Excerpts from The Rosary: Chain of Hope | Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R.
Chapter Six | Prayers for the Mysteries
The following prayers are composed to help you sum up prayerfully what we have written about the Rosary as a message of hope. Each prayer could be used for quiet meditation at the beginning of the decade.
O Lord Jesus Christ, You come to us in mystery and generosity. Your coming is totally beyond the human mind because You are God, yet You are totally comprehensible to us because You became an infant child. Thy mysteries of heaven and earth come together in this little baby. Give us the grace, O Lord, to kneel in adoration before Your divinity incarnate in this world. Amen.
O Lord Jesus Christ, teach us the humility of Your Mother and the humility that was in Your own life. Humbly, as a gentle country woman, she visits her cousin to do works of kindness and charity. This meeting may seem irrelevant to some and its significance obscure. Yet it is really the beginning of the teaching of Christian charity and love for neighbor. Amen.
O Lord Jesus Christ, help us to kneel at Your Christmas crib, to look at that tiny baby and his tiny skull. Underneath that skull human thoughts are linked to divinity and eternity. This must remain completely incomprehensible to our minds. Lord Jesus, You are mysterious, incomprehensible, and unfathomable, but You are also merciful and caring toward all of us. In the mystery of Your love, O Christ, help us to kneel at the manger, where You were wrapped in humble clothes and surrounded by animals. Amen.
The Presentation of Christ in the Temple
O Lord Jesus Christ, in this mystery You remind us of the humility of Joseph and Mary, of the humility expressed by Your own Divine Person in coming to the temple as one of the poor. Give us the grace to be humble enough to fulfill our religious duties and not try to escape them by rationalizing or pseudo-sophistication. Amen.
The Finding of Christ in the Temple
O Lord Jesus Christ, even Your life and Your coming were fraught with human anxiety and trial. Why should we, as followers of You, expect fewer trials than others? No, we should expect trials, but we should be able to overcome them and carry them with greater ease because we believe in You. Amen.
Commentary by Fr. Groeschel
The First Joyful Mystery
The events of the Annunciation, as given in the Gospel of Saint Luke, can be known to us only through the testimony of the Virgin Mary herself or by inspiration to the evangelists. No one besides Mary was present at the incredible meeting of the human and divine. This mysterious event described by Saint Luke in a few lines presents a number of the basic foundation stones of Christian belief.
The first and obvious fact of the mystery of the Annunciation is that it is a visitation from a heavenly messenger; something occurs that is completely from outside the natural world. This event can only be an object of faith. It is God’s self-revelation in the world. Acceptance of the Annunciation is the foundation of the Christian faith. The second, startling truth is that Mary must give her consent to the invitation given to her. Often in salvation history God has chosen young peasant girls—Ruth in the Old Testament, Joan of Arc, Catherine Laboure, Therese of Lisieux, and the children of Fatima. He has chosen these little ones to his witnesses and instruments for grace in the lives of hundreds of millions of people. In no event is this clearer than in the life of the Virgin Mary. Her consent was necessary, and for this reason from the earliest times she has been called the Mother of the Redeemed, Mother of the Church.
There is no indication that Mary was coerced into accepting God’s invitation or that she responded out of some religious intuition. As a humble believing girl from a peasant village, she accepted the word that the Lord had spoken to her. As we meditate on this first mystery, let our hearts be filled with hope in the presence of the Incarnate Word, the Son of God, in the world. He comes to bring salvation to us, to those dear to us, and to as many human beings as possible. This mystery also calls us personally to the response necessary for any true disciple of Christ: We must say Yes to Him. We must give him Him our wholehearted consent. We must believe the word that the Lord has spoken.
The Second Joyful Mystery