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The Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary
Prayed on Sundays and Wednesdays
First Glorious Mystery - The Resurrection
The angel said to the woman, "Do not be afraid!  I know that you are seeking Jesus, the crucified.  He is not here, for He has been raised as He said."  (Matthew 28:5-6)
Think of...Jesus rising that our soul might rise from death in sin to life in Him.
Spiritual Fruit - Hope

Meditation

St. Augustine reminds us that Christians are an Easter people and "Alleluia is our song."  We sing in the Liturgy of Easter Week, "This is the day the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it."  And in daily Mass, we often pray, "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again."

Faith in the risen Christ is a living part of comtemporary Christian living.  Each age has made this faith especially its own with an emphasis on some aspects of it over and above others.  But the common theme that unites them all is the joy of the Resurrection that means a shared new life.

Christ is alive, Christ who can never die again, Christ triumphant shares that life with us, through Baptism and the other sacraments.  But Baptism is the real "Easter Sacrament."  We are called to eternal life, life guaranteed by the fact of Christ, risen and alive.

The Rite for the Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) has restored the emphasis on Baptism in the Easter Vigil liturgy.  It demonstrates that the hope in the Easter event still attracts men and women. 

Source:  My Rosary Its Power and Mystery, Msgr. Charles Dollen; 1988; pp. 145-146.

Second Glorious Mystery - The Ascension
As the Apostles were looking on, Jesus was lifted up, and a cloud took Him from their sight.  This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen Him going into heaven."  (Acts 1:9-11)
Think of...Jesus ascending into Heaven to prepare our new home for us.
Spiritual Fruit - Victory

Meditation

For many people, the Feast of the Ascension is an anticlimax.  The great drama of Good Friday on Calvary and Easter Sunday morning at the empty tomb have raised us to spiritual heights.  The next great act in salvation history will be Pentecost, and we have fifty days to get worked up again.

But the Feast of the Ascension is one of glorious triumph for Christ.  He has fulfilled completely the work the Father had given Him to do, and as a reward for His humble obedience He now enters into glory.  This feast, this mystery, consummates the earthly life of Jesus.

Abbot Marmion points out that "in a certain sense, the Ascension is the greatest [feastday] because it is the supreme glorification of Christ Jesus."  There is a sense of the magnificent in the liturgical celebration of the feast.

Because Christ worked out HIs Father's will in and through His human nature, it is only fitting and proer that He would be glorified in His body. 

The feast also includes the notion of Christ, the great and eternal High Priest entering into the Holy of Holies to remain there, eternally, as our one and only Mediator with the Father.  This is why we can approach the Throne of God with confidence.

We have seen that the Passion and Death of Christ whithout the Resurrection is a stark and senseless tragedy.  It has no meaning.  Without the Ascension, the Resurrection would remain an unfinished page in the life and work of Christ.

With Christ, we, His mystical Body, have already entered heaven.  It is a pledge of the future glory which we will share individually.  Looked at this way, the Feast of the Ascension is not only an opportunity to praise God for the work of His Incarnate Son, it becomes a feast day with huge personal significance.

Far from being an anticlamix, the Asecnsion is another high point in the work of our salvation, a continuing influence on our own spirituality.

Source:  My Rosary Its Power and Mystery, Msgr. Charles Dollen; 1988; pp. 157-158.

Third Glorious Mystery - The Descent of the Holy Spirit
When the time for Pentacost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.  And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.  Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.  (Acts 2:1-4)
Think of...Jesus sending His Holy Spirit to spread the fire of His love over the earth.
Spiritual Fruit - Power

Meditation

To build up the Body of Christ, which is His Church!  That is the work attributed to the Holy Spirit as the legacy of Pentecost.  So deep is the mystery considered in the Third Glorious Mystery, so powerful, that no meditation will ever be complete.  This mission of the Holy Spiorit goes on to the end of time.

However, that does not excuse us from pondering what we do know.  The signs and wonders of the original Pentecost Sunday when the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples were also symbols to nourish our faith.

The sound of the wind, a mysterious power to the ancients, speaks of the power of God in the Holy Spiorit, because He is God.  "Tongues as of fire" remind us of the teaching voice of the Church and the dynamic magisterium of that Church; the fire - what else could it be but the fire of divine love to which we are called?

St. Peter's discourse demonstrates how the message of Christ was delivered first to the Jews - it was their promise fulfilled - and then to the Gentiles, those who live afar off, who were included in the mysterious plan of salvation.

The signs and wonders that accompanied the preaching of the first Christians were to attached attention to their message.  All too soon the signs became and end in themselves to some who believed.  

So, St. Paul's famous passages in 1 Corinthians, chs. 12-14 were an exhortation to seek the spiritual gifts, but above all, charity, "the more excellent way" which surpasses all the others.  We still see some moderns, especially fundamentalists, pursuing the extraordinary gifts as if they were an end in themselves.

The power of the Holy Spirit is alive and well in the Church and we have the divine assurance that it will be, until the consummation of the world. 

Source:  My Rosary Its Power and Mystery, Msgr. Charles Dollen; 1988; pp. 171-172.

Fourth Glorious Mystery - The Assumption of Mary
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with Him those who have fallen asleep.  Thus we shall always be with the Lord.  (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17)
Think of...Jesus taking Mary's body and soul to Heaven that she might be with Him forever.
Spiritual Fruit - Endurance

Meditation

The controversy about the doctrine of the Assumption may leave some wondering why it was such a big deal. 

And it seems so logical.  Since Christ had ascended into heaven, of course He would take His Mother there, as soon as feasible.  That still seems like compelling logic.

What is the alternative?  Well, she died and was buried.  But, then a larger question comes up, and a real one.  Where?  Ephesus (where it is presumed she lived many of her last days) and Jerusalem (which seems to have a better claim) both have tombs of the Blesses Mother, but neither one has ever claimed to have her body, her relics.

Those relics would have been a prize treasure.  If the bones of Sts. Peter and Paul are among the top trophies of Rome, what city would not like to claim Mary's?

Pope Pius XII removed this question from the realm of debate by his definition, and has allowed the theologians free dispute over whether or not she actually died as a precondition to her entrance, body and soul, into heaven.  Some would like to think that she did not have to die, but the wisdom of the Fathers and the theologians leaves this a distinct minority.

How much we should rejoice in this mystery of the Rosary!  We would need the pen of St. Bernard or the words of Archbishop Sheen even to try to imagine the scene in heaven when Mary arrived.  What joy, what exultation in the Kingdom of Heaven!

Source:  My Rosary Its Power and Mystery, Msgr. Charles Dollen; 1988; pp. 182-183.

Fifth Glorious Mystery - The Coronation of Mary
A great sign appeard in the sky, and a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.  (Revelation 12:1)
Think of...Jesus crowning Mary as Queen of Heaven that she might draw many to follow Him.
Spiritual Fruit - Beauty

Meditation

There are certain titles of the Blessed Mother's that Catholics are a little bit protective of, and even a bit shy of proclaiming at large.  That "Mary was crowned Queen of heaven and earth,"  seems to make this Fifth Glorious Mystery particulary Catholic.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

This is a title that Christians have always given to her, going back as far as into Christian history as we can.  Long before schisms and heresies tore at the "seemless robe of Christ," long before the assult on the Christian unity of the Body of Christ, His Church loved to give this title to Mary.

It is such a logical devotion.  Christ the New Adam; Mary the New Eve.  Christ the Son; Mary the Mother.  Christ the King; Mary the Queen.  Liturgical usage, the way the Church prays officially, has encouraged this title.  Popular devotion has long since accepted the crowning of statues of Mary.

"To Jesus through May" has long been regarded as a safepath to become more Christ-like.  True Marian devotion always leads to a greater understanding and appreciation of the divinity of Christ.  Like the Rosary itself, Marian devotion has proven itself through time and circumstances.

The power of the mysteries of the Rosary increases with use.  It has drawn countless numbers of Christians into the heart of the Incarnation. 

Source:  My Rosary Its Power and Mystery, Msgr. Charles Dollen; 1988; pp. 194-195.

 

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