When I first started praying the rosary, I have to admit that I initially felt a bit underwhelmed by most of the suggested meditation points – the so-called “mysteries.” Honestly, I just didn’t understand them. Or more accurately, I assumed that I did understand them and therefore didn’t get what all of the fuss was about. In short, the mysteries just didn’t seem all that mysterious.
My mediation on the Visitation would have followed like this:
“Okay, so Mary decides to go visit her Cousin Elizabeth, who is also pregnant. Got it! Elizabeth sees Mary coming and is somehow filled with the Holy Spirit. Now this is pretty amazing, and I certainly can’t explain what is happening here, but without additional objective data, there really isn’t anything left to explore. Now Mary responds to Elizabeth with a beautiful hymn of praise. She is the Mother of God after all, what else would you expect? Now I can check the box on meditating. Done.”
The mysteries of the Rosary are supposed to call us to wonder. But, from the perspective of thinking I had the mysteries all figured out, there really wasn’t much left for me to consider. In my early experiences of the Rosary, there was very little space for prayer and almost no room for genuine spiritual encounter. As a result, my version of praying the Rosary felt very repetitious and (to be blunt) exceedingly boring.
My early attempts to pray the Rosary daily faded with exhaustion. Carefully considered prayer plans fizzled. What was I missing? Somewhere between my many failures I began to learn. The mysteries of the Rosary are not something that I am meant to master. Rather, I am called to enter into them and to let myself be mastered.
Entering into the mysteries of the Rosary takes time and silence. Repetition (even when riddled with apparent failures) really is the best teacher. This is your invitation to enter into the mysteries of the Rosary and to let yourself wonder (and maybe wander a bit too). You can check out the Rosary Encounter on our social media pages or in the bulletin. Try praying it with your spouse or with your kids. You can also come here to find additional resources and something new each week. Click the link below for hints on meditation and discussion questions.