Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart, and strengthen our will to follow Christ. Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio divina or the rosary. This form of prayerful reflection is of great value, but Christian prayer should go further: to the knowledge of the love of the Lord Jesus, to union with him.
It is fitting within the charism of prayer and meditation which we follow in Carmel that meditating on the mysteries of the most Holy Rosary is a practice much loved and treasured. The repetition of the prayers while placing our interior into the setting of each mystery has a way of transforming spoken prayer into quiet contemplative musings with our God.
Basilica of Saint Mary Major Saturday, 3 May 2008
I gladly welcomed the invitation addressed to me to lead the Holy Rosary on the First Saturday of the month of May, according to the beautiful tradition that I have had since my childhood. In fact, in my generation's experience, the evenings of May evoke sweet memories linked to the vespertine gatherings to honour the Blessed Mother. Indeed, how is it possible to forget praying the Rosary in the parish or rather in the courtyards of the houses and in the country lanes?
Today, together we confirm that the Holy Rosary is not a pious practice banished to the past, like prayers of other times thought of with nostalgia. Instead, the Rosary is experiencing a new Springtime. Without a doubt, this is one of the most eloquent signs of love that the young generation nourish for Jesus and his Mother, Mary. In the current world, so dispersive, this prayer helps to put Christ at the centre, as the Virgin did, who meditated within all that was said about her Son, and also what he did and said. When reciting the Rosary, the important and meaningful moments of salvation history are relived. The various steps of Christ's mission are traced. With Mary the heart is oriented toward the mystery of Jesus. Christ is put at the centre of our life, of our time, of our city, through the contemplation and meditation of his holy mysteries of joy, light, sorrow and glory. May Mary help us to welcome within ourselves the grace emanating from these mysteries, so that through us we can "water" society, beginning with our daily relationships, and purifying them from so many negative forces, thus opening them to the newness of God. The Rosary, when it is prayed in an authentic way, not mechanical and superficial but profoundly, it brings, in fact, peace and reconciliation. It contains within itself the healing power of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, invoked with faith and love at the centre of each "Hail Mary".
LIMA, Peru, JULY 17, 2008
Peruvian Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani invited Lima's faithful to take the rosary and the Carmelite scapular to all homes in the context of the city's Great Mission. The archbishop of Lima said this Wednesday as he presided at Mass on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the convent of the Discalced Carmelites in Barrios Altos, on the outskirts of Lima.
The Archdiocese of Lima launched the Great Mission last April in keeping with the Continental Mission convoked by Benedict XVI in May 2006 at the shrine of Aparecida, Brazil, on opening the 5th General Conference of the Latin American and Caribbean Episcopate. Cardinal Cipriani reminded the faithful that "we have all come to this shrine to renew our dedication to the Virgin. We want to say to our Mother: Do not leave us, we need your fortitude, affection, purity, guidance and consolation." "In this appointment we have every year in the shrine, on the solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, we come to fulfill our promises. Here I am, Mother! I give you my life, my marriage, my priesthood, my youth. I give them to you with all the pain, anticipation and hope. I trust in you," continued the 64-year-old cardinal.
He urged the faithful to "take on one hand, the holy rosary, and on the other, the scapular of the Virgin of Carmel," and to spread the devotion to others. "People must be taught to pray the rosary," he said. "It must be given to them and prayed in families, in streets, in schools, in hospitals and in churches. Mary wants this. Explain to people what the promise to Mary consists of; put the scapular on them, take it to all homes." "Lima's Great Mission is in Mary's hands; our conversion is in Mary's hands; peace in the world is in her hands; the unity of the family, the protection of life, young people are in Mary's hands," Cardinal Cipriani said. "Therefore, we must come with those two great Marian instruments: the rosary and the scapular, you will see how people will change."
Cardinal Cipriani also encouraged the faithful to approach Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, with confidence and to undertake with her the Way of the Cross: "Do not forget that Mary's great secret was to be beside the Lord on the Cross. Do not be afraid when you think you cannot; love the Cross.
"She, Our Lady of Carmel, will give you the strength. It costs to be good. To love God means to stop sinning, to be faithful in marriage is an effort and struggle." Cardinal Cipriani prayed to Our Lady of Mount Carmel for the world's priests. "Mother of priests, take care of them and make them saints. May abundant vocations come, they are needed, to be able to take Jesus to all hearts."
The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, wheter temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families...that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.
The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, which gradually took form in the second millennium under the guidance of the Spirit of God, is a prayer loved by countless Saints and encouraged by the Magisterium. Simple yet profound, it still remains, at the dawn of this third millennium, a prayer of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness. It blends easily into the spiritual journey of the Christian life, which, after two thousand years, has lost none of the freshness of its beginnings and feels drawn by the Spirit of God to “set out into the deep” (duc in altum!) in order once more to proclaim, and even cry out, before the world that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour, “the way, and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6), “the goal of human history and the point on which the desires of history and civilization turn”.
The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium.(2) It is an echo of the prayerof Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb. With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love. Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer.
Read More: "Rosarium Virginis Maria"
Encyclical of Pope Saint Pius V | 17 September 1569
Following the example of our predecessors, seeing that the Church militant, which God has placed in our hands, in these our times is tossed this way and that by so many heresies, and is grievously troubled troubled and afflicted by so many wars, and by the deprave morals of men, we also raise our eyes, weeping but full of hope, unto that same mountain, whence every aid comes forth, and we encourage and admonish each member of Christ's faithful to do likewise in the Lord.
On Devotion Of The Rosary | Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII | September 1, 1883
It has always been the habit of Catholics in danger and in troublous times to fly for refuge to Mary, and to seek for peace in her maternal goodness; showing that the Catholic Church has always, and with justice, put all her hope and trust in the Mother of God. And truly the Immaculate Virgin, chosen to be the Mother of God and thereby associated with Him in the work of man's salvation, has a favor and power with her Son greater than any human or angelic creature has ever obtained, or ever can gain. And, as it is her greatest pleasure to grant her help and comfort to those who seek her, it cannot be doubted that she would deign, and even be anxious, to receive the aspirations of the universal Church.
When we have recourse to Mary in prayer, we are having recourse to the Mother of mercy, who is so well disposed toward us that, whatever the necessity that presses upon us especially in attaining eternal life, she is instantly at our side of her own accord, even though she has not been invoked. She dispenses grace with a generous hand from that treasure with which from the beginning she was divinely endowed in fullest abundance that she might be worthy to be the Mother of God. By the fullness of grace which confers on her the most illustrious of her many titles, the Blessed Virgin is infinitely superior to all the hierarchies of men and angels, the one creature who is closest of all to Christ. "It is a great thing in any saint to have grace sufficient for the salvation of many souls; but to have enough to suffice for the salvation of everybody in the world. is the greatest of all; and this is found in Christ and in the Blessed Virgin." [St. Thomas Aquinas, Super Salut. Ang.]
It is impossible to say how pleasing and gratifying to her it is when we greet her with the Angelic Salutation, "full of grace"; and in repeating it, fashion these words of praise into ritual crowns for her. For every time we say them, we recall the memory of her exalted dignity and of the Redemption of the human race which God began through her. We likewise bring to mind the divine and everlasting bond which links her with the joys and sorrows, the humiliations and triumphs of Christ in directing and helping mankind to eternal life.