Careful. Don’t rest easy with where you are in prayer.
You can go deeper and ever deeper.
No one can enter into the height and breadth of God’s intelligence and wisdom—but he made us in his image and invites us into a full and intimate relationship with him, the One God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I want to share an insight I received through concentrating on the mysteries of the Rosary.[i]
For example, the Annunciation: For years, I focused on myself and the fact of faith that the Angel Gabriel did indeed visit Mary and that the Holy Spirit did come upon her (See Lk 1:1-38}. I marveled at the faith of that young Virgin. I wondered about what Mary might have thought and felt. I wondered how I could live this mystery in my own life.
My meditation was good and helpful.
Then, I felt motivated to reflect on this mystery from God’s perspective.
For example, how was the Father personally involved in this historic moment? Did he observe it from his throne in heaven?
That can’t be. For he and the Holy Spirit are One God–along with the Son who was taking to himself a human nature—body, blood and soul—in Mary’s womb. So Jesus the Christ was at once that vulnerable human being who could be killed by sinful men, and the omnipotent God through whom the Father created all things (Jn 1:1-5).
And how did the Father “feel” about that saving mission of his only Son?
He knew, of course, that Jesus would be born and die the agonizing death of the Cross. Did the Father experience sadness or joy?
Of course, these are human emotions and are, therefore, a stumbling block to true understanding and wisdom.
Think rather of a God so pure and so full of love that he indeed would send his divine Son to assume a mortal body, live completely as a human being, and die a terrible death—all for the sake of men and women of all time, for the sake of those who denied him, ignored him, and who misused and abused the gift of life.
How to understand a love that is so pure and so complete?
Years ago, I told my spiritual director that I could not identify with the Father. He told me to focus on Jesus and I would eventually know the Father as well.
He was right.
I do have a relationship, in Jesus, with my Father, my Abba.
But, he was also wrong.
How can my finite mind sufficiently grasp that infinite Being who is perfect Unity? It is by faith that we know and believe there is only one God, one divine nature, equally possessed by three Divine Persons: Father, Son and Spirit.
[i] The Rosary is a prayerful meditation on the life of Jesus Christ, his birth of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, his salvific mission through the Cross and Resurrection, and the commissioning of the Apostles to form the Church and spread the saving love of God and the Gospel of Christ throughout the world.
There are five “decades’ in the “beads”—an Our Father and ten Hail Marys.
There are twenty “mysteries” we pray as we pray the Rosary:
- The Joyful Mysteries: the Annunciation, the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, the Nativity of the Son of God, the Presentation of the Infant in the temple, and the finding Jesus at twelve years of age, speaking with the learned of Israel.
- The Mysteries of Light: Jesus is baptized in the Jordan, the Wedding Feast at Cana, Jesus preaches the Good News and heals and forgives, the Transfiguration, and Jesus gives us himself in the Holy Eucharist.
- The Sorrowful Mysteries: The Agony in the Garden, the Scourging, our Lord is Crowned with Thorns, Jesus carries his Cross, and Jesus is crucified and dies on the Cross.
- The Glorious Mysteries: the Resurrection, the Ascension, the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Church, the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, and lastly, Mary Queen of Creation.