Life and the Mysteries of the Rosary

Life and the Mysteries of the Rosary

Back in February we lost a close friend, a lovable larrakin with an exuberant, vivacious, bouncy personality and a zest for life and living. At social events she was the life of the party – upbeat, happy, noisy, loud and fun. Her work ethic was beyond reproach, as she went about her duties cheerfully and wholeheartedly. If for any reason you got cranky with her, you couldn’t stay that way. Her contagious smile, high spirited effervescence and enthusiasm soon won you over. A single Mum, cut down by a stroke in the prime of her life, she is sorely missed.

During her all-too-short life, she experienced the joys, sorrows, pain, suffering, highs and lows of life. She was, like every one of us, flawed and fragile.

In the early hours of the morning she passed away, as I grieved and journalled my thoughts and feelings about the loss of our friend, an insight dawned! Our lives as human beings are very much a reflection of the Mysteries of the Rosary, from conception to death.

The Mysteries of the Rosary are Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and Luminous. As we pray the Rosary, we reflect on twenty principal events in the history of our salvation. The Rosary is a compendium of the Gospel. If the 20 mysteries of the Rosary are recited in one day, it is a reflection on the whole liturgical cycle that the Catholic Church commemorates during the course of a year.

In our lives, we experience joy, sorrow, times of glory and times of enlightenment and awareness. As my reflection of that morning was led by the Holy Spirit, I explored joyful events of my life and listed the five I considered highlights.

My thoughts, and heart, turned towards sorrowful times. This was a somewhat painful part of the process, yet I listed five sorrowful experiences.

Then it was time to list ‘glorious’ moments of my life – special occasions, achievements, celebrations, encounters with Jesus. Although the list flowed readily, I trimmed it back to the top five.

Now it was time to ‘light up’ my life, to look to the luminous moments, those occasions of enlightenment and awareness when I knew God was present with me and the Holy Spirit was so actively at work within. I listed five special, memorable, spirit-filled encounters.

From that sad morning and mourning in February, my thoughts, reflections and prayers evolved into something different – an encounter with the Holy Spirit led me to Mother Mary and a new way to look at the purpose of the Rosary.

Through Mary, we are led to a closer relationship with her son, Jesus. By praying the Rosary, we meditate on the events in the life of Jesus Christ, leading us to know God more, present our needs to God and love God more. Praying the Rosary therefore is not just simply about reciting prayers. It involves reflecting on the grace of God.

I now see the Rosary as a prayer for all life, an opportunity to meditate on the events in the life of Jesus and on our own flawed, fragile lives. We are all members of the same human family, and our lives are a mixture of goodness, beauty, heartbreak, indifference, love and much more. In praying the Rosary, we thus touch on our own lives and are more open to the abundant grace of God.

When we were children, we prayed the rosary at home as family, in front of a table that featured a crucifix and small statue of Our Lady. Throughout my school years, praying the Rosary was an integral part of my life. In primary school, with the Joey’s nuns, we prayed the Rosary regularly. When, in secondary school I embraced the Way of Mary, through Marist spirituality with Mary as a model, the Rosary became daily prayer.

Somehow along the way, as I grew into adulthood, I lost the will to pray the Rosary every day and it ceased to be a daily practice. Happily, the desire to resume this daily practice is strong within, kindled by this sharing of an early morning February encounter and a new insight into understanding the Rosary as a prayer for life.

October is the month of the Rosary, a perfect opportunity to share this beautiful prayer with our families. The mysteries of the Rosary are based on twenty incidents in the life of Jesus and his Mother Mary. I encourage you to use the Rosary to also reflect on twenty incidents of your own life and to give thanks to God for the abounding grace showered on us.

And I further encourage you to look beyond October and make the Rosary a vital part of your daily life. Allow the Rosary to touch and uplift your heart.


Have a golden day. Treasure life!