Written by the Family Foundations Editorial Staff
One of the greatest tools of prayer in our Catholic faith is the rosary. When you watch a movie there is usually music that plays in the background as the story unfolds before your eyes. The Hail Marys and Our Fathers of the rosary are the background music to the story of each mystery that plays before our minds and hearts, when we pray each decade. In our lives, it can be hard to know what to do and when to do it. Prayer is a place of discernment for life’s choices and the rosary is a powerful tool for prayer for families.
St. John Paul II once said, “The simple prayer of the Rosary beats with the rhythm of human life.” To this great saint, the mysteries of the rosary do so much more than tell us the story of Jesus and Mary’s lives. They present us with reflections about the story of every human life, about the choices we are all faced with and how to deal with those moments with faith. New life and death, trials and tribulations, faith and sorrow, family decisions and personal choices… the rosary is a prayer that can resonate with everyone, at any time.
Give it a try and reflect on the JOYFUL MYSTERIES to discern life choices.
Because of her singular cooperation with the action of the Holy Spirit, the Church loves to pray in communion with the Virgin Mary. We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2679, 2682) Mary was a mother of a family and was faced with life-choices every day. Try meditating on the mysteries of the rosary to help make decisions in your family life.
The Annunciation of the Angel to Mary
“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.” (Lk 1:26-27)
This is the moment of Mary’s yes to the angel to be the mother of Jesus. It’s a yes to life. In a family and as a couple, every month we can choose life. God presents us with an opportunity and decision when you practice NFP. How did Mary discern in this moment?
The Visitation of Mary to her Cousin Elizabeth
“In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.” (Lk 1:39-42)
Mary, now carrying the child Jesus in her womb, heads out to help her cousin Elizabeth who is having a tough pregnancy, because she is older. Sometimes we are called to support our friends and family with a new pregnancy or child. That support and service we offer can imitate Mary’s journey to see Elizabeth.
The Birth of Jesus
“She gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” (Lk 2:1-7)
Mary is holding a baby, an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes who is the Word made flesh and is present to us every day in the tabernacles of churches worldwide. As parents or as educators or adults, children are placed in our care. Turning to Mary and to Jesus in the Eucharist, we can find hope and strength that we will know how to make the right choices for those in our care, guided by love.
The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
“They brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord.” (Lk 2:21-24)
Joseph and Mary were faithful to the law and brought Jesus to the temple. Simeon and Anna’s lives were changed by seeing Jesus. As married couples, parents, and Christians, we are called to be witnesses of our faith to our families. Sometimes our children will be that light for those who are in need of joy and peace.
The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
“After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.” (Lk 2:41-47)
Parenting can be tough, with setbacks and unanswered questions. We can feel our children are lost at times. It breaks our hearts. Mary faced this situation with Jesus when he was lost for a few days. Mary’s simple question to Jesus, “Why have you done this to us?” reminds us to be direct and honest in our prayers.