Agnus Dei Farm Blog
I recently set off a fire storm of controversy by sharing the scriptural references to the Hail Mary prayer. I would love to share the beauty of a deep prayer encounter of the Rosary, which no one was more surprised to discover than me. The real controversy is from the belief that those who are currently in Heaven can pray for us. I believe that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who are cheering us on (Hebrews 12:1-2) and just as I would ask my earthly mother or friend to pray with and for me. I believe we can ask our cloud of witnesses to join with us in our prayers. This is not a forbidden activity, unless you are expecting them to reply and asking for their advice. Jesus in the transfiguration story communicates with Elijah and Moses about his coming death. I am speculating he was seeking prayers for His crucifixion, which was days away. Jesus sought prayers in the garden of Gethsemane from his sleepy disciples.
Since becoming Catholic, I have discovered that the study of the Bible is approached differently by protestants and Catholics. When we first became Catholic many people thought we were entering the church as missionaries to save the poor lost Catholics. Nothing could be further from the truth; we have found a rich deposit of church teaching that stretches all the way back to the early church, not to mention the cannon of The Bible. The differences in study are numerous, but one that pertains to this subject is the fact that the Catholic Church teaches the mysteries of Old Testament is revealed in the New Covenant. To understand the place of Mary the Mother of God, you must understand her many prefigurations in the Old Testament. She is prefigured by Eve or as Jesus called her woman (many think His references to her as woman were a put down, but Jesus who embodies the Law, would have never dishonored his mother). She is also “The Ark of the Covenant,” which held the law, the manna and the Rod of Aaron, which is a Scepter for a King or Shepherd’s Staff), which were all revealed in her son Jesus. Jesus was the Bread of Life, the Word becoming flesh and the Great Shepherd King. She is revealed as the Queen Mother who sat at the right hand of King Solomon. These are just a few of the many places where her role is revealed.
At this hour, when prayer is so critical to the cultural battle going on in our country, I would like to propose that the devil is the author of division. At this moment, he is dividing American against American, Race against Race and we should not let him divide Christian against Christian. We all can learn things from each other, and division keeps this from happening. Just as a side note, most of the most Godly and Holy saints from the past centuries were devoted to the rosary and the life changing meditations on Jesus life, death, and resurrection. This also highlights a difference in focus between protestant and Catholic thought and emphasis. In protestant circles, emphasis is on the victory of the resurrection and in Catholic circles the emphasis is on the death and sufferings that lead us to holiness.
If it had not been for a gift trip to Medugorie, I most probably would not have delved into the rosary. I am sad to report that many Catholics do not pray the rosary, which I believe is detrimental to the health of our church. What I discovered in the rosary was a doorway entering with Jesus into his suffering and death, he told us to take up your cross and follow him. He did not place the emphasis on the resurrection, because in the resurrection, you will not find the keys to holiness, which is the only way to see God. There are 4 sets of 5 mysteries of Jesus life in the rosary prayers; for the sake of this post, I will share what I learned about the sorrowful mysteries and how it aids my prayers.
The sorrowful mysteries are an invitation to meditate on the most intimate details of Jesus suffering. Everything Jesus suffered is common to what we all experience in this life on earth. Most people can pray a rosary in around 20 minutes, but I find that it takes more like an hour, because I carry all those that I know who are suffering with me as I am reminded by these mysteries. Also, it is a time of self-examination or examination of conscience for sins in my own life. It is my pleasure to share this wonderful secret of prayer with you.
The First Sorrowful Mystery – The Agony of JESUS in the garden. I join my heart with Him knowing that He felt abandoned, rejected, betrayed and alone. As I pray the 10 Hail Mary’s, I bring before the throne of God all the people I know who are suffering these pains. I try to enter personally into what they are going through. I am also reminded like the disciples; I have slept instead of praying with Jesus (for His friends-fellow Christians and the lost). I am reminded about how Jesus suffers, when I sin and that it is a rejection of Him.
The Second Sorrowful Mystery – JESUS is Scourged This is a mystery where I bring those that are suffering illness because by his stripes we are healed, I think of those who feel abandoned, without hope and especially those who are suffering, though innocent.
The Third Sorrowful Mystery – Jesus is crowned with thorns. This mystery reminds me of those who are suffering mental torment, those who are mocked and shamed, maybe for a disability or disfigurement. It is also a mystery to remember that Jesus did not try to defend himself against His accusers (this is HARD!)
The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery – Jesus Carries His Cross. This mystery reminds me of all those who are suffering from carrying their cross alone. We all have a cross to carry if we are His disciples, and many times it is a sin we struggle with, a humiliation or an attachment to this fallen world.
The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery – Jesus Dies on the Cross. We are all called to crucify the sin in our life and these are reminders of Jesus final instructions as He died for us.
Jesus is nailed to the Cross. Lk. 23:33
He prays: “Father, forgive them…” Lk. 23:34
Jesus says to the repentant thief: “This day you will be with Me in paradise.” Lk. 23:43
Looking down at Mary His Mother, He says: “Woman, there is your son.” Jn. 19:26
Looking at the beloved disciple, He says: “There is your Mother.” Jn. 19:27
Jesus endures the terrible torture of the Cross for three hours. Mt. 27:45
Nature itself seemed in mourning, for darkness covered the earth. Mt. 27:45
“There is no greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jn. 15:13
Having completed His redeeming mission, Jesus cried out: “It is finished.” Jn. 19:30
“Father, into Your hands, I commend My spirit.” Lk. 23:46
I invite you to enter into the most life changing prayer, The Rosary.
Mary the mother of God and first disciple was with him from conception until death.
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