The Rosary in the Bible
Many none-Catholics are so much interested in what the Catholic Church teaches about certain things, they want to know what the Church says. The effort put into trying to know the mind of Church to best criticize and discredit her goes a long way to tell me how strong and important the Mother Church is. If what you say or do means nothing to those around you, then it shows how un-influential you are. That is the reason I feel so encouraged and my Catholic faith strengthened.
The holy rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the Catholic devotions looked down upon by some. They blindly argue that the rosary its not biblical. Yes, the rosary may not have been mentioned in the bible as they claim but, sure, the bible is in the rosary. I repeat without any fear of contradiction; the bible is in the rosary. Yes, in the holy rosary is the summary of the bible, he who daily prays the twenty decades of the rosary reads the whole bible daily. Don’t get me wrong, this is not to discourage the reading of the written word. As Christian and as a priest, I encourage all to get a copy of the bible and read daily. I’m certainly not discouraging anyone from the daily reading of the written word but, to put a simple message across; the bible is in the rosary.
The bible is the written word of God, it is different from the paper upon which the word is written and from the ink with which it was written. The written word of God makes the paper and the ink relevant. The whole world was created by the power of the word; let there be light and there was light. The word was active and powerful without it been written, and even now that it is written it is still as powerful as it was from the beginning when it was not written. I believe in the bible and I respect the bible with my whole life because the word of God written on pieces of paper with ink has made the paper and ink respectable, holy and powerful. This bible is divided into Old and New Testaments.
The rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the other hand is a Catholic and Christian prayer recited meditatively with the aid of beautifully arranged beads with a crucifix affixed to it. This beautifully arranged beads is like the paper upon which the word of God is written with ink, the paper becomes powerful because the word empowers it. The rosary, the beautifully arranged ordinary beads becomes powerful because of the same word spoken on it . The power is not in the beautifully arranged beads (The rosary), but the beautifully arranged beads is empowered by the same word of God spoken on it.
We begin the recitation of the holy rosary by making the sign of the cross while holding the cross attached to the rosary in our hand. The cross is not evil, it is a reflection of the cross upon which Jesus died. Making the sign of the cross by touching our forehead, the navel and the two shudders saying at the same time; in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we bless ourselves and remind ourselves that we are consecrated people. We are people baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; we are people of faith in the one living God. As Catholics we are very happy and proud to be associated with this sign, we are easily identified where and whenever we make the sign. While still holding on to the cross, we say the apostles creed; I believe in God, the father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
After the creed we move our fingers to the large bead above the cross and say the prayer we call the Lord’s prayer. Jesus himself taught his apostles how to say this prayer when they asked him to teach them how to pray, it is biblical (Lk. 11:1f ). Next, we move our fingers to the three small beads upon which we say the prayer we call the hail Mary; Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed are you amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and the hour of our death. Amen. For better understanding, let us look at this prayer (The Hail Mary) in three parts. The first part; “Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee” came from the Angel Michael (Lk. 1:28). The second part; “blessed are you amongst women and blessed is the fruit of your womb [Jesus]” came from Elizabeth by the power of the Holy Spirit (Lk. 1:41-42). The third part; Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and the hour of our death is the Church’s expression of faith in the intercessory role of Mary as she did at Cana in Galilee (Jn. 2:1-11). She interceded for the couple that were almost facing embarrassment as a result of them running out of wine. Mary interceded and her Son the miracle worker did what he knows how to do best; to save. He saved the couple from that embarrassment. Jesus is still the same, and his mother has not become less a mother nether has she grown wicked not to intercede for us sinners. Don’t mind those who say that Mary is dead and so cannot intercede, that is a big lie and satanic strategy to deceive the children of God. Those who say Mary is dead can equally say that Jesus is dead and cannot do anything, or may even argue that Jesus rose from the dead but Mary did not rise. What an argument! So faithless and unchristian. Does death has power over us? Is the grave our home forever? Has Jesus not conquered death? Is it possible for Jesus to be alive and seated on the thrown of Glory while his mother remains in the land of the dead? If Mary interceded while in this world, will she not do much more now that she is in heaven? Her apparitions in different parts of the world proves that she is alive. We do not worship her, but we honour her so much. We will continue to hail Mary and there is nothing anybody can do about that; we will continue to hail her because God first hailed her.
I am still trying to make you understand how the bible is in the rosary. After the hail Mary on the first three small beads, then the glory be prayer: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and forever, Amen. That was the song the Angels sang at the birth of Jesus Christ, glory to God in the highest (Lk. 1:13-14). In God the Father is the Son and the Holy Spirit, if the Father is glorified, then the Son and the Spirit are equally glorified because the three is one God.
After the glory be prayer, then each mystery of the rosary is announced followed by the Lord’s prayer and then ten hail Mary prayer. After the tenth hail Mary and the glory be prayer we say the fatima prayer; O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven especially those in most need of thy mercy. These steps are followed until the mysteries of the rosary are completed. These mysteries are biblical, even the assumption and coronation of the blessed virgin Mary though they are strongly supported by the Holy Tradition of the Church.
THE MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY
THE FIVE JOYFUL MYSTERIES: The annunciation (Lk. 1:26-38), the visitation (Lk. 1:40-56), the nativity (Lk. 2:6-20), the presentation of Jesus (Lk. 2.21-39) and the finding of Jesus in the Temple (Lk. 2:41-51).
THE FIVE LUMINOUS MYSTERIES: The baptism of Jesus (Mt. 3:13-17), the wedding at Cana (Jn. 2: 1-11), The proclamation of the Kingdom of God (Mt. 4:13-17), the transfiguration of Jesus (Mt. 17:1-8) and the institution of theHoly Eucharist (Lk. 22:14-20).
THE FIVE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES: The agony in the garden (Mt. 26:36-46), the scourge at the pillar (Mt. 27:26), the crowning with thorns (Mt. 27:29), the carrying of the cross (Jn. 19:17) and the crucifixion (Lk. 23: 33-46).
THE FIVE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES: The resurrection of Jesus(Lk. 24:1-12), the ascension of Jesus (Lk. 24:50-51), the descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4), the assumption of Mary (Rev. 12:1-17) and the coronation of the blessed virgin Mary (Rev. 12:1). In the coronation we reflect on the queen-sheep of Mary which is from the kingship of Jesus….. The bible talks about a women who appeared in heaven clothed with the Sun, with the Moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with a child. She is Mary!
In the holy rosary of the blessed virgin Mary, we prayerfully and meditatively reflect on each of these mysteries. These mysteries summarizes the bible, both the Old and the New Testaments. I include the Old Testament because the Old Testament is all about the preparation for the incarnation. The Old is fulfilled in the New.
After prayerfully and meditatively reflecting on these mysteries, the rosary is then concluded with the hail holy queen prayer; Hail holy queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope, to thee we cry, poor banished children of Eve, to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears; turn, then most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Then we make the sign of the cross again with which we begin and ends all prayers.
The rosary therefore is not anti-Christian, it is in the bible. It is our faith, we are proud to profess it through Christ our Lord.