Faith for the Journey of Life

My Thoughts on Faith, Life, and 2,000+ Years of Catholicism / Christianity

14 November 2006

Who's Who in the Rosary (Part One - The Trinity)

Among the devotions to our Lord Jesus and his most Blessed Mother, the Rosary is the most powerful and most pious way to honor them. Prayerful reflection upon the Mysteries of the Rosary immerses us in the life of our Saviour and his Mother and in the story of salvation.

"And truly, from the frequent meditation on the Mysteries, the soul little by little and imperceptibly draws and absorbs the virtues they contain, and is wondrously enkindled with a longing for things immortal, and becomes strongly and easily impelled to follow the path which Christ Himself and His Mother have followed," wrote Pope Pius XII in his 1951 encyclical on the Rosary - Ingruentium Malorum.

In my previous posting, I offered up a Rosary for my fellow members of the Armed Forces and their families. While praying and reflecting upon the Rosary, I was amazed at the many people - both good and bad - who appear in the Rosary's twenty Mysteries. So in this first installment, I shall reflect upon the various people who appear in these Mysteries. I shall begin with the Trinity.

The Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - are present and prominent in all twenty Mysteries. In that Jesus is One in Being with both the Father and the Spirit as One God in Three Persons, wheresoever Jesus - God the Son - is, God the Father and God the Spirit are also present.

There are three Mysteries when God the Father participates in a very prominent way. In the First Luminous Mystery, after Jesus is baptized, God the Father speaks from Heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). Then after Jesus is Transfigured in the Fourth Luminous Mystery, God the Father again speaks, saying to Saints Peter, John and James, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him" (Luke 9:35). Lastly, in the Fifth Glorious Mystery, God the Father along with the Son and Spirit, crown Mary Queen of the Universe.

The Holy Spirit prominently appears in four Mysteries. The Holy Spirit first appears in the First Joyous Mystery when Mary conceives Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-38). Next the Holy Spirit appears in the First Luminous Mystery. "After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened [for him], and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove [and] coming upon him," records Matthew's Gospel (3:16). In the Third Glorious Mystery, the Holy Spirit, sent by Jesus, descends upon the Apostles and Mary on Pentecost (Acts 2:1-41). Thus emboldened and inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Apostles begin to spread the good news about Jesus and preach boldly in his Name. Lastly in the Fifth Glorious Mystery, the Holy Spirit participates with God the Father and God the Son in crowning Mary Queen of the Universe.

Jesus is a primary participant in each of the Twenty Mysteries of the Rosary. Through the Rosary, we journey with Jesus through his earthly life and beyond. The Joyful Mysteries commemorate his early life: his conception, his mother's Visitation with Elizabeth, his glorious birth, his presentation and his finding in the Temple. In the Luminous Mysteries, Jesus is baptized, turns water into wine at the wedding in Cana, preaches, is transfigured and institutes the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper. The Sorrowful Mysteries commemorate his Passion in the Garden of Gethsemane, his scourging and crowning with thrones, his carrying of the Cross and lastly his Crucifixion and death on the Cross. In the Glorious Mysteries, Jesus overcomes death and is resurrected. He ascends to Heaven, then sends the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and Mary. The Fourth and Fifth Glorious Mysteries honor Mary's assumption into heaven and her crowning as Queen of the Universe by God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Through the Holy Rosary, we draw closer to the Thrice Holy God and travel with Jesus during his earthly life. Next we shall focus upon our Blessed Mother, the Angels and St. Joseph and see how they participated in Jesus's life.


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