The days leading up to Christmas provide a perfect opportunity to deepen the way you pray the Rosary.
The Rosary, while one of the most popular devotions in the Catholic Church, is also one of the easiest to stop. We might make a commitment to pray the Rosary on a daily basis, but too often our prayer can become bland and repetitive, lacking any inspiration. After a few days we may put the Rosary down and never return to it.
Advent presents a unique opportunity to revive our interest in the Rosary. It is the shortest liturgical season in the Catholic Church and it is entirely focused on Jesus and Mary. In many ways Advent could be called the “Season of Mary,” as we accompany her on her road to Bethlehem.
Many spiritual writers encourage spending a minute reflecting on the particular mystery of the Rosary before reciting the next decade. The Joyful mysteries of the Rosary are the perfect mysteries to meditate on during Advent, as they focus entirely on Jesus’ childhood.
Here are a few sample reflections taken from the Golden Manual that might help you enter into the Rosary in a more prayerful way during Advent.
Let us contemplate, in this mystery, how the angel Gabriel saluted our Blessed Lady with the title, “Full of grace,” and declared unto her the Incarnation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Let us contemplate, in this mystery, how the Blessed Virgin Mary, understanding from the angel that her cousin St. Elisabeth had conceived, went with haste into the mountains of Judea to visit her, bearing her Divine Son within her womb, and remained with her three months.The Birth of Our Savior Jesus in BethlehemLet us contemplate, in this mystery, how the Blessed Virgin Mary, when the time of her delivery was come, brought forth our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, at midnight, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for him in the inns at Bethlehem.
The Presentation of Our Blessed Lord in the Temple
Let us contemplate, in this mystery, how the Blessed Virgin Mary, on the day of her purification, presented the child Jesus in the Temple, where holy Simeon, giving thanks to God, with great devotion received him into his arms.
The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple
Let us contemplate, in this mystery, how the Blessed Virgin Mary, after having lost (through no fault of hers) her beloved Son in Jerusalem, sought him for the space of three days; and at length found him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions, being of the age of twelve years.
5 Thoughts from Padre Pio on the Rosary