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Posts Tagged ‘Rosary’

Today I am assigning a Rosary project to my students. They will each need to put together a Rosary meditation using images and quotes on PowerPoint slides. It’s very simple. They choose a set of mysteries and devote one slide per mystery for the set they have chosen. Each slide has the name of the mystery, one image to depict that mystery, and one short quote. Usually when images accompany Rosary meditations they are depictions of the mystery itself. This is what I am modeling for my students and what I expect to see from most of them. However, I’m also going to show them examples of images that do not so much depict the mystery, but rather give a narrowed interpretation of the mystery. (I call this an interpretive image. This is not the best name, however, because all images are interpretive). It’s an interesting exercise. The advantage of the mystery itself being depicted is that it allows for greater freedom in what one may meditate upon concerning that mystery. The advantage of an “interpretive” image is that it brings our attention to an aspect of the mystery that we may have otherwise never thought of. The following are the examples I am giving to my students of interpretive images with accompanying quotes.

The Annunciation

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I will make all things new.

The Institution of the Holy Eucharist

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For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. 

The Carrying of the Cross

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He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases. 

The Ascension

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One short sleep past, we wake eternally, And death shall be no more, death, though shalt die. 

This last image more than the others requires a little explanation. It points more to the fruit of the mystery – hope – rather than the mystery itself. I was struck by the bleakness of the environment and the contrast of the girl’s interiority with it. Within her is light, warmth, joy, and life. Within her is hope.

 

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Man’s greatest desire is nothing less than God Himself. It’s not just a desire to be with God though; it is a desire to be God. This is what the most Holy Trinity made us for: to partake of His very nature and, hence, to become divine. The only way that this can happen is through union with Jesus Christ the Lord God.

Annunciation

God came into the world through the Incarnation, His conception in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We too are called to conceive Christ within us. He desires to be conceived spiritually in our hearts.

Visitation

In imitation of Mary, having conceived Him we are to bring Him to others proclaiming the Good News of our salvation. Others are to encounter Him and be aware of His presence through their encounter with those who have conceived Him in their hearts.

Nativity

And like, His mother, we are to give birth to Him. It is not enough simply to bear Him within ourselves; He must come without and be present in the world. How does one spiritually give birth to the One conceived in our hearts? As one grows and develops in the womb so too does He grow in our hearts, changing us until our will, our intellect, our passions, our body and soul are His. The whole given over to Him so that with St. Paul we can say, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me.” Giving birth hurts.

Presentation

Having been born He is revealed as the Light of the world to all who have eyes to see and ears to hear. We become a light of the Light: to see one is to see the other: “I am in my Father and you in me and I in you.”

Finding in the Temple

But all of this requires a response. He first comes down to us, but we must embrace Him. To do that we must go where He is, His Father’s house, the Church. Only in the communion of the Church are we able to receive and conceive the Lord God in our hearts. Only in the communion of the Church do we find and rest in our heart’s desire.

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They had run out of wine. Israel too was in this state before Christ had come. No more kings; no more prophets. There were many inspired writings from the post-exilic period, but this too was waning. By the time of Mary’s birth, more than a generation had passed since the last inspired work of the Old Testament was written. Israel had once again lost it’s independence, this time to Rome. They had a king, but not of David’s line and one who was subject to Roman governance. This after the Maccabean revolt had not only resulted in Israel’s independence for the first time since the exile, but also with borders nearly identical with the kingdom at the end of David’s reign. When the angel appeared to Mary, Israel’s wine had dried up.

At the wedding feast when the wine was gone, Jesus produced the finest wine, and He did it in pots used for washing. He not only produced exceptional wine in dirty pots, but did so in abundance. There was more than enough. (Where sin abounds grace abounds all the more; and He lavishes His grace upon us).

Between the wine being gone and the abundance provided stands Mary. And between the drying up of Israel’s wine and the coming of the Messiah, Who is God, there is also Mary. Her actions at the wedding feast at Cana point to her actions in the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. She who is immaculate from her conception, who is Daughter Zion, are we really to believe that she was not petitioning the Lord for Israel’s sake before the angel appeared to her? She was no ordinary child. She was full of grace and pondered within her heart. She was not blind to the sad state to which Israel had fallen. In love for God and His people to whom she belonged she would have been calling upon Him and with the deepest longings of Her heart begging for the Messiah, Who would save all, and restore and establish the everlasting kingdom. So it is through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary that we whose wine was gone would receive the abundant outpouring of grace, the wine of the new and everlasting covenant. In this way she is revealed by her Son to be at the crux of divine economy and the salvation of all for the Son did not act without the Woman.

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