October 2005 - Volume 10, Issue 3

The Rosary

By Rev. Paul N. Check


Why do we pray the Rosary? To answer that question, let's start with the relationship between Mary and her Son. Mary was close to Jesus as His mother, but she was more intimately united to Him through the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. Indeed, Our Lord Himself pointed this out when He said, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it." (Lk 8:21) We know that Our lady is exceptional in God's providence. Her "yes" to God undoes Eve's "no" and makes possible the reunion of us "poor banished children of Eve" with our Creator. So Mary is united to Christ by her cheerful and generous acceptance of His will before she is united to Him by human flesh.

As God's plan for our redemption unfolded, it would seem that Mary did not have perfect knowledge of that plan. Though she was born without the taint of Original Sin, she was not therefore all-knowing. Indeed, Sacred Scripture records two important questions that she asked. At the Annunciation, she said, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" and at the Finding in the Temple, she asked, "Son, why have you treated us so?" Yet her questions were asked with true simplicity of hear, a heart fully open to the will of God. They do not reveal a lack of trust, but rather a desire to deepen a trust already established.

Mary's Son is the author of our human nature, to include the special bond between mother and child. At the end of His earthly life, with the word, "Mother, behold your son", Jesus confides us into the care of Mary who becomes our mother through grace. He wants us to share the intimacy of His bond with Mary...a union that rests first on faith, hope and charity.

We pray the Rosary because we seek a mother's intervention. Perhaps we desire a miracle or the resolution of some crises or drama. We may be asking for some lesser favor or praying in thanksgiving for graces received. However, we also pray the Rosary because we find Mary's trust in Christ something we wish to imitate. By virtue of our Baptism we have received the theological virtues of faith, hoe and charity, which unites us to Christ. But we need to grow in these precious treasures so that we might adhere to Him more completely, more confidently, more generously. Faith, hope and charity are delicate gifts...and we can lose them if we do not cultivate them.

Our knowledge of God's providential care for us will grow as the soul matures through perseverance and sacrifice and trust. Mary's intercedes for us B especially through the Rosary – not such much to make her Son want what we want, but so that we – her other children – will want what her Son wants, because in His will is our peace.