From Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC, author of the po... Read more
Two of a Kind
By Dan Valenti (Jan 23, 2013)
The Rosary, says Fr. John Larsen, MIC, "is a practice of piety that easily harmonizes with the Liturgy of the Mass." Two of a Kind
notes three main similarities between the Rosary and Holy Mass:
1. The Rosary is communal in nature
2. It draws its inspiration from Sacred Scripture
3. It is oriented toward the life and mystery of Jesus.
Father John, who serves as house superior at the Marian House of Studies in Steubenville, Ohio, says these similarities can be summed up in "the commemorative aspect" of both the Rosary and the Mass: "In the liturgy, the priest presents anew to great mystery of our redemption, the work of our merciful Father. The Rosary gives us a more contemplative remembrance. It recalls this redemptive mystery through the 20 individual mysteries."
Both the Rosary and the Mass stimulate the will in people to draw spiritual comfort and grace, which we can then apply to our daily lives, Fr. John says. "That's why the Rosary has been called [by Pope Paul VI] the compendium of the entire Gospel. These aren't merely passive, pious devotions but the means through which we can come to embrace the greatest and most merciful gift of all, which is our redemption through the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus."
Pope Paul VI taught that the Rosary "reflects the very way in which the Word of God, mercifully entering into human affairs, brought about the Redemption. The Rosary considers, in harmonious succession, the principal salvific events accomplished in Christ. It is a prayer with a definite Christological orientation."
The same words can be applied to Holy Mass, says Fr. John. Both the Rosary and the Mass register the same focus on Christ. One of the biggest differences is in method, Fr. John says, in that the Rosary presents a life of Christ seen primarily through the eyes of His Mother, Our Lady.
"In that sense, the Rosary connects us in a more personal and intimate way with the 20 events in the life of Jesus," as portrayed in the Joyful, Sorrowful, Luminous, and Glorious Mysteries. "When we pray the Rosary, we can imagine in our minds each specific event. Some find making use of religious art and imagery helpful. The Marians are required by our constitutions to pray the Rosary daily, preferably in community."
Praying the Rosary daily makes an excellent predisposition, Fr. John says, for attending Mass: "Daily Rosary and daily Mass go hand in hand. One reinforces the other in helping us penetrate more deeply into the amazing, merciful gift of our salvation, not because we deserve it but because God is love and mercy itself."