A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Friday, October 07, 2005

Meditative repetition

Our Lord’s warning against “vain repetitions” in prayer (Matthew 6:7) might seem to be a real problem for the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary celebrated today. What could be more repetitious than the Rosary?

But as I have said previously, repetition in prayer is not uncommon for any Christian.

Consider how repetitious so many extemporaneous prayers are. Consider also how many times we pray for the exact same thing: from world peace to healing for a particular illness.

The real problem is not so much the repetition but the intention: the idea that multiplying words will change God’s mind.

We cannot change God
in se through our prayer. Rather, it is God who changes us through our prayer and who makes us his instruments of change through our prayer.

Extended and repeated prayer may have many effects on us. Sometimes it is like the old practice of writing repeated sentences in school, drumming important things into our brain.

The Rosary is particularly relevant in this regard, as it is built around meditation on the mysteries of our salvation in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Traditionally, these mysteries have included the Joyful Mysteries, beginning with the Annunciation...

...the Sorrowful Mysteries, beginning with the Agony in the Garden….

…and the Glorious Mysteries, beginning with the Resurrection.

Now, thanks to the great Pope John Paul II, the Rosary also includes meditation on the Luminous Mysteries: beginning with the Baptism of our Lord

...the wedding Feast at Cana...

...the Proclamation of the Kingdom...

...the Transfiguration...

...and the Institution of the Eucharist.

Truly mysteries worthy of repeated meditation.