Electronic Prayer Book

The Rosary in our Spiritual Life


Mental, as well as vocal prayer is an integral part of the Rosary. In saying each decade, we should try to keep in mind the particular mystery commemorated by it. While it remains a private devotion in honour of Mary, the Mother of God, the Rosary is like a book of Christian doctrine and spirituality.

In its fifteen mysteries we consider the three great aspects of salvation: the incarnation in the joyful mysteries, the redemption in the sorrowful, and life beyond the grave in the glorious mysteries. The very words of the Hail Mary are the story of God’s plan to redeem mankind. Thinking of these mysteries helps us to greater union with God. In the spiritual life there are three stages: The first, that of knowledge is represented by the joyful mysteries, which contain the good news of the Incarnation and open to us the path of salvation: the second is one of effort and labour and often suffering. Following the example of our Divine Master portrayed in the sorrowful mysteries: the third, rest in the possession of eternal life, is the promise of the glorious mysteries.

The “vain repetition” mentioned in St. Matthew’s gospel (Ch 6: v.7) has no parallel in the devout recitation of the Rosary. To Catholics the payers of the Rosary are a framework in which are developed our thoughts of God’s merciful dealings with men. It was Lacordaire, who said of it “Love has but few words to utter: and while it is ever repeating these words, it never repeats itself.”

The Rosary is a popular and widespread private devotion among Catholics, On a number of occasions the Blessed Virgin has asked people to say it. It is held that she commanded St. Dominic (1170—1221) to preach the devotion of the Rosary to the people of troubled France. Through it peace was restored. In the nineteenth century people of fashion scoffed at belief in the supernatural. At Lourdes, Mary gave a necessary lesson through St. Bernadette. She taught the little peasant girl how to say the Rosary. She emphasised the lesson by miracles, which are a guarantee of the existence of a supernatural world. The miracles have continued at Lourdes. Those who go there skeptical often remain to pray.

In our times as a remedy for the pagan cult of material prosperity and spiritual despair, Mary calls mankind to prayer and penance. They are essential to spiritual progress.

Some say this devotion to the Mother of God is a recent addition to Catholic thought and practice. On the contrary the universal recitation of the Rosary in the Catholic world is but another fulfillment of the prophecy Mary made before her Divine Son was born. In the first chapter of St. Luke gospel are recorded these precious words from her own lips: “Behold from this day forward all generation will count me blessed”. (Luke1: 48) The blessed Virgin in the same prayer, gave the reason for the honour and praise that would ever be hers: “For He who is mighty, He whose name is holy, has wrought for me His wonders” (Luke 1: 49). Of all the women that have ever lived, God chose her to be His mother; He has raised no creature angelic or human, to the same lofty pedestal. That unique privilege, her motherhood of god is the reason for her prophecy, and, down the long history of the church for the unceasing fulfillment of it, among Christ’s members. Catholics welcome the knowledge that today an increasing number of Protestant Christians join in the use of the Rosary as part of their daily prayer.

(Source: Leaflet, “Praying the Roasary”)