Skip to comments.(Vanity) Christmas Meditation on the Rosary
Posted on 12/25/2015 5:37:35 AM PST by grey_whiskers
This morning I woke up and decided to pray the Rosary before everyone else woke up.
During the Rosary I had some unusual thoughts...
First, let me note that despite the fact it is Christmas Day (at least, for the non-Orthodox out there), it is Friday. And Friday is for the Sorrowful Mysteries.
For the non-Rosary prayers out there, there are a number of themes when praying the Rosary. Each one is a set of Five Mysteries: elements or episodes from the life of Christ or the Apostles. The Rosary consists of recitations of the Lord's prayer, followed by 10 Hail Marys; each set to be done whilst meditating upon each of the Five Mysteries in turn.
Today, the Sorrowful Mysteries, are
Several things struck me today while praying these Mysteries.
For the Agony in The Garden: Jesus prayed, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet, not My will but Yours be done."
What came across loud and clear is this: we have two choices. Either everything that happened -- the arrest, the kangaroo court, the goading into "blasphemy,", the choice of Barabbas, the scourging, crown of thorns, and crucifixion itself -- were the will of the Father, for His OWN SON, or they were not what God wanted. Which do you think?
During the Scourging at the Pillar, it is recorded that
Pilate can "find no cause in Him", yet to appease the Jews, he orders Jesus to be scourged..
Note the archetype here: one which is lamented in the Old Testament, from Job to David: that of the innocent suffering in order to deflect criticism or blame or fault from the wicked, and God seemingly turning a blind eye.
It happened to Jesus. He didn't escape from it.
During the Crowning with Thorns --
In His bound hands they place a reed, as a sceptre, in mockery of His kingship.
Kneeling before Him in derision, they spit on Him, and cry out: "Hail, King of the Jews!"
Taking the reed from His hand they strike Him on the head, driving the thorns more deeply into His scalp.
Think of this: this was after the prayers in Gethsemane. After the arrest and trial, *after* Pilate offered to release Him to the Jews to celebrate passover, after the lashes...
Like falling out of the pain and catastrophe tree and hitting every branch on the way down: every time there was a chance, a hope, a fork in the road, the one that would have turned out worst for Jesus, is the one that happened. The temporary raising of hope, followed not only by disappointment ("the good you hoped for didn't happen") but but something *much worse* actively coming to pass, directly and personally.
One wonders (kind of like the movie The Robe), if any of the soldiers involved in the crown of thorns, reflected later on the public deaths of the disciples or of the talk which swept over all Jerusalem, of the Resurrection, or of Peter's Spirit-inspired sermon at Pentecost, at which 3,000 were saved. ("Jesus? *That* Jesus? I helped *execute* the guy...")
And so the Wisdom of God is foolishness to men: the Romans believed in brutal efficiency, in force, in organization.
For the Carrying of the Cross:
Remember that Jesus said, "If any man wishes to be My disciple, let him die to himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."
This was back in good times...why was an itinerant preacher "whom the common people heard gladly" speaking so morbidly? Often God speaks to us in a voice which is unclear, which seems out of step with circumstances, and our plans. We assume, that if we obey, we shall reap blessings and happiness and wealth and prestige. (Particularly in America, we are taught this.)
Is that anything like what Jesus actually taught?
Finally, the Crucifixion. Two things stood out.
First: "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
Note that. Getting nailed up naked to a piece of wood, with the foreknowledge, intent, and express design to KILL Him, is a lot worse than that snub from that SOB a couple of cubes over, or getting cut off in traffic by that jerk on the way home. Or, for that matter, pretty much anything else on the litany of First World Problems.
And yet he declared: "they do not know what they are doing."
No hint of rancour or revenge.
Second: Even following "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" (a quote from Psalm 22, btw)...His final words, at the point of death, in extremis, were the following: "Father, into Thy Hands I commit my Spirit."
He had no hope left: He didn't even have any continued existence left -- we was in the act of dying.
And yet -- desperate trust, towards the God who had left Him hanging.
Third: for non-believers, the story ends here. An odd, decidedly non-societally-constrained teacher, telling anyone who would hear to forsake wealth and not blaming women found in promiscuity.
Too bad the Romans finished him off.
Why all the furor from those nutcase fanatic Christians?
. . . "If the dead are not raised, then Christ is not raised and you are dead in your sins."
Think of this: you’re the Mother of the little newborn, and you know something like this awaits your child...
That's in another Mystery, The Presentation at the Temple.
And to Mary Simeon reveals: "And your own soul a sword shall pierce."
I saw your title and clicked just to gloss over the content. This insight is compelling and powerful. I plan to meditate on your insights today. Blessings.
Thanks for posting. Every time we pray these, more mysteries seem to arise. As if God is pointing out our humility.
Thank you. Just what I needed today.
Here is link to the Dominican Fathers Rosary pages, where the reflections on each of the Mysteries can be found, with illustrations as well. Great way to pray the Rosary. They have booklets as well, with same things.
Thank you. This morning I am up ahead of everyone else, alone with my coffee. The thought came to me that perhaps the Rosary is a prayer habit that, having set aside for a while, is something I should resume. Coming across your post clinched the deal.
Quite a trail of tears humanity made for Him at His earthly end and yet He took it all and gave back love, forgiveness, Word and wisdom in return.
I've been stuck for a while now thinking about the doubt of His friends and disciples in spite of all they saw and experienced.
My guess is He probably said "Forgive them, they know not what they do" or words to that effect under His breath constantly.
While I can't get my head around the doubt or doubters, their examples make it easier to, if not understand, at least go easy (in my head and heart) on the range of doubt and doubters from His friends and family to the the pharisees and scribes of His time, as well as those similar in our times.
Nothing new under the sun or the Son, I guess. Are we even more rational today and perhaps more jaded about the God and thoughts of the supernatural now than they were then when He walked as a man? More stubborn? More rebellious? About the same?
Do such traits indicate an individual's inner emptiness or perhaps a void ill filled by a form of one's own personality the ego likes best?
I don't know. What jades the once upon a time easy going trust, faith and belief of the child we all used to be and how does one get that back once lost?
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