The Church, in her official prayer, the Collect of the Mass of the Most Holy Rosary, teaches us that it is by meditating on the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary that we may hope to imitate the virtues of our Blessed Lord and His Blessed Mother. The Rosary presents to us a summary of Our Lord’s Life on earth, of His Passion and Death, and of the triumphs which followed His Resurrection. In its three divisions, Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious, we have a Synopsis of the liturgical year which is a devout study of our Saviour’s Life.
Men today have forgotten how to pray because there is no thought behind their words. Vocal prayers do not sink in unless the heart is touched and the spirit aroused. Today, as in the time of Our Lord’s sojourn on this earth, the words of Isaias are true: “This people honoureth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain do they worship Me, teaching doctrine and commandments of men.”
CARDINAL GILROY ON MEDITATION
Addressing youth during the Centenary Celebrations in Perth, Western Australia, in May, 1946, Cardinal Gilroy, Archbishop of Sydney, advocated the Rosary as a splendid training ground for meditation.
“There is no better training in concentration than the making of a daily meditation. The ability to concentrate is a most valuable asset in anyone’s mental equipment.”
“There is one invaluable form of meditation within easy reach of us all. It is the contemplation of the Mysteries of the Rosary. This exercise of piety I cordially and earnestly recommend to each and every one of you. It is not something novel or untried. Rather it is venerable and of proved efficacy. The exercise in times of peace of noble souls, and of those who wish to be noble, it has been in war a favourite exercise of heroes.
“You are familiar with the praises of the Rosary uttered with incomparable gracefulness by Australia’s priest-poet, John O”Brien. He portrays the recitation of the Rosary in the lovely setting of the unspoilt, natural family circle. In war-time there have been descriptions in poem and in prose of valiant youths and men engaged in perilous undertakings on land, at sea, and in the air, and again in foul prison camps, recommending themselves, their companions, and their cause to God through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the recitation of the Rosary. In your daily Rosary-and we should be well advised to say the Rosary every day-be sure to ponder over the Mysteries in the Life of your Divine Master and His Blessed Mother. You will, as a consequence of doing that, be encouraged to strive, in spite of all difficulties, to imitate what their Mysteries contain and obtain what they promise.”