The Holy Rosary

The Catholic faith has been reduced to a remnant after Vatican II. Devotion to the Holy Rosary is important to maintain the Holy Catholic Faith in this crisis situation.

The Holy Rosary is often attacked as "un-Christian" by non Catholics. However, its roots go back to the Gospels and meditations on the life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, through the heart of his Holy Mother Mary.



Daily 15 Decades

The fifteen decades (each being a series of an Our Father and ten Hail Marys) are meditation on fifteen events. This prayer has been with the Catholic Church for centuries.

The Joyful Mysteries

  1. The Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to Our Blessed Mother Mary and the Incarnation of God
  2. The Visitation of Our Lady to Her Cousin Elizabeth
  3. The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ
  4. The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Jerusalem Temple by His Parents
  5. The Finding of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple After Being Lost For Three Days

The Sorrowful Mysteries

  1. The Agony of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane
  2. The Scourging of Our Lord Jesus Christ As Ordered by Pontius Pilate
  3. The Crowning of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Mockery by Roman Soldiers
  4. Jesus Christ Carries His Cross from the Praetorium to Mount Calvary
  5. Jesus Christ is Crucified and Dies on His Cross

The Glorious Mysteries

  1. The Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ from the Dead After Three Days
  2. The Bodily Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ Into Heaven
  3. The Descent of the Holy Ghost Among the Apostles and Our Lady (Pentecost)
  4. The Bodily Assumption of Our Lady Into Heaven
  5. The Coronation of Our Lady as Queen of Heaven and Earth

Note on the Luminous Mysteries
The Luminous Mysteries were recommended to be added to the rosary by John Paul II. While meditating on the life of Our Lord is not intrinsically evil, the Luminous Mysteries are not part of the Traditional Rosary as was prayed by the Catholic Church for centuries.



MEDITATION ON THE HOLY ROSARY

THIS BOOKLET CONTAINS INFORMATION ON HOW TO MEDITATE WHEN PRAYING FOLLOWED BY MEDITATIONS ON THE HOLY ROSARY. THIS FIRST SECTION FROM ST. FRANCIS DE SALES BOOK, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE DEVOUT LIFE IS FOLLOWED BY THE JOYFUL, SORROWFUL AND GLORIOUS MYSTERIES CONTAIN MEDITATIONS ON EACH TAKEN FROM ABBOT GUERANGER, O.S.B. COLLECTION OF BOOKS ON THE LITURGICAL YEAR.
By Thomas J. Cotter

IMPRIMATURE:
MOST REVERENT BISHOP NEAL WEBSTER


Published January, 2010

Copies of this booklet may be purchased by writing to:

Our Lady of Lourdes Church
88 Madrid Court
Knoxville, Tennessee 37919


MEDITATION ON THE MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY

The greatest way we have to save our soul and achieve life eternal in Heaven was give to us by Mary herself in the Rosary. She gave us fifteen mysteries surrounded by fifteen prayers to the Father and one hundred and fifty prayers of intercession to Her. Because there are one hundred and fifty psalms in the priest Breviary, the Rosary has been referred to as the lay mans Salter. The power of the Rosary has already been proven with the victory at Lapanto. It has also received the following praises from these Saintly people:

THE Holy Rosary is the storehouse of countless blessings. – Blessed Alan de la Roache (1428-75)

NEVER will anyone who says his Rosary every day be led astray. This is a statement that I would gladly sing with my blood. – St. Louis de Montfort (1673-1716)

IF you say the Rosary faithfully unto death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins, “you will receive a never fading crown of glory” (I Peter 5. 4). – St. Louis de Montfort (1673-1716)

WHEN the Holy Rosary is said well, it gives Jesus and Mary more glory & is more meritorious than any other prayer. – St. Louis de Montfort (1673-1716)

RECITE your Rosary with faith, with humility, with confidence and with perseverance. – St. Louis de Montfort (1673-1716)

BEFORE beginning a decade, pause for a moment or two and contemplate the mystery that you are about to honour in that decade. – St. Louis de Montfort (1673-1716)

WHAT prayer could be more true before God the Father than that which the Son, who is Truth, uttered with His own lips? – St. John Chrysostom (347-407)

WHENEVER we say the Our Father devoutly, our venial sins are forgiven. –St. Augustine (354-430)

THE Our Father contains all the duties we owe to God, the acts of all the virtues and the petitions for all our spiritual and corporal needs. – St. Louis de Montfort (1673-1716)

THE Angelic Salutation is a rainbow in the heavens, a sign of the mercy and grace which God has given to the world. – Blessed Alan de la Roche (1428-75)

WHEN our hands have touched spices, they give fragrance to all they handle. Let us make our prayers pass through the hands of the Blessed Virgin. She will make them fragrant. – John Vianney (1786-1859)

We should all strive to say all fifteen decades daily. Those daily prayers will surly strengthen our battle against Satin and help us improve our spiritual life. You will feel different, be able to accept the cross God has given you more willingly, become closer to Mary our advocate in attaining Heaven and will receive the graces necessary to fight evil, confess our sins and stay in Sanctifying Grace.

When we conclude to Rosary we say a prayer that starts, “Oh God, who’s only Begotten Son by His Life, Death and Resurrection…..grant we beseech Thee that by Meditating on these Mysteries of the Holy Rosary…”, and yet do we meditate at all or, better yet, do we know how to meditate. I am the least to answer or suggest how to meditate but St. Francis De Sales is and has provided the way in his book, An Introduction to The Devout Life. First of all you should have this book and read parts of it daily. The reason this book is so important is that at the time of Saint Francis the religious books written with written specifically for the Religious and Clergy. This is the first book of its kind written for the laity. In it there are several sections devoted on how to meditate. In this booklet one I have copied verbatim the words of Saint Frances on Meditation and reproduced them here. Read this section first and you will receive the knowledge on how to Meditate not only on the Rosary but in your whole prayer life.

What follows deals with the Joyous, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries. My idea was to provide a daily meditation for each mystery. So, if you wanted to meditate on the Joyous Mysteries and today’s date is the 10th of the Month, you go to the first Mystery, The Annunciation and then down to day 10 and you have your meditation. Continuing to the Visitation on day 10 is the next meditation and so on. All the meditations with the exception of the Coronation of Mary are taken verbatim from The Liturgical Year by Abbot Gueranger, O.S.B. Again here is a series of books that provides the reader with a wealth of information on the Church’s celebration of each daily Liturgy. Reading an excerpt on a particular day will provide some insight into that days Liturgy but, you will find that reading them from Day 1 to Day 31 the story will unfold even more. In capturing 31 meditations and keeping them as concise as possible, some of the whole story was skipped. It, therefore, would be good for you to purchase this collection and read them on your own.

I hope these booklets will strengthen you prayer life and bring you closer to Our Lady, Her Son and your reward in Heaven. When you say the Rosary please have the intention for the Restoration of the Faith, for your Priest, your family and mine. May God bless you.

Thomas J. Cotter

MEDITATION ON THE ROSARY

To grasp the concept of meditating on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, we need to look no further then the comments by St. Francis De Sales in his book, An Introduction To The Devout Life.

This pamphlet is broken down into two sections. The first copied straight from St. Francis De Sales is a must read before going to part two. His words when followed will expand your spiritual awareness and help you grow in love of the Trinity and our Blessed Mother.

The second section deals with all fifteen Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. After each mystery there are 31 meditative thoughts. They are short but thought provoking and should help not only in your understanding of the mystery but also in allowing you to grow spiritually in union with our Lady and our Savior. Say fifteen decades daily and read the meditation for each decade that corresponds to the calendar date.



St. Francis De Sales

The Necessity of Prayer

Prayer brings our mind into the brightness of divine light, and exposes our will to the warmth of divine love. Nothing else can so purge our mind from its ignorance, and our will from its depraved affections. It is a blessed fountain which, as it flows, revives our good desires and causes them to bring forth fruit, washes away the stains of infirmity from our soul, and calms the passions of our hearts.

Above all, I would recommend mental prayer, the prayer of the heart: and that drawn from the contemplation of Our Saviour’s Life and Passion. If you habitually meditate upon Him, your whole soul will be filled with Him, you will learn His expression, and learn to frame your actions after His example. He is the Light of the world, it is therefore in Him, by Him, and for Him, that we must be enlightened and illuminated: such meditation is the Desired Tree, under the shadow of which we must repose: It is Jacob’s well wherein we may wash away our stains. Do not children as they hearken to their mother, and, lisping, imitate her, gradually learn to speak her language? And so if we remain close to the Saviour, meditating upon Him, and giving heed to His words, His actions, and His affections, we shall gradually, by the help of His grace, learn to speak, to act and will like Him. There we must stop, for, believe me, we can approach God the Father by no other door: just as we could see no reflection in a mirror were it not covered at the back with lead or tin, so should we be unable in this world to contemplate the Divinity were it not united to our Blessed Lord’s Sacred Humanity, His Life and Death being the most suitable, sweet, blessed, and profitable subject which we can choose for our constant meditation. He did not call Himself “the Bread which cometh down from heaven,” without a meaning: just as men eat bread, with whatever other meat they may have, so in all our prayers and actions we should seek, dwell upon, and meditate on our Saviour. His Life and Death have been divided and arranged for meditation by several authors: those whom I recommend to you are St. Bonaventure, Bellintani, Bruno, Capilla, Grenada, and Da Ponte.

Devote one hour daily to mental prayer—if you can, let it be early in the morning, because then your mind is less cumbered and more vigorous after the night’s rest. Do not spend longer than an hour in this exercise unless expressly desired to do so by your spiritual father.

If you can perform it in church, so much the better, and surely no one, father or mother, husband or wife, or anyone else, can object to your spending an hour in church, and perhaps you could not easily insure an uninterrupted hour at home.

Begin all prayer, whether mental or vocal, by placing yourself in the presence of God. Adhere strictly to this rule, the value of which you will soon realize.

I recommend you to say the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, and Creed in Latin. But you must at the same time thoroughly understand the words in your own language: so that whilst you join in the universal language of the Church, you may appreciate the blessed meaning of those holy prayers, which you must say, fixing your thoughts steadily, and arousing your affections, not hurrying in order to many prayers, but endeavoring that what you say may come from your heart. For one Lord’s Prayer said with devotion is worth more than many receipted hastily.

The Rosary is a most useful kind of prayer, if you know how to say it rightly; to which end use one of the little books which explain it. The Litanies of our Lord, of the Blessed Virgin, and of the Saints, and all the other prayers which you find in the authorized manuals and primers are useful. But if you have the gift of mental prayer, mind and make that the chief thing, so that if from press of business or other causes you are hindered from vocal prayer, you will not be distressed, but will rest satisfied with saying, before or after your meditation, the Lord’s Prayer, the Angelic Salutation, and the Apostles’ Creed.

If during vocal prayer your heart is drawn to mental prayer, do not restrain it, but let your devotion take that channel, omitting the vocal prayers which you intended to say; that which takes their place is more acceptable to God, and more useful to your own soul. Of course this does not include the Church’s office if you are bound to recite it.

If your morning passes away without this holy exercise of mental prayer, from either excessive occupation or any other cause (though such interruptions should be avoided as far as possible), try to repair the omission later in the day – but not directly after a meal, as then you might make it heavily and sleepily, and might even injure your health. If through the whole day you cannot perform it, you must try to make amends by multiplying ejaculatory prayer, and by reading some devotional book, or by some penitential acts in order to avert the consequences of your omission; to which add a firm resolution to do better the next day.



A Short Plan for Meditation

Concerning the Presence of God: The First Point of Preparation

You may perhaps not understand how to practice mental prayer, for unfortunately at the present time it is too much neglected. I will therefore give you some short and simple instructions concerning it. First, I would notice the preparation, which may be divided into two parts – placing yourself in the presence of God, and invoking His help. To the first end, placing yourself in the presence of God, I will give your four chief means, whereby to begin.

The first consists in a keen and attentive realizing of God’s omnipresence; that He is in all and everywhere; that there is no place nor thing in the world where He is not; so that, as the birds, let them fly where they will, always meet the air, so we, let us go where we will, be where we will, shall always be where God is. We all know this as an intellectual truth, but we do not always receive and act upon it. A blind man does not see his sovereign, but if he is informed of his presence he maintains an attitude of reverence; yet not seeing the object of respect he easily forgets that it is present, and so forgetting soon loses his reverence. So with us, we do not see God, and although faith warns us that He is present, yet not seeing Him with our own eyes we soon forget it, and act as though He were afar off. For though as a mere matter of reasoning we know that He is everywhere, if we do not think about it, the result is the same as if we did not know it. For this reason we should always, before we pray, excite our souls to an attentive recollection of the presence of God. Thus, David says, “If I ascend into heaven, Thou are there; if I descend into hell, Thou are present: (Ps. exxxvii. 8). And so may we use the words of Jacob, who when he had beheld the holy ladder of Angels, exclaimed, “How terrible is this place! Indeed the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not!” (Gen. xxviii. 16, 17). That is, he had not thought about it, for surely he knew that God was everywhere. When, therefore, you would pray, say to your heart, and with your whole heart, “Surely God is in this place.”

The second means by which you may realize this Sacred presence, is to remember that not only is God in the place where you are, but that He is also specially within your heart and spirit, which He animates and quickens with His divine presence; the Heart of your heart, the Spirit of your spirit; for just as the soul animates the whole body, yet above all inhabits the heart, so God being present everywhere is yet specially present with our spirit. Therefore David calls God the “God of his heart” (Ps. lxxii. 26), and St. Paul says, that “in Him we live, and move, and are” (Acts xvii. 28). This reflection will excite deep reverence within your heart for that God who is ever so close to you.

The third means is to reflect upon our Savior, who in His Humanity looks down from heaven upon all men, but chiefly on Christians, who are His children; and still more especially on those who pray, to whose thoughts and actions He gives careful heed. Nor is this a mere supposition, but an assured truth: for although we see Him not, He is ever looking down upon us. The martyr St. Stephen beheld Him thus; and we may say with the Bride, “Behold He standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices” (Cant. Ii. 9).

The fourth means is in imagination to behold the Savior in His Sacred Humanity as actually present with us; just as we do with the friends we love, saying, “I can see him doing or saying such and such things.” But if the Blessed Sacrament be present, this presence becomes no longer imaginary, but actual; for hidden under the veil of bread and wine the Saviour is really present, beholding and watching us, although we cannot see His bodily presence. Before you pray, then, make use of some of these methods whereby to place your soul in the presence of God, and do not attempt to use them all at once, but one at a time, and let what you do be short and simple.



Of Invocation: The Second Part of Preparation

Invocation is as follows: having placed your soul in the presence of God, you must humble it with deep reverence, acknowledging yourself unworthy to approach His Sovereign Majesty, yet knowing that His goodness would have you draw near, and therefore asking of Him grace to serve and worship Him in your meditation. To this end you can use some such brief and earnest petitions as those of David, when he said, “Cast me not away from Thy face: and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me: (Ps. 1). “Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant: and teach me Thine ordinances” (Ps. exviii. 135). “Give me understanding, and I will search Thy law; and I will keep it with my whole heart” (ibid. 34). “I am Thy servant, O give me understanding” (ibid. 125), and many other such. Furthermore, it will help you to invoke your Guardian Angel, and those Saints most especially connected with the subject of your meditation; thus in meditation on the Death of our Lord, you might invoke Our Lady, St. John, St. Mary Magdalen, the Penitent Thief, so that the holy inspirations which prompted them may be communicated to you; and in meditating on your own death, you would invoke your Guardian Angel, who will then be present, so that he may help you to reflect suitably, and so on with other mysteries.



Setting Forth the Mystery: The Third Part of Preparation

After these two ordinary points in meditation, comes a third, which is not common to all meditation, and which is by some called the Compositio loci, or composition of place, and by others the inward lesson.

This is simply representing to ourselves by the aid of the imagination the mystery on which we would meditate, as though it were actually going on before our eyes. For instance, if the subject of your meditation is the crucified Savior, imaging yourself on Mount Calvary, beholding and hearing all the events of His Passion; and represent to yourself all that the Evangelists describe. So, when you meditate on death, or on hell and similar mysteries which concern visible things of sense; for when we come to the mysteries of God’s greatness, the excellence of goodness, the end of our creation, and such invisible things, we cannot employ this active imagination. We can certainly use similitudes and comparisons to assist our reflections; but there is some effort in this, and I would have you act with great simplicity, and not fatigue your mind with labored thoughts.

By the help of this vivid imagination we can the better fix our mind upon the proposed subject of meditation, and refrain from wandering thoughts; just as a bird is confined in a cage, or a hawk by its jesses, so that it may not quit the wrist. There are some who will tell you that it is better to use the pure thoughts of faith, and a simple apprehension altogether mental and spiritual in the representation of these mysteries, but I consider that too hard and subtle a process at first, and until it pleases God to lead you higher, I counsel you to rest satisfied with the humble means which I have indicated.



Second Part of Meditation: Reflections

After this act of imagination, there follows an act of the understanding, which we call mediation. It consists of one or more reflections made with the view of exciting our affections towards God and the things of heaven. And the difference between meditation and study or any other processes of thought, is that the latter have not virtue and the love of God for their end, for their object is temporal, such as the acquisition of knowledge, for purposes of discussion, composition, etc., etc. Having then confined your mind to the appointed subject (by imagination, if the subject be corporal, or by simple thought if it is purely spiritual), begin to make reflections upon it in the way that I have already shown you in the preceding meditations. If your mind finds sufficient food and light in one reflection, then dwell upon that only, imitating the bee, which does not leave a flower until it has sucked thence all the honey. But if you do not find sufficient matter for reflection in the topic, proceed after some efforts to another, but let all be done quietly and without haste.



Third Part of Meditation: Affections and Resolutions

Meditation fills our will, the affective part of the soul, with good impulses, such as the love of God and of our neighbor, the desire of heaven and its glories, zeal for the salvation of souls, imitation of the life of our Savior, compassion, veneration, holy joy, fear of God’s displeasure, of judgment and hell, hatred of sin, confidence in the mercy and goodness of God, repentance for our past sins. And we should seek to enlarge and confirm our souls as much as possible in these affections. To that end take the first volume of the Meditations of Don Andrew Capilia, and study his preface, in which he shows how to expand the affections, as Father Arias does at greater length in his “Treatise on Prayer.”

Nevertheless you must not rest satisfied with general desires and aspirations, but rather turn them into special resolutions for your individual correction and amendment. For instance, when you meditate upon the first of our Savior’s words from the Cross, you will assuredly feel a desire to imitate Him, to forgive and love your enemies. But that desire is worth little unless you proceed to some practical resolution, such as “I will no longer be angry at the irritating words which such a one says to me or of me; nor at the annoyance caused me by another; on the contrary, I will do and say all I can to soothe and win them:--and so forth. In this way you will soon correct your faults, whereas mere desires will have but few and tardy results.



The Conclusion

Finally, you must conclude your meditation with three acts, which should be made with the utmost humility.

First, an act of thanksgiving, thanking God for giving us good desires and resolutions, and for His mercy and goodness which have been made known to us in meditation.

Secondly, and act of oblation, in which we offer to God His own mercy and goodness, the Death, the Blood, and Merits of His Son, and in union with these our own affections and resolutions.

Thirdly, an act of intercession, by which we entreat God to impart to us the graces and virtues of His Son, and to bless our desires and resolutions, so that we may faithfully fulfill them; and further, we must pray for the Church, for our pastors, relations, friends, and all others, making use of the intercession of our Blessed Lady, the Saints and Angels,--concluding with the Our Father and Hail Mary, the universal and never-failing petition of the faithful. To this I would add that we should gather a little nosegay of devotion. When we walk in a beautiful garden we usually gather some few choice flowers, inhale their fragrance, and carry them away with us, retaining and enjoying them through the day. So when our mind has fed upon some mystery by meditation, we should select some few points which especially strike us, and are most calculated to benefit us, and dwell upon them, inhaling their spiritual fragrance. And this we should strive to do in the place in which we have been engaged in meditation, or in solitude afterwards.



Further Rules for Meditation

Above all you must be careful to retain the resolutions to which you have come through meditation, on your return to active duties. Without this chief fruit of meditation it becomes not only useless but positively hurtful, for our mind is apt to rest satisfied with the consideration instead of the practice of virtues, till we persuade ourselves that we are what we have resolved to be – this is all very well if our resolutions are active and solid, but if not, it is a vain and dangerous error – therefore we should always endeavor to put them in practice, and seek every occasion for so doing. For instance, if I have resolved to win those who annoy me by my gentleness, I will see the opportunity of addressing them kindly, but if the occasion does not present itself, I will speak well of them, and pray for them.

On leaving this fervent prayer, you must beware of giving your heart any sudden jar, which might spill the precious balm with which devotion has filled it. I mean that if possible you should remain some brief season in quietness, and gradually pass from prayer to your needful occupations, seeking to retain as long as possible the holy thoughts and inclinations you have been exercising. A man who has received a costly vessel full of some precious cordial would carry it most carefully. He would walk slowly, and not look idly about him, but keep his eyes now on the road before him for fear some stone or false step should endanger him, now at this vase for fear he should spill its contents. Do the like when you cease you meditation; do not at once plunge into distractions, but merely look straight before you; if you must of necessity enter into worldly conversation, you cannot help yourself, but you can be on the watch, and mount guard over your heart, so that you may lose as little as possible of the precious cordial you have obtained in prayer.

You must accustom yourself to go from prayer to whatever occupations may be involved by your station or profession, even though they may seem far distant from the feelings excited in you by that prayer. Thus the lawyer must go from prayer to his pleadings, the merchant to his trade, the wife to her conjugal and household duties, with perfect calm and tranquility; for since these duties as well as that of prayer are imposed on us by God, we must pass from one to the other in a devout and humble spirit.

Perhaps sometimes directly after your preparation you may find your affections greatly kindled towards God, and then I would have you yield to them without heeding any formal method, for the object of that is to excite the affections, and if the Holy Spirit gives you that warmth of affection and resolution without studied reflection, you have no need of it. In short, whenever pious affections are stirred up in you, receive and welcome them, whether before or after reflection. I have only classed the affections after reflection, in order the better to divide the several parts of prayer, for it is an established rule never to restrain the affections, but always to yield to them when they are kindled. And this equally applies to the acts of thanksgiving, of oblation, and intercession, which must not be withheld at any time, although they should always be repeated at the conclusion of your meditation. But you should always make your solutions after such affections, and last of all before concluding you meditation, because as they relate to common, every-day matters, they would be very likely to distract and disturb you earlier.

Amongst our affections and resolutions it is well to speak colloquially to or Savior, the Angels, the persons connected with the mysteries, the Saints, ourselves, our hearts, sinners, and even inanimate creatures, after the example of David in the Psalms, and other Saints in their meditation and prayers.



The Dryness which May Trouble: Meditation

Should you find neither delight nor consolation in meditation, do not be disheartened, but have recourse occasionally to vocal prayer, tell you trouble to the Lord, confess your unworthiness, and say with Jacob, “I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me”; or with the Canaanitish woman, “Yea, Lord, yet the dogs ear of the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.” Else take a book, and read attentively until you mind is quickened and reassured; or stir up your heart by the help of some outward action or gesture—prostrating yourself, crossing your hands upon your breast, embracing the crucifix (taking it for granted that you are alone).

But if these things avail you nothing, do not be disheartened, however great your dryness, only continue to present yourself devoutly before God. How may courtiers daily appear before their sovereign without a hope of speaking with him, content to be seen by him, and offer their homage? So we must pray purely and simply in order to do homage to God, and show our faithfulness. If it pleases His Divine Majesty to speak with us, to hold converse with us by His holy inspirations and inward consolations, it is doubtless a great honor and unspeakable delight; but if He vouchsafes not so to favor us, neither speaking, nor even appearing to perceive us, as though we were not in His Presence; yet we must not therefore leave it: on the contrary, we must remain devoutly and meekly before His sovereign goodness, and then He will assuredly accept our patience, and observe our assiduity and perseverance, so that when we again come before Him, He will look favorably on us, and reward us with His consolations, bidding us taste the sweetness of devout prayer. But if not, let us rest contented, remembering that we are unworthy even of the honor of standing before Him and in His sight.



MEDITATION ON THE HOLY ROSARY - THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES

THIS SECTION DEALS WITH MEDITATION ON THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES. THE EXCERPTS USED IN THIS SECTION ARE TAKEN FROM THE LITURGICAL YEAR BY ABBOTT GUERANGER, O.S.B.

By Thomas J. Cotter

MEDITATION ON THE MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY

The object of meditation is to help us grow in our prayer life and become united closer with Our Lord and His Blessed Mother. With our goal being eternal salvation and the growth within us of graces received directly from Mary to ward off temptations from Satin and his minions, meditation on Her Rosary is not only the most effective but easy to do once we desire to enter into this spiritual union.

What follows are the fifteen Mysteries with thirty-one daily meditations. Those daily meditations taken verbatim from Abbott Gueranger’s books entitled “The Liturgical Year” should help you think about that particular set of mysteries. There are thirty-one to correspond to the number of days in a calendar month. Should you, therefore, be reciting the Rosary on the fifteenth day of the month, just turn the mystery you are at and then go down to day fifteen for your meditation.

The Liturgical Year provided great insight into Our Church, Religion and especially the celebration of Feast Days within the Church’s calendar year. Most of these sections contain much more information and prayers then I could do justice to in this booklet and that’s why I urge you to obtain this set of books for your own spiritual growth and understanding. It is our obligation as laymen to learn as much about our Church as we possibly can and reading these books not only provide that knowledge but will instill within you a desire for more knowledge.

Thomas J. Cotter



THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE EVER BLESSED VIRGIN - MARCH 25TH

This is a great day, not only to man, but even to God Himself; for it is the anniversary of the most solemn event that time has ever witnessed. On this day, the divine Word, by whom the Father created the world, was made flesh in the womb of a virgin, and dwelt among us. We must spend it in joy.

Day 1While we adore the Son of God who humbled Himself by thus becoming Man, let us give thanks to the Father, who so loved the world, as to give His only-begotten Son.
Day 2Let us give thanks to the Holy Ghost, whose almighty power achieves the great mystery.
Day 3Our Emmanuel is conceived on this day, and, nine months hence, will be born in Bethlehem, and the angels will invite us to come and honor the sweet Babe.
Day 4The blood of the Messiah has passed from Adam to Noe; form Sem to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; from David and Solomon to Joachim; and now to flows in the veins of Mary, Joachim’s daughter.
Day 5God has decreed that she should be Immaculate; and has thereby set an irreconcilable enmity between her and the serpent.
Day 6She, a daughter of Eve, is to repair all the injury done by her mother’s fall.
Day 7She is to raise up her sex from the degradation into which it has been cast; she is to co-operate, directly and really, in the victory which the Son of God is about to gain over His and our enemy.
Day 8From tradition we learn that it was at the hour of midnight, when the most holy Virgin was alone and absorbed in prayer, that the Archangel Gabriel appeared before her, and asked her, in the name of the blessed Trinity, to consent to become the Mother of God.
Day 9See the respect the angel of light, Gabriel, affords our Lady as he bows himself down before her: Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with thee! Blessed art thou among women!
Day 10Mary hears what Gabriel has spoken to her; but this most prudent Virgin is silent. She is surprised at the praise given her by the angel.
Day 11The purest and humblest of virgins has a dread of flattery; and the heavenly messenger receives no reply from her, until he has fully explained his mission.
Day 12Fear not, Mary, for thou has found grace with God. Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a Son: and thou shalt call His name Jesus.
Day 13He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father.
Day 14And He shall reign in the house of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom there shall have no end.
Day 15What magnificent promises are these, which are made to her in the name of God! What higher glory could she, a daughter of Juda, desire, knowing, as she does, that the fortunate Mother of the Messiah is to be the object of the greatest veneration.
Day 16And yet it tempts her not. She has forever consecrated her virginity to God, in order that she may be the more closely united to Him by love.
Day 17The grandest possible privilege, if it is to be on the condition of violating this sacred vow, would be less than nothing in her estimation.
Day 18She thus answers the angel: How shall this be done? Because I know not man.
Day 19The angel, charmed with this sublime fidelity, thus answers the question put to him by Mary, and reveals to her the designs of God: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee.
Day 20And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Day 21Mary has heard the angel’s explanation of the mystery; the will of heaven is made known to her, and how grand an honor it is to bring upon her!
Day 22She, the humble maid of Nazareth, is to have the ineffable happiness of becoming the Mother of God, and yet the treasure of her virginity is to be left to her!
Day 23Mary bows down before this sovereign will, and says to the heavenly messenger: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word.
Day 24The obedience of the second Eve repaired the disobedience of the first: for no sooner does the Virgin of Nazareth speak her fiat, be it done, than the eternal Son of God (who according to the divine decree, awaited this word) is present, by the operation of the Holy Ghost, in the chase womb of Mary, and there He begins His human life.
Day 25A Virgin is a Mother, and Mother of God; and it is this Virgin’s consenting to the divine will that has made her conceive by the Holy Ghost.
Day 26This sublime mystery puts between the eternal Word and a mere woman the relations of Son and Mother.
Day 27It gives to the almighty God a means whereby He may, in a manner worthy of His majesty, triumph over Satan, who hitherto seemed to have prevailed against the divine plan.
Day 28Never was there a more entire or humiliating defeat than that which this day befell Satan.
Day 29The frail creature, over whom he had so easily triumphed at the beginning of the world, now rises and crushes his proud head. Eve conquers in Mary.
Day 30God would not choose man for the instrument of His vengeance; the humiliation of Satan would not have been great enough; and therefore she who was the first prey of hell, the first victim of the tempter, is selected to give battle to the enemy.
Day 31The result of so glorious a triumph is that Mary is to be superior not only to the rebel angels, but to the whole human race, yea , to all the angels of heaven.



THE VISITATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY - July 2nd

Our Lady’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth already engaged our attention whilst we were preparing for the Christmas festival. But it is only fitting to return again to an event so important in our Lady’s life; the mere commemoration of this mystery mad on Ember Friday in Advent would be insufficient to bring forward all it contains of deep teaching and holy joy.

Day 1And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren; because no word shall be impossible with God.
Day 2Here, more particularly, does Mary appear as the Ark of the Covenant, bearing within her the Emmanuel, the living testimony of a more true reconciliation, of an alliance more sublime between earth and heaven, then that limited compact of servitude entered into between Jehovah and the Jews. Amidst the roar of thunder.
Day 3By her means, far better than through Adam, all men are now brethren; for He whom she hides within her is to be the first-born of the great family of the sons of God.
Day 4Scarcely is he conceived than there begins for Him the mighty work of universal propitiation.
Day 5Arise, then, O Lord, thou and the Ark which thou hast sanctified, whence thine own sanctity will pour down upon the earth!
Day 6During the whole of her rapid passage from Nazareth to the mountains of Judea, she shall be protected by wings of Cherubim jealously eager to contemplate her glory.
Day 7Amidst his truest warriors, amidst Israel’s choirs of singing men, David conducted the figurative Ark from the house of Aminadab to that of Obed-edom; but better far is the escort deputed by the eternal Father for this sacred Ark of the new Covenant, troops of the noblest prices of the heavenly phalanx.
Day 8Mary appears, and Satan, at once overturned, is subjected to utter defeat in John’s soul, a defeat that is not to be his last; for the Ark of the Covenant will not stay its victories till the reconciliation of the last of the elect be effected.
Day 9Let us, then, hail this day with songs of gladness; for this mystery contains the germ of every victory gained by the Church and her sons.
Day 10Henceforth the sacred Ark is borne at the head of every combat waged by the new Israel. Division between man and his God is at an end, between the Christian and his brethren.
Day 11The ancient Ark was powerless to prevent the division of the tribes; henceforth if schism and heresy do hold out for a few years against Mary, it shall be but to evidence more fully her glorious triumph at last.
Day 12In all ages, because of her, even as to-day under the eyes of the enemy now put to confusion, little ones shall rejoice and all shall be filled with benediction.
Day 13 Let us join the tribute of our songs to John’s exulting gladness, to Elizabeth’s sudden exclamations, to Zachary’s canticle; therewith let earth re-echo.
Day 14Verily this day the whole human race, together with John, leaps for joy and shouts with a great shout; verily this day has the old enemy found reason to lament; the heel of the woman, as she stamps him down, makes his haughty head to wince for the first time; and John, set free, is hereby the precursor of us all.
Day 15Justly then is this day, whereon an end is put to the series of defeats begun in Eden, the day of new canticles for a new people!
Day 16My heart hath rejoiced, like that of Anna, in God my Saviour.
Day 17For even as in his handmaid Judith, by me he hath fulfilled his mercy, so that my praise shall not depart out of the mouth of men who shall be mindful of the power of the Lord for ever.
Day 18For mighty is He that hath done great thing in me; there is none holy as He.
Day 19He hath throughout all generations saved those who feared him, in the power of His arm.
Day 20He hath turned against the impious once the projects of his own heart, driving proud Aman out of his seat and uplifting the humble.
Day 21The bow of the mighty is overcome and the weak are girt with strength, the abundance of them that were rich hath passed to the hungry, and they are filled.
Day 22He hath remembered his people, and hath had pity on his inheritance.
Day 23Daughters of Sion and all ye who groan in the thraldom of Satan, the hymn of deliverance has sounded in our land!
Day 24Following in her train, who beareth within her the pledge of alliance, let us form into choirs; better than Mary, Aaron’s sister, and by yet juster title, she leads the concerts of Israel.
Day 25So sings she on this day of triumph, and the burthen of her song gathers into one all the victorious chants which, in the ages of expectation, precluded this divine canticle of hers.
Day 26But the past victories of the elect people were but figures of that which is gained by our glorious Queen on this day of her manifestation.
Day 27For she has truly brought about the deliverance of her people.
Day 28In her mouth the accents of her illustrious predecessors pass from the burning aspiration of the prophetic age to the calm ecstasy which denotes that she is already in possession of the long-expected God.
Day 29A new era is fitly inaugurated by sacred chants.
Day 30Divine praise receives from Mary that character which henceforth it is never to lose, even in eternity.
Day 31I rejoice at the things that were said to me; we shall go unto Mary, the house of the Lord.



THE NATIVITY -December 25th

Everything is Mystery in this holy season. The Word of God, whose generation is before the day-star, is born in time – a Child of God—A virgin becomes a Mother, and remains a Virgin – things divine are commingled with those that are human – and the sublime, the ineffable antithesis, expressed by the Beloved Disciple in those words of the Gospel, The Word was made flesh, is repeated in a thousand different ways in all the prayers of the Church; -- and rightly, for it admirably embodies the whole of the great portent which unites in one Person the nature of Man and the nature of God.

Day 1The splendor of this Mystery is the consummation of the designs of God in time.
Day 2It is the endless subject of admiration and wonder to the Angels and Saints; nay, is the source and cause of their beatitude.
Day 3The time has now come for the faithful soul to reap the fruit of the efforts she made during the penitential weeks of Advent to prepare a dwelling-place for the Son of God, who desires to be born within her.
Day 4The Nuptials of the Lamb are come, and his Spouse hath prepared herself (Apoc. Xix 7).
Day 5Our Lord gives his whole self to the whole flock, and to each sheep of the flock with as much love as though he loved but that one.
Day 6Our best plan for spending Christmas is, undoubtedly, to keep close to here, and do what she does; for she is most dear to God, and being our Mother, we ought to obey all her injunctions.
Day 7The Church offers to the Infant-God, during this holy season, the tribute of her profound adoration, the enthusiasm of her exceeding joy, the return of her unbounded gratitude, and the fondness of her intense love.
Day 8These four offerings, adoration, joy, gratitude, and love, must be also those of every Christian to his Jesus, his Emmanuel, the Babe of Bethlehem.
Day 9The first of our duties at our Savior’s Crib is Adoration. Adoration is Religion’s first act; but there is something in the Mystery of our Lord’s Birth which seems to make this duty doubly necessary.
Day 10In Heaven the Angels veil their faces, and prostrate themselves before the throne of Jehovah; the Four-and-Twenty Elders are forever casting their crowns before the throne of the Lamb; what, then, shall we do – we who are sinners, and unworthy members of the Tribe of the Redeemer – now that this same great God shows himself to us, humbled for our sakes, and stript of all his glory?
Day 11Let us endeavor to make, by our profound adorations, some return to the God who thus humbles Himself for us; let us thus give him back some little of that whereof he has deprived himself out of love for us, and in obedience to the will of His Father.
Day 12But our Mother, the Church, does not only offer to the Infant God the tribute of her profound adoration. The mystery of Emmanuel, that is, of God with us, is to her a source of singular joy.
Day 13Joy! Did not the very Angels come down and urge her to it?
Day 14She therefore studies to imitate the blithe Shepherds, who ran for joy to Bethlehem, and the glad Magi, who were well-nigh out of themselves with delight when, on quitting Jerusalem, the star again appeared and led them to the Cave where the Child was.
Day 15For unto us a Child is born! He for whom we have been so long waiting is come; and he is come to dwell among us.
Day 16Heaven sends us a present of its own joy: we need joy, and forty days are not too many for us to get it well into our hearts. The Scripture tells us that a secure mind is like a continual feast, and a secure mind can only be where there is peace; now it is Peace which these blessed days bring to the earth; Peach, say the Angels, to men of good will!
Day 17Gratitude is indeed due to Him who, neither deterred by our unworthiness nor restrained by the infinite respect which becomes His sovereign Majesty, deigned to be born of his own creature, and have a stable for his birth-place.
Day 18Oh! How vehemently must he not have desired to advance the work of our salvation, to remove everything which could make us afraid of approaching him, and to encourage us, by his own example, to return, by the path of humility, to the heaven we had strayed from by pride!
Day 19Gratefully, therefore, let us receive the precious gift—this Divine Babe, our Deliverer. He is the Only-Begotten Son of the Father, that Father who hath so loved the world as to give His only Son.
Day 20He, the Son, unreservedly ratifies His Father’s will, and comes to offer himself because it is His own will. How, as the Apostle expresses it, hath not the Father with Him given us all things?
Day 21Shall our debt, then, never be paid? Not so: we can pay it by love, which, though finite, gives itself without measure, and may grow forever in intensity.
Day 22The Church says to him: How beautiful art thou, my Beloved One, and how comely! How sweet to me is thy rising, O Divine Son of Justice!
Day 23Christians! Let us imitate our Mother, and give our hearts to our Emmanuel.
Day 24The Shepherds offer him their simple gifts, the Magi bring him their rich presents, and no one must appear before the Divine Infant without something worthy of His acceptance.
Day 25Know, then, that nothing will please him, but that which he came to see—our love. It was for this that he came down from heaven. Hard indeed is that heart which can say, He shall not have my love!
Day 26Yes, this is the Mystery achieved in us by the Holy Season of Christmas! It is expressed in those words of the passage from St. John’s Gospel which the Church has chosen for the third Mass on the great Feast: As many as receive Him, he gave them power to be made the Sons of God, to them that believe in His name; who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Day 27So that all they who, having purified their souls, freed themselves from the slavery of flesh and blood, and renounced everything which is of man, inasmuch as man means sinner, wish now to open their hearts to the Divine Word, that is, to the Light which shineth in darkness, which darkness did not comprehend, these, I say, are born with Jesus; they are born of God; they begin a new life, as did the Son of God himself in this mystery of his Birth in Bethlehem.
Day 28Let us give ear to the words of the Seraphic St. Bonaventure, who in one of his sermons for Christmas Day thus explains the mystery of the birth of Jesus in the soul of man: This happy birth happens when the soul, prepared by long thought and reflection, passes at length to action; when the flesh being made subject to the spirit, good works are produced in due time: then do interior peace and joy return to the soul. In everything is admiration and delight and glory.
Day 29If then, O devout soul! Thou art desirous for this birth; imagine thyself to be like Mary. Mary signifies bitterness; bitterly bewail they sins: it signifies illuminatrix, be thou illumined by the virtues; and lastly, it signifies Mistress; learn how to be mistress and controller of thy evil passions.
Day 30Let us, therefore, hearken to the invitation of the Angels, and go over to Bethlehem. We know what sign will be given to us of our Jesus—a Child wrapped in swaddling-clothes, and laid in a crib.
Day 31Thus all you begin, with him, a new life. Thus will the Light that goeth forwards and increaseth even to perfect day, illumine you path the whole remaining length of your journey.



THE PRESENTATION OF OUR LORD IN THE TEMPLE - February 2nd

In the Joyful Mysteries we celebrate the fourth mystery as the Presentation. The Church also celebrates two other events on this day; the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as prescribed by Jewish law, forty days after the birth of Her Son, and the Blessing of Candles or Candlemas which is one of the three principal Blessings observed by the Church during the year: the other two are those of the Ashes and of the Palms. The signification of this ceremony bears so essential a connection with the mystery of our Lady’s Purification, that if Septuagesima, Sexagesima, or Quinquagesima Sunday fall on the 2nd of February, the Feast is deferred to tomorrow; but the Blessing of the Candles, and the Procession which follows it, always take place on this precise day.

Day 1By another ordinance of the Law, every first-born son was to be considered as belonging to God, and was to be redeemed by five sicles, each sicle weighing, according to the standard of the Temple, twenty obols.
Day 2Mary was the chaste Spouse of the Holy Ghost, a Virgin in conceiving and a Virgin in giving birth to her Son; her purity had ever been spotless as that of the Angels: but it received an incalculable increase by her carrying the God of all sanctity in her womb, and bringing him into this world.
Day 3Moreover, when she reflected upon her Child being the Creator and Sovereign Lord of all things, how could she suppose that he was to be submitted to the humiliation of being ransomed as a slave, whose life and person are not his own?
Day 4And yet the Holy Spirit revealed to Mary that she must comply with both these laws.
Day 5She, the holy Mother of God, must go to the Temple like other Hebrew mothers, as though she had lost something which needed restoring by a legal sacrifice.
Day 6He that is the Son of God and Son of Man must be treated in all things as though he were a servant, and by ransomed in common with the poorest Jewish boy.
Day 7Mary adores the will of God, and embraces it with her whole heart.
Day 8The Son of God was only to be made known to the world by gradual revelations.
Day 9Her God and Her Son submitted to the ransom as humbly as the poorest Hebrew would have to do; he had already obeyed the edict of the emperor Augustus in the general census; he was to be obedient even unto death, even to the death of the Cross.
Day 10The Mother and the Child both humbled themselves in the Purification, and man’s pride received, on that day, one of the greatest lessons ever given it.
Day 11What a journey was this of Mary and Joseph, from Bethlehem to Jerusalem! The Divine Babe is in His Mother’s arms; she had him on her heart the whole way.
Day 12Men look at this Mother as she passes along the road with here sweet Jesus; some are struck with her appearance, others pass her by as not worth a look; but of the whole crowd, there was not one that knew he had been so close to the God who had come to save him.
Day 13Joseph is carrying the humble offering, which the Mother is to give to the Priest. They are too poor to buy a lamb; besides, their Jesus is the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world.
Day 14The Law required that a turtle or dove should be offered in the place of a lamb, when the mother was poor. Innocent birds! emblems of purity, fidelity and simplicity. Joseph has also provided the five sicles, the ransom to be given for the First-born Son—Mary’s only Son, who has vouchsafed to make us his brethren, and, by adopting our nature, to render us partakers of His.
Day 15At length the Holy Family enter Jerusalem. The name of this holy City signifies Vision of Peace; and Jesus comes to bring her Peace.
Day 16Let us consider the names of the three places in which our Redeemer began, continued and ended his life on earth. He is conceived at Nazareth, which signifies a Flower; and Jesus is, as he tells us in the Canticle, the Flower of the field and the Lily of the valley, by whom fragrance we are refreshed.
Day 17He is born at Bethlehem, the House of Bread; for He is the nourishment of our souls.
Day 18He dies on the Cross in Jerusalem, and, by his Blood, he restores peace between heaven and earth, peace between men, peace within our own souls; and, on this day of his Mother’s Purification, we shall find Him giving us the pledge of this peace.
Day 19Whilst Mary, the Living Ark of the Covenant, is ascending the steps which lead up to the Temple, carrying Jesus in her arms, let us be attentive to the mystery; one of the most celebrated of the prophecies is about to be accomplished in this Infant.
Day 20We have already had the other prediction fulfilled, of His being conceived of a Virgin and born in Bethlehem; today He shows us a further title to our adoration—He enters the Temple.
Day 21There was then living in Jerusalem an old man whose live was wellnigh spent. He was a Man of desires, and his name was Simeon; his heart had longed unceasingly for the Messiah, and at last his hope was recompensed.
Day 22The Holy Ghost revealed to him that he should not see death without first seeing the rising of the Divine Light. As Mary and Joseph were ascending the steps of the Temple, to take Jesus to the altar, Simeon felt within himself the strong impulse of the Spirit of God; he leaves his house, and walks towards the Temple; the ardour of his desire makes him forget the feebleness of age.
Day 23Mary guided by the same Divine Spirit, welcomes the saintly old man, and puts into his trembling arms the dear object of her love, the Salvation of the world.
Day 24Happy Simeon! figure of the ancient world, grown old in its expectation, and near its end. No sooner has he received the sweet Fruit of Life, than his youth is renewed as that of the eagle, and in his person is wrought the transformation which was to be granted to the whole human race.
Day 25He cannot keep silence; he must sing a Canticle; he must do as the Shepherds and Magi had done, he must give testimony: Now, says he, now, O Lord, thou dost dismiss thy servant in Peace, because my eyes have seen thy Salvation, which thou hast prepared—a Light that is to enlighten the Gentiles, and give glory to thy people Israel.
Day 26Immediately there comes, attracted to the spot by the same Holy Spirit, the Holy Anna, Phanuel’s daughter, noted for her piety, and venerated by the people on account of her great age.
Day 27Simeon and Anna, the representatives of the Old Testament, unite their voices, and celebrate the happy coming of the Child who is to renew the face of the earth; they give praise to the mercy of Jehovah, who in this place, in this second Temple, gives Peace to the world, as the Prophet Aggeus had foretold.
Day 28This was the Peace so long looked forward to by Simeon, and now in this Peace will he sleep. Now, O Lord, as he says in his Canticle, thou dost dismiss they servant, according to thy word, in Peace!
Day 29Anna has some years still to pass on earth; as the Evangelist tells us, she has to go and announce the fulfillment of the promises to such of the Jews as were spiritually minded, and looked for the Redemption of Israel.
Day 30the divine seed is sown; the Shepherds, the Magi, Simeon and Anna, have all been it sowers; it will spring up in due time; and when our Jesus has spent his thirty years of hidden life in Nazareth, as shall come for the harvest-time, he will say to his Disciples: Lift up your eyes, and see the countries, for they are white already for the harvest; pray ye the Lord of the harvest, that he send laborers into his harvest.
Day 31Simeon gives back to Mary the Child she is going to offer to the Lord. The two doves are presented to the Priest, who sacrifices them on the Altar; the price for the ransom is paid; the whole law is satisfied; and after having paid her homage to her Creator in this sacred place, where she spent her early years, Mary, with Jesus pressed to her bosom, and Her faithful Joseph by h=Her side, leaves the Temple.



FINDING IN THE TEMPLE - Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany, Feast of the Holy Family

This Sunday has been chosen by the Church for the celebration of the Feast of the Holy Family; the liturgy of the day, as expressed in the Gospel, harmonizes well with the mystery of the new Feast, for it already carries us forward to the childhood of our Emmanuel and gives us those wonderful words which, after the example of His Blessed Mother, we must ever ponder within our hearts…..

Day 1And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to them.
Day 2Let the father of the Just One exult with joy; let thy father and thy mother rejoice; and let her that bare thee be glad.
Day 3O Lord Jesus Christ, who becoming subject to Mary and Joseph, didst hallow home life by singular virtues; by the help of both, do thou grant that we may be taught by the example of thy Holy Family, and have fellowship with it for evermore.
Day 4According to thy divine mercy, O Lord, receive the vows of thy people, who pour forth their prayers to thee: that they may know what their duty requireth of them, and be able to comply with what they know.
Day 5But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection; and let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Day 6If we would attain to charity, the bond of perfection which unites all Christians together in the one great family of God, we must pay heed to those virtues which the Epistle puts before us. We must be full of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty and patience.
Day 7We must bear with one another and forgive one another, after the example of the Incarnate Word.
Day 8Then the peace of Christ will dwell not only in our hearts, but in those around us, and our homes will truly become like that of Nazareth, where Mary and Joseph were ever singing in grace to the Lord God.
Day 9When Jesus was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.
Day 10And having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the Child Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and his parents knew it not.
Day 11And thinking that He was in the company, they came a day’s journey, and sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
Day 12And not finding Him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking Him.
Day 13And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions.
Day 14And all that heard Him were astonished at His wisdom and His answers.
Day 15And his Mother said to Him: Son, why hast thou done so to us.
Day 16Behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
Day 17And He said to them: How is it that you sought me?
Day 18Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?
Day 19And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them.
Day 20And his Mother kept all these words in her heart.
Day 21And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men.
Day 22Thus, O Jesus! -- didst thou come down from heaven to teach us.
Day 23The tender age of Childhood, which thou didst take upon thyself, is no hindrance to the ardour of thy desire that we should know the one only God, who made all things, and thee, His Son, whom he sent to us.
Day 24When laid in the Crib, thou didst instruct the Shepherds by a mere look.
Day 25When swathed in thy humble swaddling-clothes, and subjected to the voluntary silence thou hadst imposed on thyself, thou didst reveal to the Magi the light they sought in following the star.
Day 26When twelve years old, thou explainest to the doctors of Israel the Scriptures which bear testimony to thee.
Day 27Thou gradually dispellest the shadows of the Law by thy presence and thy words.
Day 28In order to fulfill the commands of thy heavenly Father, thou dost not hesitate to occasion sorrow to the heart of thy Mother, by thus going in quest of souls that need enlightening.
Day 29Thy love of man will pierce that tender Heart of Mary with a still sharper sword, when she shall behold thee hanging on the Cross, and expiring in the midst of cruelest pain.
Day 30Blessed be thou, sweet Jesus, in these first Mysteries of thine Infancy, wherein thou already showest thyself devoted to us, and leavest the company of thy Blessed Mother for that of sinful men, who will one day conspire thy Death.
Day 31And they said: How came this man by this wisdom and miracles? Is not this the carpenter’s son?