Monday 1 March 2010
I cannot tell you the history of my heart unless I share with you something of the journey, which for fifty years took me all over the roads of Ireland and Great Britain where I have many precious friends and lovely memories. All these have been joined together by the golden chain of the Rosary. They form indeed a living Rosary and one sweet mystery of life.
The Rosary is not just something I say. It is something I have become. Blessed and beautiful as the beads are, they only come alive when used by those who believe and love. The mysteries viewed as events of two thousand years ago, are past history. They become life-giving present mysteries only when we make them our own. We have to lay hold of them in our personal lives. I think this is what the poet had in mind when he wrote those lovely lines:
Sweet blessed beads,
I would not part with one of you
for richest gem that gleams in kingly diadem.
Ye know the history of my heart.
The Annunciation mystery is my first morning prayer. Like Mary, I wait for God’s message for this day. I try to answer: Be it done to me according to your word. It is exciting wondering what may turn up. The Word has to become flesh for me today.
In the Visitation, I pray: O Mary visit me this day as you were with Elizabeth. When God and his Blessed Mother are with us, beloved, every day becomes a Cana day. Mary watches out for every need and notices if the wine of joy and gladness may be running out.
For the Nativity, I alternate between asking Mary to bring me Jesus and wondering how I may bring him to birth in others. Every day is a birthday as our Christ-life reaches a new stage of growth.
In the Presentation, I think of the old man in the temple proclaiming Jesus as the Light of the nations, and I trust that no act of mine, may hinder the light of Christ from shining through. I ask Mary and Joseph to carry me to God’s temple and make me presentable to God and presentable to you, my beloved.
What I like about the Finding in the Temple is the bit where Jesus is sitting among the wise old men listening to them and asking them questions. I ask the Father to make us temples of the divine presence, and let his Son sit beside us to listen to our needs and to search our hearts with his questions.
My comfort in any personal Agony, is to walk in the garden or along the streets, thinking of Jesus who sweated blood beneath the green olives of Gethsemene. There, I pray for courage, to take my share in the agony of our times.
For the Scourging at the Pillar, I ask Jesus to use the sufferings of life as a means of healing, remembering the words of the Prophet, By his wounds, we are healed. In this way nothing is lost. Even the trials and tribulations of daily living work unto eternal life.
At the Crowning with Thorns I look at the Claddagh ring which you, beloved, gave me. I note the two hands holding the heart and the crown overhead, and I pray: “O Jesus, my heart is in your hands. You are King of my life.”
The Carrying of the Cross conjures up the Saviour struggling through the narrow streets of Jerusalem. From there, I see a long line stretching through the bloodied streets of war-torn lands and through all those areas of disaster and devastation that light up our television screens. Past history becomes living mystery and we are all caught up in it.
In the Crucifixion I behold the dying Saviour and think of my own death. This is something I want you to recall, if and when, beloved, I go home before you. I do not wish you to grieve much over me, as I want to make my death an offering, as Jesus did. I desire this to be the supreme moment of surrender into the hands of a loving Father. We must not miss the glory of this moment. Whether you be near or far at the time, I would simply wish you to stand in spirit with me, as Mary stood beside the Cross.
The Resurrection and the Ascension give direction to all our struggles and wanderings. At times we get lost. Again I run ahead of myself. But this I’m sure of: we know where we’re going. We’re heading for the place Jesus has prepared for us. There we will be home at last.
Meanwhile we want all the graces and gifts the Holy Spirit has in store. We’re tempted to go it alone, to live out of our own meagre ration, instead of relying on God’s infinite supply. Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth. Renew what is old and stale. Restore the lost years and put a new heart within us.
In the glorious Assumption of Mary into heaven, as I near the end of my Rosary journey, I picture the Blessed Mother at the window of Heaven, calling: “Arise my love my dove my beautiful one and come. The flowers have appeared in our land. The time for singing has come.”
As I look to you, beloved, as my Queen on earth, I see you as the image of the heavenly Queen. She is the icon who enshrines within herself, the little lives of us all. The graces bestowed on her are unique, yet in a sense shared by all. Her Coronation inspires every believer to work in the service of Jesus, her Son, who is Lord and King.
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