Newsletter of the District of Asia

 February 1997

The Mysteries of the Rosary

A victory won over militant irreligion

Rt. Rev. Edward F. Casey

One month into the new year, it is now time to examine (or make?) our resolutions for 1997.  One of the best and one hopefully taken by all especially in this, the year of the 80th anniversary at Our Lady’s message at Fatima was to pray daily - and well - the Holy Rosary.  The normal benefits and blessings which accompany this most salutary prayer are incalculable.  Yet more than ever, in these times of difficulty and trial, when getting to a true Catholic Mass becomes more and more difficult for many, this simple, yet profound prayer is of the utmost importance.  The weak words which could be written here would stand as nothing in comparison to the wonders written by saints and popes, so let us continue rather through the writings of a great lover of the Immaculate Mother of God and the Holy Rosary, St. Louis De Montfort.

A MYSTERY is a sacred thing which is difficult to understand.  The works of our Lord Jesus Christ are all sacred and divine because he is God and man at one and the same time.  The works of the Most Blessed Virgin are very holy because she is the most perfect and the most pure of God’s creatures.  The works of our Lord and of His Blessed Mother can be rightly called mysteries because they are so full of wonders and all kinds of perfections and deep and sublime truths which the Holy Spirit reveals to the humble and simple souls who honor these mysteries.

The works of Jesus and Mary can also be called wonderful flowers; but their perfume and beauty can only be appreciated by those who study them carefully - and who open them and drink in their scent by diligent and sincere meditation.

Saint Dominic has divided up the lives of our Lord and Our Lady into fifteen mysteries which stand for their most important actions.  These are the fifteen tableaux or pictures whose every detail must rule and inspire our lives.  They are fifteen flaming torches to guide our steps throughout this earthly life.

They are fifteen shining mirrors which help us to know Jesus and Mary and to know ourselves as well.  They will also help light the fire of their love in our hearts.

They are fifteen fiery furnaces which can consume us completely in their heavenly flames.  Our Lady taught Saint Dominic this excellent method of praying and ordered him to preach it far and wide so as to reawaken the fervor of Christians and to revive in their hearts a love for Our Blessed Lord.

She also taught it to Blessed Alan de la Roche and said to him in a vision: “When people say one hundred and fifty Angelic salutations this prayer is very helpful to them and is a very pleasing tribute to me.  But they will do better still and will please me even more if they say theses salutations while meditating on the life, death and passion of Jesus Christ - for this meditation is the soul of this prayer.”

JESUS CHRIST, the divine Spouse of our souls and our very dear Friend wishes us to remember His goodness to us and all His gifts and wants us to prize them above all else.  Whenever we meditate devoutly and lovingly upon the sacred mysteries of the Rosary, Our Lord has an accidental joy and so has Our Lady and all the saints in heaven.

These mysteries are the most signal results of Our Lord’s love for us and the greatest presents that He could possibly give us, because it is by virtue of such presents that the Blessed Virgin Herself and all the saints are in their glory in heaven.

One day Blessed Angela of Foligno begged Our Lord to let her know by which religious exercise she could honor Him best.  He appeared to her nailed to His Cross and said: “My daughter, look at My wounds.” She then realized that nothing pleases Our dear Lord more than meditation upon His sufferings.  Then He showed her the wounds on His head and revealed still other sufferings to her and said: “I have suffered all this for your salvation.  What can you ever do to return My love for you?”

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass gives boundless honor to the Most Blessed Trinity because it represents the passion of Jesus Christ and because through the Mass we offer God the merits of Our Lord’s obedience, of His sufferings and of His Precious Blood.  The whole of the heavenly court also receives an accidental joy from the Mass.  Several doctors of the Church - together with Saint Thomas Aquinas - tell us that, for the same reason, all the blessed in Heaven rejoice in the communion of the faithful because the Blessed Sacrament is a memorial of the passion and death of Jesus Christ, and that by means of it men share in its fruits and work out their salvation.

Now, the Holy Rosary, recited together with meditation on the sacred mysteries is a sacrifice of praise to God to thank Him for the great grace of our redemption.  It is also a holy reminder of the sufferings, death and glory of Jesus Christ.  It is therefore true that the Rosary gives glory, gives an accidental joy to Our Lord, to Our Lady and to all the blessed because they cannot desire anything greater or more contributive to our eternal happiness than to see us engaged in a practice which is so glorious for Our Lord and so salutary for ourselves.

The Gospel teaches us that a sinner who is converted and who does penance gives joy to all the angels.  If the repentance and conversion of one sinner is enough to make the angels rejoice, how great must be the happiness and jubilation of the whole heavenly court and what glory for Our Blessed Lord Himself to see us here on earth meditating devoutly and lovingly on His humiliations and torments and on His cruel and ignominious death!  Could anything possibly touch our hearts more surely than this and be more calculated to inspire us to true and sincere repentance?

A Christian who does not meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary is very ungrateful to Our Lord and shows how little he cares for all that our Divine Saviour has suffered to save the world.  This attitude seems to show that he knows little or nothing of the life of Jesus Christ, and that he has never taken the trouble to find out about Him - what He did and what He went through in order to save us.

A Christian of this kind ought to fear that having never known Jesus Christ or having put Him out of his mind and heart, He will disown him at the Day of Judgment and will say reproachfully: “Amen I say to you, I know you not.”

Let us, then, meditate on the life and sufferings of Our Lord by means of the Holy Rosary; let us learn to know Him well and to be grateful for all His blessings so that, at the Day of Judgment, He may number us among His children and His friends.

                                                                        The Secret of the Rosary

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