Friday, October 7, 2016

Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

(Galatians 3:7-14; Luke 11:15-26)

The Dominican Order since St. Thomas Aquinas has been accused of being too heady.  It is true that some Dominicans have striven to imitate the genius of the “Angelic Doctor.”  But others have preached a much more popular devotion.  Since its beginnings, Dominicans have promoted praying the rosary.  Today’s feast celebrates this prayer form.

People pray with the rosary in private, in small groups, and in large gatherings.  Many have made praying the rosary as much a part of their daily routine as reading the newspaper.  Author John Shea wrote a rather sad poem about a couple who prayed the rosary together for years until one spouse died.  Then the other continued to pray, but felt ever more acutely her loss.  As she finished the first part of the “Hail Mary,” only silence responded with the second.  Of course, we recite the rosary in large groups on most occasions that call for prayer – vigils for the dead, demonstrations in front of abortion clinics, and in procession on pilgrimages.

The rosary is a Marian devotion with definite Christological overtones.  It is directed to the mother of God in whom the Creator unites with the created in a unique way.  Those who pray the rosary focus on the great moments of the Redeemer’s life – his joyful coming, his prodigious ministry, his passionate death, and his glorious resurrection.  More than that, however, the rosary provides space for the individual believer to reflect on her life in relation to Christ.  It can be said that the rosary is hardly essential to our faith.  But our faith is much richer with the rosary.