Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How I Pray The Rosary

These are my thoughts, as I meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary.  Once I wrote down some key points of my meditations, and now I have printed those out to use in the chapel each night, to focus my thoughts on these prayers.  (The full list of them are elsewhere in this blog.) 
Last night I felt a need to write out my thoughts as I prayed the rosary, so below are my mind’s wanderings as I began to pray:

The First Joyful Mystery: 
The Annunciation of the Angel to Mary
This is what I’d have you do:  listen for My Will; resolve to do it.  No matter how hard
Listen.  Were you listening, Mary?  What were you thinking as you prayed?  Did you worry about what God might ask of you, even before He asked it?  I try to be open to listening; I try to quiet my thoughts during prayer, but sometimes I think about what He asked of the saints.  Could I resolve to do as they did if He asked me?  When I think on the hard things already happening to me, the difficulties of my life, I often try to make them go away.  I make believe that can’t possibly be God’s will for me.  If I find it hard to accept what is happening now, Lord, how can I be open for more?  I’m sorry I am so weak.
Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.
Can God really be calling to me?
Whether listening or not, sometimes I can’t help but hear.  And then sometimes I make believe: “No, that can’t be God calling, not to me.”  Mary, you answered so quickly: “Be it done unto me according to Thy word.”  Please pray for me, Mary, not that I just listen, but that I hear and understand:  God really does call to me sometimes; and He will show me the way I am to go, if I just listen.
Hail Mary …
Full of grace --- ME??  Lord, I am not worthy
I pray: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.”  But even as I say those words, in the back of my mind I think:  “Yes, you are holy, Mary, but me --- well, me God can’t be too proud of.”  Just look at how I have led my life.  The word “I” was so often all important in my decisions, my pride, my failures.  “Lord, I am not worthy,” I want to cry.  But that’s what this prayer to You is about, Lord, conversation, and so I can hear You tell me:  “Of course you are not worthy, but that is why I send you my graces.  Do you think I would ask anything of you if I didn’t also give you the grace to do it?”
Hail Mary …
How can I do this?  This will cause me shame, embarrassment, deep sacrifice or pain, public humiliation.  Do You want this?
Ah, I’m sorry Lord.  Even when I DO listen to You, even when I recall Your assurances that You will be with me, I fail You.  Almost as soon as I hear Your will in my heart, MY will interrupts: “But ….”  My will always has lots of “buts” associated with it.  But this may be hard for me.  But praying in private is one thing, will my acting in public may cause my friends to laugh at me?  But what if someone gets mad at me?  But what if it hurts me?  My will always worries about one thing, first and foremost: ME.  My will always worries about what OTHER people think.  Why can’t I seem to put what YOU think, first?  Do You want this, really?
Hail Mary …
Do not be afraid
Mary, why did the angel say that to you?  I not only need those words said to me too, but I need them printed in big block letters on big signs everywhere I go.  I need my hand held.  Sometimes walking in the way of the Lord seems so scary.  It’s not a way I’ve traveled, sometimes, in a long time.  It’s like walking into a dark forest, where there “might” be lions and tigers.  “Do not be afraid.”  That means trust.  That’s the key to my failure to listen for and to do Your will in the past:  I didn’t trust You.  Mary did; I didn’t.  But I want to, Lord.  I want to.
Hail Mary …
No one who sees me will understand.  They’ll talk; they’ll laugh
Mary, certainly these thoughts flittered through your mind.  When God asks things of me, they usually are short quick actions, but He was asking you to consent to become pregnant.  Very shortly everyone would know it; they would see.  You couldn’t hide what He was asking you to do.  How often, even if I do obey God’s call, do I try to hide it?  Me, doing something because I trust in God:  Giving to the beggar who may be scamming me, going to adoration when the football game is on, saying I can’t make the Sunday morning outing because I must attend mass -- public showings of my faith in You, Lord.  How many of my friends will quietly --- and some perhaps loudly --- laugh?  They’ll think me a fool for trusting in You, but I must.  Lord, give me the strength to always trust in You, even if I don’t understand why You ask difficult tasks of me, even if others laugh.
Hail Mary …
Who am I to question.  Any sacrifice You ask will be more than repaid
You don’t often say it, Lord, even in the Scriptures.  This trust that You ask of us, it is for a reason:  “that you might have eternal life.”  I am so used to the short term rewards of life that I almost always expect them:  “you put your money down, and you get your prize.”  Now.  And if I don’t get a prize almost immediately, I question:  “Is something wrong here?  I did what I should; where is my prize?  I prayed for it; where is my answer?”  I want it now, at this time, in my world.  But I always forget, Lord, in Your place there is no time.  And yet You promise --- a God promises to little ol’ me:  You will be more than repaid.  A God promises.  Who am I to question?
Hail Mary …
Thy will be done
Mary, in reading the short Scripture passage about this event, your answer seemed so prompt:  “Be it done unto me according to Thy word.”  But look at how many words I’ve written even here, almost all of them talking about my will, and my worries --- my lack of trust.  I think that is the true mystery in this short event in your life, Mary, and this short event in Jesus’ life.  He is conceived in you, and the two of you come together as one.  That is what I need to accomplish also, in my heart; that must be the use of MY will: to want to be in union with Him.  It is a mystery how this will be accomplished, but I DO will it.
Hail Mary …
In this I find joy
These meditations are called the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary for a reason.  Not only for the eternal results, the big payoff, do we do God’s will.  With doing His will, with trusting in His promises, comes a great joy, today:  Peace in my heart.  My life is not all about me and MY struggles.  It is about US, Jesus and me, and what WE must do, and our sharing of the struggle.  Ours is meant to be a labor of love.  My yoke is easy and my burden light.  Even in the work of this life, there is joy to be had.
Hail Mary …
I trust in You
What else is there to say.  I understand this mystery now, Lord.  I understand what Mary felt and did when You called, and why.  She was so much holier than I, but I trust that with You I can become as holy as I should be, as I want to be.
I trust in You.  Please walk with me this day. Hail Mary …

Reading my thoughts on this first of the five decades in the rosary, you can see why sometimes it takes me quite a while to pray the rosary.  The rosary is not just some repetitive words to be rattled off; it is mysteries meant to be pondered upon.  We are meant to meditate on the events of Jesus’ life; He came to give us example on how to live, how to love.  When we think about how difficult our life is, we are meant to think about His life.  He came to die, something a God couldn’t do, but He also came to live, and to show us how to live, to live His life in ours.
Together, we can do anything.  Together we can give love to our neighbor, and find joy.

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