Finally we read the last installment of the Apostolic letter of Pope John Paul II called Rosarium Virginis Mariae. I’ve already done an overview, and post on each section of the letter so far, the introduction, chapter 1, chapter 2, and chapter 3. These have been the past couple of weeks.
“Blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet chain linking us to God”
Pope John Paul II starts with saying that the above chapters make the richness of this prayer clear as it is a simple prayer but it has deep theological depth and is well suited for deep contemplation. He also mentions that the Church goes to this prayer when it feel threatened and John Paul entrusts the power of this prayer the cause of peace in the world and the family.
The next section starts with a friendly reminder that the Rosary is by nature a prayer of peace since its focus is on Jesus who is our peace. When prayed well it can lead to an encounter with Christ and so it also leads us to see the face of Christ in others, especially in the most afflicted. John Paul II asks how can we reflect upon the carrying of the cross and crucifixtion and not want to be more like Simon of Cyrene for our brother and sisters weighed down by grief and despair, or the Birth of Christ and not want to promote and defend life, or even reflecting upon a Risen Christ and Mary without wanting to make the world more beautiful. Simply put John Paul say that the Rosary makes us peacemakers in the world.
From here we move to the family. As John Paul points out that “the Rosary is also, a prayer of and for the family.” The Pope also notes that at one time it was dear to Christian families, and brought them closer together. John Paul II is urging us to return to the practice of family prayer, not just at the dinner table, and prayers for families. So often it seems that the Church is continually praying for vocations to the priesthood/religious life and it forgets the other half of vocations the married/single. Here John Paul is saying that we need to pray for the family. This half is going to be looked at in October at The Synod of Bishops which will focus on marriage and the family. (This is what they are talking about)
As the saying goes the family that prays together stays together John Paul notes that by praying together can bring a family together as it strengthen communication. Which is needed to combat the leading problem in families as most of the time families spend together is watching television. John Paul then zeros in on the children and suggests that teaching a child to pray the Rosary is a good thing to do as it instill within them a pause in the day for quite. The Rosary needs to be rediscovered by the Christian community as it is one of the things that we have forgotten about the faith. Pope John Paul II hopes that the vigor and passion of the youth at World Youth Day can bring the Rosary into the daily life of the Church once again. In case you haven’t figured it out yet I pray the rosary (a mystery) once a week and I also do all of them (15 decades) at the end/beginning of the month. I started praying the Rosary on a regular basis in college, as we had a Rosary group that met on Monday evenings at 10 after classes were over and I found it was a great way to find some peace before the day ended. That and we had like 5 regular people showing up each week so that we all grew closer. Praying the Rosary has become a habit that I continue to this day. The Rosary is something close to my heart as well as my grandmother made Rosaries for church and I’ve made a couple over the years as well. So I find it as a connection to my grandma as well.