This morning I sit here finally with some bright sunlight streaming in through the window. I am still amazed that it is almost May! Where have the months gone? In Michigan where we are, it seems the winter may never quit! And yet here we are, nearing Mother’s Day and the month of Mary.
Mary and I have had a growing relationship over the last ten years, and more especially so after the birth of my children. I think about her caring for Jesus, surrendering herself for Him in every way imaginable. What did she hope for him in life and then in death and resurrection? How did she feel hearing the vile things people said, seeing the cruel accusations and violence against Him? My mama bear instincts would have made me angry, made me lash out against those who dared to hurt my child. Mary knew, of course, to some extent what would come to pass and the promise of new life from it.
I imagine now, as I contemplate Mary’s motherhood, that in life and after the death and resurrection, her mama heart wants one thing. Union with her Son – for herself and for us. She desires us to know Him, to know the truth of who He is, of who she is in Him. And so…I pick up my Rosary – not always with great faithfulness, but with great intention to contemplate the face of Christ alongside His mother who loved Him dearly.
To help in the quest to contemplate more fully Jesus alongside Mary, Take Up & Read has created a beautiful (I mean truly beautiful) study journal, Ponder. Through it, we explore the Scriptural roots of the Rosary. As St. John Paul II stated,
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. It is an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb. With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love. Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer.
Every page and drop of ink in this journal has been created with great meaning and intention. The artwork of Katrina Harrington on the cover and throughout the pages is steeped in meaning, drawing us to contemplate Jesus in beauty. The calligraphy pages I created highlighting the weekly memory verses are designed to sweep us up under the mantle of the Blessed Virgin as we look at Jesus through her eyes. The design of the book itself by Kristin Foss – with ample pages for Lectio Divina, Actio/Planning, Daily Examen, a day to catch our breath in Selah, and so much more — is meant to create space for the reader to begin a conversation with Jesus as they pray with Him in the Word and with his Mother. The reflections by the devotional writers gathered by Elizabeth Foss share the most intimate corners of these faithful women’s hearts, providing a glimpse of the power of Christ.
While there are many resources out there to help us pray the Rosary, I truly believe this one will become a staple over the years. I know I am looking forward to growing deeper in love with Jesus through it.
Do you pray the Rosary? What helps keep your gaze focused on Christ?
*Full disclosure – I designed the calligraphy pages that accompany the memory verses and am part of the creative team for Take Up & Read. That said, I’d be singing this book’s praises even without that connection. It truly is a work of great beauty and prayer.
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Copyright 2018 Rakhi McCormick
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