“His Mother treasured all these things, pondering them in Her Heart.”
In Saint Matthew’s Gospel, the Lord tells us clearly – “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth.. but store up treasures in Heaven..” (cf.Mt.6:19-20). Our treasures, then, should not be created things, for these decay and rot and do not last; the treasures we seek, on the other hand, are eternal. Earthly treasures are invariably a distraction from the love of God, when He alone should be our focus. Those eternal treasures – used properly – should focus our attention and our love on the Lord. And this, after all, was the purpose for which He created us – to know Him, love Him and serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.
In searching for those eternal treasures, perhaps the actions of the Mother of the Lord, recounted early in the Gospel of Saint Luke, can provide us with an inspiration –
“His Mother treasured all these things, pondering them in Her Heart.” (Luke 2:19)
What things did She treasure? She treasured all the events of the life of Her Son. Luke is recounting this from the early part of the Lord’s life – but there can be little doubt that if this was Our Blessed Lady’s practice whilst Her Son was still a child, She would certanly have continued to do so as He grew into adulthood and as His mission progressed. Each of those events we read of in the Gospels, from the Crib to the Cross and beyond, She contemplated in Her Heart, in such a way that they were true treasures to Her. Undoubtedly, too, She would have recounted these events for the Apostles, so that the Evangelists then wrote them down, which allows us to read about them in the Gospels.
Those same Evangelists thought enough of this action of the Mother of the Lord – that She treasured these things in Her Heart – to record it for the Church. For them, too, this ‘treasuring in the heart’ was crucial – it was from this that they then went out and preached the very events they were treasuring within themselves, those events having transformed them.
In the same way, we are called to treasure these things in our own hearts; we do this at Mass in hearing the Word of God; and in receiving the Sacraments of the Church; in our prayers; and in the living out of our Faith.
The Rosary is a simple and yet very powerful way for us – like Mary, like the Apostles and like the early Church – to treasure all these things and to ponder them in our hearts. This is exactly what the Rosary invites us to do. It invites us to consider and contemplate the events of the lives of Jesus and Mary, those events which are the history of our salvation, and it even presents those events to us in an ordered manner. All we need do is take up our beads and pray, so that these events resonate within us and transform us, as they did the Apostles.
It is for this reason that the great Saint John Paul II referred to the Rosary as the ‘school of Mary’, for there, we learn from Her own example.
In more recent years, our present Holy Father, Pope Francis has spoken of the Rosary as being “contemplation in action, making God part of the little things of each day”.
The Rosary draws us gently into a place of quiet and stillness, a place of tranquility and prayer – and there, we can encounter Christ with Mary.
Understanding all of this, and encouraged by these words of the Popes, let us endeavour to pray this heavenly prayer – to sit in that school of Mary and to learn from Her own example, just as the Apostles did.