"...when the Rosary is prayed in a setting of prolonged recollection." -- St. JPII

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

St Teresa of Avila told her sisters that without attention and devotion, they may be moving their lips but they’re not praying. She encouraged them to pay attention to Whom they speak, who is the one speaking, and what is being said, in prayer. St. JPII in his letter “On the Most Holy Rosary” also helps us to take greater care in how we pray, by making some suggestions:

Announcing each mystery

  1. Announcing each mystery, and perhaps even using a suitable icon to portray it, is as it were to open up a scenario on which to focus our attention. The words direct the imagination and the mind towards a particular episode or moment in the life of Christ. In the Church’s traditional spirituality, the veneration of icons and the many devotions appealing to the senses, as well as the method of prayer proposed by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in the Spiritual Exercises, make use of visual and imaginative elements (the compositio loci), judged to be of great help in concentrating the mind on the particular mystery. This is a methodology, moreover, which corresponds to the inner logic of the Incarnation: in Jesus, God wanted to take on human features. It is through his bodily reality that we are led into contact with the mystery of his divinity.

This need for concreteness finds further expression in the announcement of the various mysteries of the Rosary. Obviously these mysteries neither replace the Gospel nor exhaust its content. The Rosary, therefore, is no substitute for lectio divina; on the contrary, it presupposes and promotes it. Yet, even though the mysteries contemplated in the Rosary, even with the addition of the mysteria lucis, do no more than outline the fundamental elements of the life of Christ, they easily draw the mind to a more expansive reflection on the rest of the Gospel, especially when the Rosary is prayed in a setting of prolonged recollection.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful; kindle in us the Fire of Your Love.
Queen of the Rosary, pray for us that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.
Jesus, Meek and Humble of Heart make our hearts like Yours, as we pray with Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit.


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