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Rosary as Lectio Divina

Rosary as Lectio Divina

From the annunciation to the last mystery, the rosary speaks of Christ and his church. Vatican II tells us that "we can speak of Mary and everything that is related to her only in the light of Christ and the church." How can we explain this wonderful way of the rosary? I think that in the light of what we said, and comforted by the apostolic letter, the true way to understand are the steps of the lectio divina. Here are the different steps:

Lectio: We read, listen and interpret the text, the message announced in the mystery.

Meditatio: We deepen and make the message our own.

Colactio: We share with others our beliefs and trust.

Oratio and Contemplatio: We transform into prayer what we pondered or contemplated.

Operatio: We become witnesses of the kingdom and the body of Christ to the world.

Thanks to the steps of the lectio divina, we enter in a productive dialogue with God in and through Mary. It is a transforming dialogue that signifies the school and the art of love. We learn how to internalize the angelic salutation to Mary "Rejoice, O Mary, full of grace." With this repetition of the angelic greeting, we savor the fullness of the message of grace and enter into its depts. We allow the message to descend from the intellect to the heart because when we approach the rosary in this way "we open the way for the Lord so that they can enter into hearts and inflame them with the grace of his love." (St. Gregory the Great) "Under the guidance of grace of the profound wonders of the world of God," (St. Ceaesarius of Arles) we may reflect like Mary the goodness of God, contemplating with her the Face of Christ. We then become the abiding place of the Holy Trinity radiating the spirit of Christ for the fulfillment of God's kingdom. "In contemplating Christ's face, we become open to receive the mystery of Trinitarian life experiencing ever anew the love of the Father, and delighting in the joy of the Holy Spirit."

We see more and more that the saying of Peter, "it is good for us to be here," makes sense, because when we pray the rosary, we are sure that God prompts our hearts, and the words that we pronounce are a profession of faith in his plan of salvation coming with Jesus through Mary. With the rosary the church continues to grow and develop as it makes its way through this valley of tears, for Mary is the source of strength and inspiration. Everyday, the Virgin Mary accompanies the Church in a new listening experience, and increases the taste of contemplation. She helps us to recapitulate everything in Christ. The principle that "in Christ everything is fulfilled" is well expressed in the rosary. The rosary in fact helps to open up the way to light. Following the path of Christ, in whom man's path is recapitulated, revealed and redeemed, believers come face to face with the image of true man regenerated by the grace of God.

A great light is shed on the mysteries if we carefully meditate on the richness of the rosary. This is our way of growing in the likeness of Christ Jesus, the true God-Man. As any other important assertion of theological truth, so also the rosary does, for it claims a biblical foundation. The Holy father surely doesn't want to create chaos for the simple heart, so he states, "In order to supply a Biblical foundation and greater depth to our meditation, it is helpful to follow the announcement of the mystery with the proclamation of a related biblical passage, long or short, depending on the circumstances. No other words can ever match the efficacy of the inspired word. As we listen, we are certain that this is the word of God, spoken for today and spoken for me, . . . it is not a matter of recalling information but of allowing God to speak. "(RVM #30) We truly believe that the season of Lent and Easter is the best season to implement the value, the meaning and the devotion of the Rosary expressed by the Holy Father. In fact, this season is a time of meditation, listening, understanding and new pondering. What a great opportunity we hold in our hands as we celebrate Lent and Easter by contemplating the Face of Christ through Mary, Our Blessed Mother. Let us not lose this great opportunity of encountering and pondering what so many saints have called the "sweet chain of love that connects us to heaven--the rosary."

In these times of confusion and uncertainties the most important reason for praying the rosary is that it represents a truly effective means of fostering, among the faithful, the belief of our baptismal promises, and the commitment to live daily the foundation of our salvation, Christ the redeemer, and the gospel message of joy and light.

Perhaps we are afraid to promote the rosary as somehow too distinctly Marian in character, and yet it is the way to discover the centrality of Christ and to make us children of the Father in Christ. The rosary, as our Holy Father says, is "a devotion directed to the Christological center of Christian faith, in such a way that, when the Mother is honored, the son is duly known, loved, and glorified." During these high seasons of our faith let us commit ourselves to promote the love and peace that this prayer conveys. It helps us to read the signs of the times, the school of the best of all catechists, Mary, for with the rosary, the Christian people sit at the feet of Mary and are led to contemplate the beauty of the face of Christ and experience the depths of his love. We become, as a community of faith, an authentic school of prayer, capable of changing the world from within.

In recognition of Year of the Rosary, October 2002 - October 2003

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