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What the Rosary means to me – 15

Friday, October 14, 2011
As a Christian, I think the Rosary has universal value. I like how it is simple enough for anyone to pray; and so also a good medicine to any who, out of spiritual pride, might consider it too simple for them. It should draw me into the simple love between Mary and Jesus and teach me their humility. There isn’t a technique to saying the Rosary: if I’m looking for one, or make an effort to pray it ‘better’, I’m probably still thinking too much about myself, not enough about God. The Rosary is also Biblical: it gets me to pray in the very words of Jesus, the angel Gabriel and Elizabeth; and it inspires me to meditate on the ‘mysteries’ of the Gospel. Its themes are the universal stories of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection: how could I enter these mysteries and not accordingly feel joyful, sorrowful and full of wonder?

As a Dominican, the Rosary has long had a special place in our tradition: we popularised it around the world, and in its current form it is known as ‘the Rosary of St Dominic’. The Rosary is also part of our habit – so it is something I wear in public – and with its Cross and beads can be a good, symbolic witness to faith in Jesus and the importance of prayer.

More personally, the Rosary meditations on Christ’s life are an opportunity for me to offer prayers for my friends, family and anyone else. While every aspect of Christ is relevant to everyone, I find the Mysteries are sometimes particularly appropriate: the Wedding at Cana for those recently married or preparing for marriage, the Carrying of the Cross for those struggling under the weight of their problems, or the Institution of the Eucharist for priests. So for the brethren (including myself), I like to pray while meditating on the Third Luminous Mystery: The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God and the Call to Repentance!

Matthew Jarvis OP


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