October is the month of the Holy Rosary, and so I want to quickly reflect on something some non-Catholics object to in the Rosary, and how it is beneficial in so many aspects of our lives…it’s repetition.
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Some argue that this prayer given by our Blessed Mother to Saint Dominic over four hundred years ago is just useless or even superstitious repetition of the same prayers. Why bother?
Well, among many other reasons for praying the Rosary (like the fact that Our Lady asks us to), we should bother because there is beauty in the repetition.
The 150 Hail Marys of the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious mysteries represent the 150 Psalms in the Bible. Religious pray the Divine Office to chant through the Psalms and meditate on them.
When given by Our Lady in 1612, the Rosary allowed the common man to unite themselves with those priests, nuns, and monks, substituting a Hail Mary for each of the Psalms that they may not easily have had access to at the time because of illiteracy or not having a Bible in the first place.
They should not be rattled off mindlessly, but prayed meditatively while pondering major events in the lives of our Lord and our Lady, and the fruits of those mysteries. (I have these listed at the end of this post in case you are unfamiliar with these.)
We are reminded over and over of the angel’s salutation to Mary, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.” We are asking the mother of God Himself, she who is full of grace, to pray for us in a beautiful litany.
We are repeatedly reminded of the Fruit of her womb, Jesus. With what confidence we can ask the prayers of she who bore Christ within her!
With every passing Hail Mary we renew our meditation on the mystery, and can focus on what we can learn from the mystery.
The beauty and discipline of repetition can be seen not just in the Rosary, but constantly in our daily lives.
There is beauty in the husband that gets up and goes to work day after day to toil at the same job, lovingly providing for his family.
There is beauty in a mother washing another dish, changing another diaper, and wiping up another spill when done patiently and out of love.
There is beauty in telling your spouse and children that you love them for the millionth time. They know it already, but repeating it helps solidify those feelings, and remind us of that love.
Very often doing the same thing over and over feels tedious. It is when we try to patiently do these tasks with love that their beauty and merit is more apparent and they don’t feel like a burden.
So even when we may not feel like it, every night we gather in Philomena’s bedroom with dimmed lights, and pray the Rosary. We ask over and over for Our Lady to pray for us and the intentions we list at the beginning.
Each repeated prayer becomes a beautiful rose in a garland to present to our Blessed Mother, and few things are more beautiful than that.
Want to learn more about the Rosary? I recommend “The Secret of the Rosary,” by St. Louis De Monfort and “From the Rose Garden of Our Lady: A Book of Rosary Meditations”
The Joyful Mysteries
The Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to Mary ~ Fruit of the mystery is Humility
The Visitation of our Lady to her cousin Elizabeth ~ Fruit of the mystery is Charity
The Birth of our Lord in a Stable in Bethlehem ~ Fruit of the mystery is Poverty
The Presentation of our Lord in the Temple ~ Fruit of the mystery is Obedience
The Finding of the lost Christ Child in the Temple ~ Fruit of the mystery is Joy in Finding Jesus
The Sorrowful Mysteries
The Agnoy of Our Lord in the Garden ~ Fruit of the mystery is Mortification
The Scourging of Our Lord at the Pillar ~ Fruit of the mystery is Purity
The Crown of Our blessed Lord with Thorns ~ Fruit of the mystery is Humility
The Carrying of the Cross ~ Fruit of the mystery is Patience
The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord on the Cross ~ Fruit of the mystery is Perseverance
The Glorious Mysteries
The Resurrection of Our Lord from the Dead ~ Fruit of the mystery is Faith
The Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven ~ Fruit of the mystery is Hope
The Descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost ~ Fruit of the mystery is Love and Zeal for Souls
The Assumption of Our Lady, Body and Soul into Heaven ~ Fruit of the mystery is Trust in Her Intercession
The Crowning of Our Blessed Mother as Queen of the Universe ~ Fruit of the mystery is True Devotion to Mary
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