Rosary portions

Marcin Konik-Korn

My grandma taught me how to pray the rosary. I associated the rosary with old ladies who always held rosaries in their hands at church. I always wondered what the sense of praying the rosary – repeating all over the same prayer – was. I understood the sense of the rosary when I began reflecting on the particular mysteries of the rosary. Since you do not pray the rosary, you reflect on it. What is this reflection? Speaking simply, it is a prayer divided into portions. The mysteries of the rosary were prepared in such a way that we can deepen the events of the Gospel, which have different emotional character, in proper time. No matter what mysteries we reflect on: Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious, they all contain the mystery of the Good News. The Gospel is directed to every man but sometimes it is difficult to understand it since the Gospel speaks about supernatural matters. When the particular events of the Gospel are divided according to the emotions they evoke our understanding is easier. Therefore, reflecting on the rosary has a pedagogical character. It teaches us how to understand the New Testament. Reflecting on the particular images of the Gospel is purposely connected with Mary’s prayer in the rosary. It was Mary that first got to know Christ and among all people she knew most about him. That’s why we can deepen the Good News thanks to Mary. When I discovered the sense of reflecting on the rosary another more difficult question arose: how to do it. Every man who received the Holy Spirit during the sacrament of confirmation received all tools necessary to reflect on the truths of our faith or, reaching the core of the matter, to reflect on the Gospel through the rosary. Even a child, thanks to its intuition and poor hearts, is able to reflect on the mysteries of the rosary on its own level. It is enough to understand that every mystery is ‘designed’ in such a way that it is centred on Christ who is surrounded by various figures. We are simply to imagine that we are one of the accompanying people and find our attitudes in their behaviour. Sometimes we can find out that we are connected with the Lord like St John. On another occasion we can act like Judas: we sold Christ for money to the wicked people… The prayer of the Lord Jesus in the olive garden can be our example. Christ was praying and the Apostles were sleeping. Mary was somewhere in Jerusalem and she sensed the approaching passion of her Son. Am I like the sleeping disciple who declared his readiness to follow the Lord’s way but he did not understand it completely? Or am I like Mary, reflecting in some hidden place and focusing on the approaching difficult events? Taking the mystery of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Lord Jesus shows his love for his Mother, not letting her body disappear in the ashes of the earth. He takes her to himself, showing the Church that for the proper attitude everyone will receive a hundredfold more that he could expect. And one more example: during the visitation, the visit with St Elizabeth, Mary praised God saying, ‘all generations shall call me blessed…’ But could she have supposed that Lord God would take her directly to heaven? Lord Jesus promised to give us a new body and eternal life. Will we deserve it by our attitude? By dividing the rosary into portions – mysteries, the Church gives us a wonderful tool of spiritual growth. When you understand this the rosary will not be only repeating ‘Hail Marys’ but getting to know Christ and the particular beads will be asking Mary to support us in our prayer.

"Niedziela" 43/2008

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: