Sunday, November 06, 2005

Reigning My Attention

As I said earlier, I try to mean the words of the Rosary I pray. However, oftentimes I find myself having to wrangle the wandering mind back to the task. It seems that it's sometimes easier for the heart to command the body than the mind, for the latter can be fairly presumptuous about the importance of its doings. For instance, yesterday when the mind was mulling about this present entry while I prayed the Rosary.

It became clear to me that the mind needed a hook to remain in the works of the heart. As the Ave Maria is the most frequent prayer of the Rosary, I stopped at His Holy Name, "Jesus", to reign the mind by picturing (imagination being one of the favorite faculties of the mind) the events of each mystery. It came as a natural progression to meditate briefly on the role of the other Persons of the Holy Trinity in each mystery during the Gloria. Somehow, the mind obeys the heart during the Pater and the Fatima prayer, likely because it knows that, along with the heart, it too needs God's mercy.

Knowing pretty well that it would be impossible to be original about a centuries-old devotion, I posted my recent findings in Catholic Answers' Forums for a "peer review" and was graced with wonderful feedback by devout people. A particular suggestion popped out above others and I immediately printed it, folded it and slipped it into my wallet for the week's daily Rosary. It was a blessing to be able to pray the Rosary with both the heart and the mind together for as long as never before.

Similarly to the technique I mentioned above on going back to the each mystery at His Name, this technique inserts the mystery or an ejaculation on it right after the Holy Name of Jesus:
  • Joyful Mysteries
    1. The Annunciation: "... Jesus, Whose birth the angel announced."
    2. The Visitation: "... Jesus, Who you carried near your heart."
    3. The Nativity: "... Jesus, to Whom you gave birth."
    4. The Presentation: "... Jesus, Who you dedicated in the temple."
    5. The Finding: "... Jesus, Whose loss you sorrowed for three days."
  • Luminous Mysteries
    1. The Baptism: "... Jesus, Who was baptized for us."
    2. The Miracle of Cana: "... Jesus, Who turned water into wine for us."
    3. The Proclamation of the Gospel: "... Jesus, Who preached the Gospel to the poor."
    4. The Transfiguration: "... Jesus, Who was transfigured on the mount."
    5. The Institution of the Eucharist: "... Jesus, Who gave us the Eucharist."
  • Sorrowful Mysteries
    1. His Agony: "... Jesus, Who sweat blood for us."
    2. His Scourging: "... Jesus, Who was scourged for us."
    3. His Crowning with Thorns: "... Jesus, Who was crowned with thorns for us."
    4. His Carrying the Cross: "... Jesus, Who carried the heavy cross for us."
    5. His Crucifixion: "... Jesus, Who was crucified for us."
  • Glorious Mysteries:
    1. The Resurrection: "... Jesus, Who rose from the dead."
    2. The Ascension: "... Jesus, Who ascended to Heaven."
    3. The Pentecost: "... Jesus, Who sent us the Holy Spirit."
    4. The Assumption of Mary: "... Jesus, Who will return again in glory."
    5. The Crowning of Mary: "... Jesus, Whose kingdom will have no end."
I'm sure this is nothing new to many, as some have already pointed out some writings by saints on the Rosary, but I'm just a novice.



Blogger Tom said...

I warmly recommend The Rosary with Fra Angelico and Giotto, which includes clausulae (as they're called in the Rosary biz) for each Hail Mary in each decade. It's an update of Through the Rosary with Fra Angelico; they had to bring in Giotto because Fra Angelico didn't paint all the Luminous Mysteries.

It's not a terribly practical way of praying the Rosary; unless you have a photographic memory, you need to have the book with you. But it combines the use of the little clauses with the use of sacred art to focus the mind and engage the whole person.

November 08, 2005 9:07 AM  

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