TAKE MARY TO OUR OWN
“When Jesus therefore had seen His mother and the disciple standing, whom He loved, He saith to His mother: “Woman, behold thy son. After that, He saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour the disciple took her to his own.” (St. John xix, 26–27.)
Like St. John we take Mary to our own through thinking with her in our hearts as she lived through the joyful, the glorious, and the sorrowful stages of her life.
This thinking in the heart is open to all, even to little children. It does not depend upon intelligence or a trained mind.
St. Luke records the sequel to the finding of the Boy Jesus in the temple: “And seeing Him, they wondered. And His mother said to Him: “Son, why hast Thou done so to us? Behold Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing.’ And He said to them: ‘How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” And they understood not the word that He spoke unto them.”
“And He went down with them and came to Nazareth: and was subject to them. And His mother kept all these words in her heart.” (St; Luke 11; 48–51.)
Chatting with Mary while saying her Rosary will open up her heart to us and we shall share, in a little way; her thoughts. She who lived the mysteries with her Divine Son will teach us, gradually and slowly, to do as she did and keep all these words in our hearts;
II. SELECT A VIRTUE IN THE MYSTERY
Each mystery contemplated in the Rosary presents many virtues to us for our imitation. Selecting a virtue for each mystery will vary the motives for saying the Rosary and save it from monotony and sameness. To single out one of Mary’s virtues and contrast our weakness with her strength will convince us that we must build that virtue from within. In that uphill pull against our frail human nature, meditation upon Mary’s virtues will bolster up our sagging spirit.
The natural virtues of Mary will beckon us onwards, for example, her prudence at the Annunciation, her fraternal charity during the Visitation, her mother’s love at the Nativity, her confidence at the Presentation, and the lesson of obedience at the Finding of the Child Jesus. Whenever we find a human motive, a natural aid to support us in our striving after holiness, let us seize upon it, and build upon it. Mary’s example will give us courage to increase our meagre stocks of the natural virtues of patience and prudence of fraternal charity and generosity, and of obedience and self-discipline.
The Rosary recited with mind and heart concentrated upon one of Mary’s virtues could not be wearisome and dull, as it too often is. No, it would be all too short. Meditation on Mary’s virtues will work its salutary effects upon our lives. Through the consideration of Mary’s part in the Life of Our Blessed Lord, the Great Exemplar according to which we are bidden to fashion our own, we are naturally led to a more perfect imitation of Him. Just as the sculptor takes a mass of roughly-hewn stone and with untiring labour chisels it and fashions it, until by dint of skilful workmanship the shapeless block is clothed with beautiful forms and reflects the artist’s thought, so by frequent and devout study of our Saviour’s life-a study eminently afforded by the Rosary- ought we to strive to reproduce in our own life something of the virtue that shone out so resplendently in His.