Last weekend I had the great honor of hearing Fr. Wade Menezes and Dr. Edward Sri speak about Marian Devotion and the rosary at the Rosary Evangelization Apostolate's Gazing on the Face of Jesus with Mary conference at St. Jerome's Parish in Oconomowoc, WI. What follows are some highlights from Fr. Wade's talk:
Each mystery of the rosary is re-lived at Mass, either directly or indirectly.
Mary is blessed not because she bore Christ within her womb and nursed him at her breast, but because she heard the word of God and kept it. We are to follow her example in this regard, to hear the word of God and keep it.
The Eucharist is the only Sacrament that is what it signifies; the other Sacraments effect what they signify such as baptism which washes away the stain of original sin, but the Eucharist truly is the Body and Blood of Christ.
All Marian devotion is Christocentric and points to Christ. Mary's name is never mentioned in scripture without an implicit reference to her Son. A perfect example of this is Mary's direction to the waiters at the wedding feast at Cana. She said, "Do whatever He tells you." She says the same words to us.
In the rosary Mary stands in the background of every mystery. Even the Assumption and Coronation are but glimmering foreshadows of what we hope to attain for ourselves based upon Christ on the cross who came to save us.
Using St. Thomas of Aquinas' definition of humility: "Humility is seeing your place and taking it." Mary shows her humility by taking her place in the stable, the home, the foot of the cross, and as the Queen of Heaven.
Just as Mary stood at the foot of the cross, she is standing today right next to you, ready to help and support you no matter what may be going on in your life.
The rosary is a contemplative prayer where we are conformed to Christ with Mary.
According to John Paul II the role of the Christian family in the modern world is the foundational and innate vocation of the human person to love.
The goal of Catholics is to stay right in line with the Chair of Peter and to swerve neither to the right nor the left as both camps cause confusion and the devil is loving every minute of it. It doesn't matter if you fall out of the Barque of Peter to the left or to the right-either way you risk drowning.
The spiritual life is not limited to liturgy. The liturgy is the source and summit, but Christians must also go to their room to pray in private and pray without ceasing.
Don't just get your prayers in-get into your prayers!