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The Rosary is a prayer for the home, and a prayer for the road. It is a prayer which builds community and also which propels us on our journey… We need our communities. We need places in which we are at home, with our brothers and sisters. And yet at the same time we are itinerant preachers, who cannot settle for too long, but must set out to preach. We are contemplative and active…
The Hail Mary is marked by this same tension. Think of the great pictures of the Annunciation. They usually offer us a domestic scene. The angel has come to Mary’s home. And in a way, the Rosary is often the prayer of the home and the community…
But the angel’s greeting does not leave Mary at home. The angel comes to disturb her domestic life. She is propelled on a journey, which will take her to Elizabeth’s home, to Bethlehem, to Egypt, to Jerusalem. It is a journey that will lead to her heart being pierced, and to the foot of the cross. It is a journey that will eventually carry her to heaven and glory.
VATICAN CITY, June 04, 2013 (Zenit.org) – To conclude the Marian month of May, Pope Francis participated with thousands of faithful present in praying the Rosary on Friday evening at St. Peter’s Square.
After the recitation of the Rosary, Pope Francis offered a meditation on the feast day of the Visitation, which he said shows the Blessed Mother’s attitude in the events of Her life.
“Three words sum up Mary’s attitude: listening, decision, and action,” the Pope said. “They are words that also show us the path before us of what the Lord asks of us in life.”
“Mary knows how to listen to God. But be careful: this is not a simple ‘hearing’ but a ‘listening’ based on paying attention, a welcoming, an openness toward God. It isn’t the distracted manner that we sometimes have when dealing with the Lord or others when we hear their words, but we don’t really listen.”
The Holy Father went on to say that the Blessed Mother always went in depth to grasp the meaning of events in Her life rather than “stopping at the surface of things.”
“This is also true in our lives: listening to God who speaks to us and listening to our everyday reality, paying attention to people and to facts because the Lord is at the door in our lives and He calls in many ways, putting signs along our path and giving us the ability to see them.”
Reflecting on the Virgin Mary’s decisiveness, Pope Francis stated that She never avoided the burden of making decisions, which in itself is an example for all when we are faced with similar circumstances.
“Often we tend to postpone [decisions],” the Pope said, “to let others decide for us. Often we prefer to be caught up by events, chasing the fashion of the moment. Sometimes we know what we have to do, but we don’t have the courage or it seems too difficult because it means going against the grain.”
“Mary goes against the current. She listens to God, reflects and tries to understand the reality [of the situation] and decides to entrust herself completely to God.”
The final aspect of the Virgin Mary Pope Francis concluded his mediation with was the word “action”. The Holy Father said that upon knowing what God wants from Her, the Blessed Mother does not linger, but “goes in haste.”
“Sometimes,” the Pope concluded, “even we stop with just listening, just reflecting on what we should do, perhaps we are even clear about what decision we should make, but we don’t take the steps to act upon it. Above all we don’t put ourselves in play, don’t move ‘in haste’ toward others to bring them our assistance, our understanding, or our charity.”