Growing up Catholic, I remember receiving a Rosary for my First Communion. It was pretty, white, and came in a neat little case which I kept safely closed for decades. I never knew there was a specific way to pray the Rosary other than the little beads were the Hail Marys and the bigger ones were the Our Fathers. I think I had it in the back of my mind, that those beads were for little old ladies who came to Mass way early and were mouthing a zillion Hail Marys before Mass started, because they were close to dying and wanted to get some extra prayer credit of some sort. Other than that, I actually forgot about it, I’m ashamed to say.
Interestingly, after my miraculous blessing and feeling like I needed to make some sort of commitment to God as a form of gratitude, something nudged me to look for my Rosary. You have to know that I have purged and moved 12 times in my lifetime and some of them were major moves across the country so, I had little hope in finding it. Unbelievably, I actually found it and, like I had mentioned, it was safely closed inside its little case. I pulled it out and looked at it; it looked brand new. Ironically, my Mother-in-law makes Rosaries and I remembered she had given one to my husband and I when we had gotten married a few years prior and it came with directions! I found them and looked at how I was to pray the Rosary and I was bound and determined to memorize the order of the prayers and all the Mysteries. I think it took me every lunch hour for one summer to be able to recite everything without looking at my “cheat sheet.” That was all well and good; however, I wasn’t really focusing on the true meaning of each mystery and how they would bring you closer to Jesus by meditating on His life through those mysteries.
I think many Protestants (and many Catholics) don’t understand the honor we bestow on Our Blessed Mother for saying yes to becoming the “Theotokos,” which is Greek for “God Bearer” or “Mother of God.” I know, many people ask the question, how can a human be the mother of God? Here is where some really cool Biblical Typology comes in. I couldn’t wait to say that word, Typology. It means when a person or event in the Old Testament foreshadows (to suggest in advance) a person or event in the New Testament. I will be using a lot of Typology in my Blog because it is just mind-blowing when you understand just how much of it happens in the Bible.
In Trent Horn’s book, “Why We’re Catholic,” he mentions, “Mary is praised above all of God’s creatures because she has the most intimate relationship with God.” If you think about it, would the God of the Universe want someone to bear His son within her womb who wasn’t perfect in every way and without sin? Since the Lord pre-existed his own mother, and He isn’t confined to time and space like we are, He could make His perfect mother free of original sin, through His death on the cross. He poured out His abundant graces upon His mother at her conception; thus, she is called The Immaculate Conception. The Ark of the Covenant carried God’s words written on stone tablets. Mary, The NEW Ark of the Covenant carried within her body, the word of God made flesh – Jesus Christ.
Mary is also called, “The New Eve” just as Jesus is called “The New Adam.” Eve was the mother of all of the living and Mary is the mother of all who obey the commandments and bear testimony to her Son (Rev 12:17) Another Biblical Typology reference is the fact that Eve said yes to the Serpent/Lucifer allowing sin to enter the world while Mary said yes to Gabriel, allowing salvation to enter the world through her cooperation. After coming to realize the true gift Mary gave us by saying yes, we have no other option but to honor her.
I feel that praying the Rosary honors Jesus through His Mother. Just as in the days of Solomon, when the Queen was the King’s mother (not his wife as many think), which he honored by sitting on his right side and others asked for her to intercede to the King on their behalf. We are able to ask Our Blessed Mother to intercede for us, to comfort us, and to pray for us to Her Blessed Son. What an easy thing to do in the midst of today’s world; I wish I would have started sooner.