Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Rosary in the Bible: Wrapping it Up

New to this series? Start at Part 1 here. Or, jump straight to the JoyfulSorrowful, Luminous, or Glorious Mysteries.

The Rosary and the Bible: like peas and carrots. Or bread and butter. Or love and marriage....
So far in our series, we've looked at the 20 mysteries of the rosary, each taken as a part of a set of mysteries, and studied where these events appear, or are alluded to, in the Scriptures. We also discussed what a mystery is, and even went so far as to pick out the Scriptural roots of the words of each individual prayer said during the recitation of the Rosary.

In short, I have attempted to prove that the Rosary is indeed a valid devotion via Sola Scriptura. I believe I have thus far succeeded.

Now, my brain hurts.

J/K. I did want to leave a few final thoughts on the topic, though.

The Rosary ultimately gets a bad rap, from a lot of people, in a variety of groups:

  • Catholics don't get it, or think it unnecessary
  • Protestants think it a form of idolatry, of "Mary-worship"
  • Atheists dismiss it, or just make fun of it

I think all of these are misguided approaches.

To the atheists, I simply call upon the general practice of prayer beads. For some reason, the Buddhist beads get respect, but the Catholic ones don't. IDK.

But to Christians (Catholic and Protestant), the Rosary is, ultimately, a two-fold spiritual tool. First, it is a way to focus the mind on Christ, through the mysteries, in the recitation of the Bible. Second, it is a petition directly to one whom Christ cannot refuse.

Mary, our Queen, pray for us.
I've pretty clearly demonstrated the Scriptural basis of the Rosary; therefore, I will not spend the time here going into point #1. However, point #2 is worthy of a closer look via (you guessed it) the Bible.

I am the vine; you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.  -John 15:5

And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. -Luke 1:28, 46-48

And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars -Revelation 12:1

A throne was set for the king's mother, and she sat on his right hand. -1 Kings 2:19

Now that the dead rise again, Moses also shewed, at the bush, when he called the Lord, The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; For he is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to him. -Luke 20:37-38

Confess therefore your sins one to another: and pray one for another, that you may be saved. For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much. -James 5:16

All who are in Christ are branches from His vine. Those in the Heavens are alive in Him as well, for He is God of the living. Mary, His mother, is blessed among women, and proclaimed as such for all generations. Queen she is, sitting at the right hand of the King, crowned with twelve stars (the prophetic fulfillment of Israel and the Apostolic Church), her prayer therefore must "availeth much."

This means that Mary, the Queen, gains much favor with God when she prays. After all, how could it not?

Honour thy father and thy mother, that thou mayest be longlived upon the land which the Lord thy God will give thee. -Exodus 20:12

And the child grew, and waxed strong, full of wisdom; and the grace of God was in him. And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men. -Luke 2:40, 52

For unto this are you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow his steps. -1 Peter 2:21

Jesus honors Mary. We should, too.

Jesus honors Mary, His mother. Full of grace, like us in all ways but sin (Hebrews 4:15), Jesus obeys His own divine command. Peter then instructs us to follow Jesus' example. If Jesus honors His mother with a throne in heaven, what are we doing to imitate that?

We fulfill her prophecy from Luke 1 - we call her "blessed." We honor, as did her Son, she that is "blessed," "full of grace" - righteous in the eyes of God.

In turn, she prays for us, that we may be saved. And being "righteous," her prayer is effective. Christ honors her. A petition from Mary, in good faith, cannot be refused by Jesus. So we ask her to pray, ultimately, that we may be saved. We ask her to pray for us, sinners as we are.

We ask her to pray for us 54 times in every Rosary.

The Rosary is not about worshiping Mary, and never has been. Those who twist it to this end are called "heretics," and live outside of the Catholic Church. The Rosary is about imitating Jesus and meditating on His life, death, and resurrection. Through honoring Mary, we imitate Christ.

If Mary is a Queen fit for Jesus, then by golly she's a Queen fit for me.

Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Pray for us (sinners), now, and at the hour of our death.


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