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Joy and the Rosary

In this season of the Church calendar the Rosary should loom large for every Catholic. Nativity imagery will abound at all churches depicting the birth of Christ in the manger. But the importance of Mary within the story of the incarnation of Christ is something that is deeply important which is, of course, captured through the Rosary (as well as in Nativity imagery).

That Mary is included in the Creed is no little coincidence. Neither is it that all the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary are directly related with Mary in some fashion. From time to time even the professors at Yale stumble upon a kernel of truth. One of my very Protestant professors once lamented in class that by “getting rid of Mary” Protestants have been in search for a female model of faith ever since and have yet to find one. How true!

Prayer is one of the core essences of Christian life. The Mass is really a long and joyful prayer, and Catholics, most of all, should be aware of this fact. It is not just communion with God—although it most certainly is that—it is also a participatory prayer of praise. But in our age of disorder, the “dictatorship of noise,” and consumerist ethos, as David Bentley Hart once said, “prayer is the one thing you should not do in a truly good consumerist culture.” Prayer, after all, is a call to order. It is a call to dialogue. It is a call to the transcendent—to fix oneself, and one’s mind, to things other the hectic fury of day-to-day life.

To be made for joy and praise is to recognize where that joy emanates from, and where one’s right praise (orthodoxy) should be directed. “The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph… And he came to her and said, ‘Hail O favored one, the Lord is with you.’” And how did the blessed Mother respond to the news? “May it be done unto me according to thy word!” Truly a woman of faith for any Catholic to emulate.

Read more at Crisis Magazine. 

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