… So far this month I’ve featured portraits and rosary symbolism in fine art. Now I want to focus on the particular mysteries of the rosary to illustrate how the devotion, while wholly Marian in nature, is also a meditation on the life of Christ.
Thursday we pray the Luminous Mysteries, which are dedicated to the public life of Christ – The Baptism in the Jordan, The Wedding at Cana, The Proclamation of the Kingdom, the Transfiguration, and the Institution of the Eucharist.
These mysterious focus on Christ moving from infancy and his hidden life to his public ministries, proclaiming the Gospel and being the Light of the World. Hence the Luminous Mysteries, or Mysteries of Light.
Since I have trouble remaining focused and mentally present during prayers I’ve developed a habit of taking each mystery and specifically devoting that decade to a specific person or intention that is related to the particular mystery. Also, while praying I visual a favorite artistic rendition of the mystery. This keeps my mind from wandering and gives my prayer a purpose.
For example; the Baptism in the Jordan. I may devote this particular decade to converts, people going through RCIA, for the conversion of non-Catholics to the faith, for Catholics to live in accordance to their baptism vows, or for a person I know who may be in need of having their faith renewed. And yes, at times this person may be myself. Then while praying I visual this…
The next mystery, The Wedding at Cana, can be dedicated to my married friends, or being open to miracles and doing, unquestioningly, what He tells us. Then I let my mind wander to the scene itself.
Moving on to the Proclamation of the Kingdom, this decade can be specifically devoted to those doing missionary work, the Dominicans or any group or individual who preaches the Gospel, and the conversion of sinners.
Cosimo Rosselli, Sermon on the Mount c. 1481-82
The Transfiguration calls to mind a Christian transformation in ourselves while the mystery itself encourages us to remain faithful. When Christ transformed His appearance His disciples were renewed in their own faith so I typically pray for renewed faith and for those who are lukewarm in theirs.
The final mystery, The Institution of the Eucharist, is a favorite mystery of mine. I just like to meditate on the mystery of the Eucharist and the Sacrament. This last mystery is a mystery of a mystery, which challenges our faith. The Eucharist is the source of our faith. Whenever I pray this mystery I always remember the moment I first laid eyes on this painting, which hangs in the Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome.
However you pray the rosary doesn’t matter so long as you actually pray. Even unfocused, distracted prayer is better than no prayer at all. Don’t get hung up doing it right, just do it.
Now go call your Mother.