“The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium.”
– ‘Rosarium Virginis Mariae’, St John Paul II, 2002
The Church tells us that the Eucharist is the ‘source and summit of the Christian life’ (cf. Lumen Gentium, para.11) and it is here, before the Blessed Sacrament, that we so often pray, recommending to the Lord all those intentions which occupy our hearts. One of the prayers we commonly offer to the Lord is the recitation of the holy Rosary, the prayer so beloved of the Church and so greatly recommended to us by her – and also by the Mother of God, who constantly asks us to pray Her Rosary.
I wondered, then, if it might be possible to develop a set of Rosary meditations which take the Eucharist as their overall theme, looking at various aspects of this Sacrament of the Lord’s abiding presence amongst, us as we contemplate each of the Mysteries. I hope the following Meditations might be useful to you.
The First Joyful Mystery – the Annunciation
At the Incarnation, the Blessed Virgin consented to become the Mother of God; in this moment, ‘the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us’. In each Holy Communion, it is the very same Lord we receive, present in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.
Let us ask the Lord, through the intercession of His Mother, for the grace of a true Faith – a Faith which enables us to to submit ourseles to His will for us, as Mary did.
The Second Joyful Mystery – the Visitation
When Mary visited Elizabeth, She bore the Christ Child within Her womb; Elizabeth perceived His divine presence and praised Him, giving glory to God. Mary, too, offered praise to God in the prayer of Her Magnificat.
At the end of each Mass we take part in, we are sent out to the world bearing Christ within us in the Eucharist; may those around us perceive His presence in our lives.
The Third Joyful Mystery – the Birth of Jesus
The Child lying in the manger drew others to Him, that they might worship Him, while Angels praised Him. In a similar way, He draws us to the new Manger of the Tabernacle, where we come before Him – like the Shepherds – in silent adoration.
As we kneel silently before the Eucharistic Lord, let us ask Him to fill us with His joy and His peace, those gifts which He alone can bestow and which surpass all human understanding.
The Fourth Joyful Mystery – the Presentation in the Temple
Fulfiling the requirements of the Law, the Blessed Virgin brought Her Child to the Temple – there, recognising the Child, Simeon gave thanks for seeing the One who brings salvation to His people.
Let us always take care to recognise the Divine Guest coming to us in each Holy Communion, and never fail to prepare our souls to receive Him, nor to give thanks for His visit to us in the Eucharist.
The Fifth Joyful Mystery – the Finding of Jesus in the Temple
The Heart of the Blessed Virgin was filled with great joy at finding Her Son in the Temple, where He was sitting amongst the scholars and teaching them, such that they were amazed at His wisdom.
May we never fail to give thanks for the Church, where we – like Mary – will always find Jesus in the Eucharist. Kneeling at His feet, let us ask Him to teach us through the authentic voice of the Church, His Mystical Body on earth.
The First Sorrowful Mystery – the Agony in the Garden
How often do we, like the Disciples that Maundy Thursday, promise the Lord much, yet deliver little; in numerous little ways, we abandon Him in His agony and leave Him alone to suffer on our behalf.
Let us ask the Lord to grant us faithfulness in remaining close to Him always; and, when our need is great, to turn immediately to Him in prayer, following His own example in that Garden.
The Second Sorrowful Mystery – the Scourging at the Pillar
Tied to that pillar, the Lord silently and willingly endured the scourging of His Body. Today, many tear at the Body of Christ which is the Church. Many others tear at His Eucharistic Body through sacrilege and indifference.
Let us offer the sufferings of the Church in union with those of the Passion, and ask the Lord for mercy for us and for the whole world. And in each Holy Communion, let us make reparation for so much indifference.
The Third Sorrowful Mystery – the Crowning with Thorns
Abused, reviled, crowned now with thorns. And yet He remains silent, saying nothing to defend Himself. Similarly, in the Eucharist, He maintains that silence even now. Meek and humble, His Presence is enough.
Let us ask the Lord for the grace to let go of our pride and our ego, our sense of ‘self above all’, and our desire to defend our rights, our reputation, as we see them. Let us ask Him for the grace of interior silence.
The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery – Jesus Carries His Cross
The price of our sins bearing down upon Him, three times He falls under the weight of the Cross whilst carrying it to Golgotha. Looking up, He sees the face of His Mother, Her presence nearby strengthening Him.
Before the Tabernacle, let us think of our own crosses of whatever sort in life; and in those moments in His Eucharistic Presence, let us ask Him for His own strength, and the help of His Mother.
The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery – the Crucifixion
Each Holy Mass is a re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Golgotha, of the Death of the Lord upon the Cross. Each Holy Communion is His own Body, broken for us, His own Blood, poured out for us.
As we receive Him in Holy Communion, let us remember that had we been the only person ever created, still He would have undergone His Passion for love of us; let us thank Him for this infinite love for each one of us.
The First Glorious Mystery – the Resurrection
We are an Easter people. Jesus is risen from the dead. His Sacred Heart beats once again, a new and eternal heartbeat which will never end. He is the Victor, He has conquered both sin and death.
In the Eucharist, His Heart beats constantly for love of us, and receiving Him in Holy Communion, His divine grace helps us to be victorious in the great battles of life until we are with Him forever in Heaven.
The Second Glorious Mystery – the Ascension
His earthly mission complete, the Lord ascends to the Father. Consider the sense of loss of the Apostles in that moment, contemplating their lives without Him now that He is gone from them.
Like the Apostles on that day, we have the promise of the Lord that ‘I will be with you always, until the end of time’. And here, in the Tabernacle of every Catholic Church, He keeps that promise.
The Third Glorious Mystery – the Descent of the Holy Spirit
As He promised, the Lord sent the Holy Spirit down upon the Apostles, gathered in the Cenacle with His Mother, all united in constant prayer. The Holy Spirit transformed them and the Church was born that day.
Let us thank the Lord for the gift of His Church, and for being part of her. It is through the Church and her Priests that we have the Blessed Sacrament; let us pray for them and give thanks for them.
The Fourth Glorious Mystery – the Assumption of Mary, Body and Soul, Into Heaven
No unpure thing can enter Heaven. Mary, ever Immaculate, was assumed there immediately at the completion of Her earthly life, both body and soul, to the joy of all the Angels and Saints.
In each Holy Communion, we are gradually made ever more ready to enter Heaven and to spend eternity there, in the Presence of the Lamb, in the new and eternal Jerusalem, with Mary and the entire heavenly court.
The Fifth Glorious Mystery – the Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven
In life and now in eternity, the Blessed Virgin looks upon the Face of Her Son in adoration, praising Him endlessly and praying for Her children still on earth, and for the Church, whose Queen She is.
Let us thank the Lord for the great grace to be able to spend moments in His Eucharistic Presence, adoring Him there. These moments are a foretaste of Heaven itself, and a infinite treasure house of great grace and mercy.