The birth of the Lord in us, Part 3
Today, on this wonderful feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, it is very appropriate to talk about the Rosary, because it is a classical Christian meditation and is especially associated with the Virgin Mary.
It was she who carried the Lord under her heart and in her heart. If we want to take Jesus deeper into our hearts, she will gladly come to our aid as a spiritual mother. She loves it when we listen to her Son, when he lives in our hearts and she sees him take shape in our lives. What mother would not love it if her son was given the respect, love and attention that he deserves? And how much this is especially true for the Blessed Mother, whose divine Son gives us salvation.
If we learn to understand Mary as our spiritual mother and ask her to encounter her Son even more deeply, she will lead us into the relationship of loving intimacy with her Son, in which she herself lives.
One means of doing this is to pray the Holy Rosary. In her apparitions, the Virgin asks for this prayer again and again.
The Rosary is also called the “little Psalter”, while the “great Psalter” comprises the whole of the 150 Psalms of Sacred Scripture.
So how does the Rosary serve to internalise our life of faith?
If we look at it more closely, it is an amazing spiritual work of art, because we find it in many basic elements of prayer: As a prelude, the Creed, than the Adoration of the Trinitarian God, the Prayer of the Lord and the first three Hail Marys linked to the divine virtues of faith, hope and love.
With regard to our theme, we will concentrate especially at the repetitions of the prayer and the mysteries of salvation.
Through the “Hail Marys” we repeat again and again the angel’s message, which is then primarily connected with the contemplation of different stations of Jesus’ life. The intention of this way of praying is that the truths of faith communicated to us will be imprinted in our hearts, so that they will not only remain in our minds as knowledge and remembrance, but that they will be able to penetrate into our hearts and even into our unconscious.
The multiple repetitions of the angel’s greeting, which initiated the unique incarnation of the divine Word, offers us to realize the wonderful nature of God’s action on the Virgin Mary and anchor it in us. With the repeated internalisation of these words we open our hearts also to the grace which God gives us human beings with the coming of Jesus.
With the overshadowing of the Virgin by the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk 1:35), the union of divinity and humanity in the Son of God happens as it never happened before and never will happen again. This unique process of love, which is spiritually present in the first joyful mystery, invites us to receive the Lord in our inner being. Just as Mary bodily received the Lord through the work of the Holy Spirit, so we can receive the Lord through the presence of the Holy Spirit, if our soul is opened in the state of grace for the coming of Jesus in our heart.
We are called to become a temple of the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Cor 3:16) and the Holy Spirit wants the Lord born in us and to “increase in age and wisdom” (cf. Lk 2:52).
To understand this process, let us look briefly at the celebration of Holy Mass, which makes this inner process clear to us: The priest calls down the Holy Spirit on the gifts of bread and wine and when he pronounces the holy words of the consecration in the right way, bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Christ, as we Catholics firmly believe. In receiving Holy Communion, Jesus now unites himself with us in a sacramental way, and thus dwells in us.
We see how this simple and beautiful prayer makes the Lord more and more manifest in us. Therefore this prayer is highly recommended especially to all those who wish to be led deeper to Jesus by Mary’s gentle hand!