Faith for the Journey of Life

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

10 December 2006

Who's Who in the Rosary (Part Three - The Angels)

They are the spiritual beings that serve God and humanity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church declares "with their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God (329)." The Catechism further states that "Angels are spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve his saving plans for other creatures (350)."

Accordingly, the Angels play an important role in the Rosary as well. They appear in two Joyful Mysteries, one Sorrowful Mystery and three Glorious Mysteries.

At the very beginning of the Rosary journey, the archangel St. Gabriel appears to the Blessed Virgin Mary and announces that she will bear the Son of God. "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God," St. Gabriel assures her (Luke 1:30).

The angels appear next in the Third Joyful Mystery - the Nativity. They appear to the shepherds and announce the birth of the Saviour. "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people," says the Angel of the Lord. After telling the shepherds where to find the newborn Messiah, a great heavenly host appears in the sky above the shepherds proclaiming "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests" (Luke 2:9-14).

During Jesus's agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (the First Sorrowful Mystery), an angel appears to help strengthen Jesus for his upcoming Passion (Luke 22:43).

Angels appear in three of the Glorious Mysteries: the Resurrection, the Ascension and the Crowning of Mary.

On Easter morning, angels are there at the Empty Tomb to announce Jesus's Resurrection. In one of the most memorable statements ever recorded in the Bible, the angels tell the astonished women at the tomb, "Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised." (Luke 24:1-10).

We next see angels at Jesus's Ascension. As the Apostles stare up into the sky in amazement, two angels appear with them and say, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven." (Acts 1:11).

Lastly, as the Rosary comes to a close, the angels sing in jubilation at the Crowning of Mary as Queen of the Universe by the Thrice Holy God.

Angels appear periodically in the mysteries of the Rosary. Just as they journey with Jesus and Mary through the Rosary, they journey with us through our own lives. They announce God's Good News to us. They are their to strengthen us in difficult times and they are there to share in our good fortune. They praise God and help us to know him better. Through contemplation in their roles in the Rosary, we can better understand how God works through them in our own lives.

Angel of God, my Guardian dear
to whom God's love commits me here.
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide.

Vivat Jesus!

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