For those who are not Catholic most likely do not have a clear understanding as to what the Rosary is, why do Catholics pray the rosary, how to pray with it, and is it even a good idea to engage in rosary prayers. Depending on what perspective the non-Catholic finds him/herself on the matter, there are multiple issues one might encounter.
Why do Catholics pray the rosary?
For example, most if not all non-Catholics do not believe in asking for intercessory prayer from those in heaven; even more so that one could direct a prayer to a saint in heaven for assistance as they mistakenly believe that would be a form of worship. This, of course, is nothing more than ignorance on the practice of the early Church (dating back to the 1st Century) and their regard for the heavenly intercession of those who passed away with the sign of faith. By first understanding the truth of the intercession of the saints, one can begin stepping toward the holy practice of the rosary.
The Rosary (traditionally) was made up of three sets of what is called Mysteries – with five Mystery to each set. In 2002 Pope John Paul II updated the Rosary with the Luminous Mystery Rosary. This was a significant event in the history of the rosary.
The Mysteries of the Rosary
1. The Joyful Mysteries:
- The Annunciation,
- The Visitation,
- The Nativity,
- The Presentation,
- The Finding in the Temple,
2. The Sorrowful Mysteries:
- The Agony in the Garden,
- The Scourging at the Pillar,
- The Crown of Thorns,
- The Carrying of the Cross,
- The Crucifixion,
3. The Glorious Mysteries:
- The Resurrection,
- The Ascension,
- The Descent of the Holy Spirit,
- The Assumption, body, and soul of Mary into Heaven,
- The Coronation of Mary in Heaven.
4. The Luminous Mysteries:
- The Baptism in the Jordan,
- The Wedding at Cana,
- The Proclamation of the Kingdom,
- The Transfiguration, and
- The Institution of the Eucharist.
Rosary Mysteries – moments in the life of Mary and Jesus
Each of these Mysteries is meditated on as the reciter prays throughout the Rosary. Now, when the Church refers to such moments in the life of Mary and Jesus as ‘Mysteries’ – this is not to mean that it is some sort of puzzle to be solved or something beyond our understanding.
Instead, these ‘mysteries’ are a part of a grander design that signifies something far more than what is perceived on the surface. Many of the mysteries meditated on in the Rosary are fulfilled prophesies from the Prophets and all the mysteries prayed are actually found in the Bible itself!
Want to pray the rosary (The Sorrowful Mysteries) together with Mother Angelica?
Praying the Rosary = Praying the Bible
So in a way, praying the Rosary is kind of like praying the Bible – but at the same time, requesting the intercession the Blessed Virgin Mary in our lives and lead us to Jesus Christ through her example. As I mentioned before, a great deal of issues non-Catholics have the Rosary is not really the meditations of Biblical moments but rather the saintly intercession understanding.
Once we come to terms with the truth of heavenly intercession, there should be no fear in practicing this holy devotion. If you would only understand, that no one in Heaven is dead – as Jesus said, “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” – Matthew 22:32.
So what more could a Christian ask for than the assistance of those who live with God and is able to assist us as we assist each other with our prayers? Take up the Rosary without fear and pray for me while you are at it! Amen.
What do you think? Why do Catholics pray the rosary? Do you pray the rosary? Please, leave your answers, comments, and opinions below.