrow turned into joy.

This month is a beautiful way to offer our prayers to Our Blessed Lady and say Her special prayer which is the dearest to Her heart, the Rosary.  If we haven’t prayed the Rosary in a while, now might be the best time to begin this lovely devotion once again. During this special month, let’s make an effort to dust off the Rosary beads and begin praying this beautiful prayer.

If the thought of praying the five decades of (10 beads) seems too much, why not try a decade a day?  There are some good Catholic websites which will help you to do this. There are also some good Rosary Apps available too for smartphones and tablets which are usually free to download to help us to concentrate on the prayers and the Mysteries of our faith.

Praying the Rosary prayers is a beautiful and special prayer to Mary, and it is really the story of the New Testament.  Through the beads we follow the life of Jesus and Mary. The beads are there to help us to count off the prayers, not in a mechanical or unthinking way but to help us concentrate on the prayers and words themselves and focus on each of the Mysteries, the stories behind the prayers.

By praying this special prayer, we are asking Our Lady to gather all of our prayers up and join them to Hers and this is a great way to grow in prayer and aspire (as we all should) for holiness!  The Rosary helps us to connect with Heaven and bring our prayers and petitions and lay them down at Our Lady’s Feet.  She then lovingly picks them up and takes them to Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Lord and Her Beloved Divine Son for Him to receive and act upon in accordance with His Holy Will.

If you have a statue or a picture of Our Lady in your home, you might like to add a few flowers, write some prayers, pray the Rosary with members of your family or pray for your family and friends and bring all your prayers to Her as beautiful roses.  During this month try and refresh this special place of honour for Her.

Our prayer this week is the traditional prayer which is said after the recitation of the Rosary both privately and in a group as part in a Parish Prayer group setting.

O God, whose only-begotten Son, by His Life, Death and Resurrection has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech You, that meditating upon these mysteries in the most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may both imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ, Our Lord.  Amen.

Our Lady, Queen of Heaven and the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.  Amen