Rosary thoughts

Sometimes I have taken things–like my religion– for granted, and almost forget how countercultural, how radical it is to follow Jesus.  Somehow, growing up Catholic in a Catholic school and a  mostly Catholic neighborhood, it all seemed to fit in naturally with my world–as long as I just went to Mass on Sundays and in general tried to be a “good person”, there wasn’t much difference between me and anybody else.  I didn’t really think much about it, not for a long time.  As I returned to my faith as an adult, and delved deeper into it, I learned that it does make a difference.

Of course now that it is politically incorrect to be Catholic, to be any kind of Christian, it is REALLY hard to overlook that difference.  I guess one good thing about the militantly secular world is that it does force one to really think things through, to make an active choice. There is a price to pay for any choice, along with the rich rewards.

I was saying the Rosary on my deck the other day, enjoying the warm rays of the setting sun flickering through the trees.  It was Friday so I meditated on the Sorrowful Mysteries.  I suddenly realized that here, in the decades of the Rosary, it was all laid out:  the price of following Christ, of standing for truth.  When you go against the dominant culture, you get:

Fear. Anxiety.

Pain.   Sometimes physical beatings, other times emotional assaults.

Humiliation.  Mockery.  Ridicule.

Heavy burdens to carry in life.  Marginalization.  Poverty.

Death.  In many places the price is actual martyrdom, in our country it frequently means the death of status, ambitions, wealth, certain social connections.

Each Sorrowful Mystery is both a warning, and a consolation, offering the Grace of God to give us the courage and strength to keep on witnessing to the truth.  What a blessing it is also, to have the greatest part of this wonderful prayer be about joy, glory, and light, and the Divine Love that underlies it all!

About reinkat

I am an iconographer, and have been studying Russian/Greek icons since 1995. I'm married with 3 children. I love hiking, camping, animals, my family and church--and icons.
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7 Responses to Rosary thoughts

  1. Excellent commentary on today’s world and culture. It’s funny how as we get older we see more of the message of Christ reflected in our lives. In this political enviroment, it is easier to see Christ’s life in a new way. As you say we suffer some form of discrimination because we follow Him and His teachings by belonging to the Catholic Church. It’s sad when even the Priests give in to the hypocrisy that is out there – but then again Jesus shows us how the High Priests were more Political than religious. Sometimes as I am reading a passage from the Bible it makes me sad to see how things haven’t really changed, EXCEPT we now have His shed blood for our salvation and that makes all the diffeence in the world!!!

    • reinkat says:

      Thanks for the comment. Boy, do I agree with you that things really don’t change that much. People don’t change inside, just the outer circumstances do. We aren’t all that much more sophisticated or advanced than the people Moses led through the desert. We just think we are! I am reading Isaiah now, and I can so easily substitute “United States” for the situations that he is prophesying about, and see us in every word. It is almost frightening to see that.

      • I am amazed at the number of people that tell me that the Old Testament is no longer relevant to our times. I teach the bible in our RCIA program and I tell them that, then I pull some passages – David and his adultery and the murder of Bathesheba’s husband; from ACTS the couple that lied about what they sold, etc. Then I tell them to look at our daily paper and see the same stuff!!! It is eye opening and sad! God Bless!

      • reinkat says:

        Some people make comments without ever having read any of the Bible. And those same people really struggle to make connections, too. It can be so hard to be patient, and meet people where they are. I run into it all of the time talking about art/icons. Some people just aren’t there. Yet. Pray hard, and keep going. You are planting the seed.

  2. SR says:

    Nothing does nor says it “like the Rosary.” When I pray the Rosary all thoughts come flooding in my mind such as this, and many others. How our Blessed Mother leads us to see so much! Once our “choice” is made we have many things to “overcome.” Then we have to look back at Christ and know, how He suffered and find joy even though hard, in what it meant for us. The love of our Lord, who can match it? Excellent post and I love where you were and your surroundings when you were praying the Rosary. God Bless, SR

  3. Biltrix says:

    So many Gospel verses come to mind and all of them confirm your witness to Christ: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” (John 15:18-20)

    “I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33).

    Finally a very important reminder from Saint Paul: “But you are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” (Romans 8:9)

    God bless!

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