By TARA CONNOLLY Staff writer
“The important moments of Christ’s life are the mysteries of the rosary. They invite us to recall how he entered into our world and to meditate on his life,” said Father Kevin Gualano, Oct. 26 during the series “Truth: What the Catholic Church Really Teaches” at St. Elizabeth, Pen Argyl.
Father Gualano, Catholic chaplain at Moravian College, Bethlehem and Muhlenberg College, Allentown presented “The Rosary: Power Beyond Description” for more than 40 adults gathered to learn tools to better discuss the challenging teachings of the faith.
According to Father Gualano, one Catholic tradition believes the rosary was given to St. Dominic in a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and it was then promoted by Blessed Allan de la Roche.
Another Catholic tradition maintains that long before Christ, the faithful said prayers in a repetitive manner and found different methods of keeping count, often by using rocks or pebbles.
Eventually Christians began to pray 50 or 150 prayers, often using string with knots instead of counting on rocks. Later the knots gave way to small pieces of wood and eventually to the use of beads.
“The rosary became something we keep with us – even if we don’t have beads. It’s not the beads that matter – but the prayers,” said Father Gualano.
He pointed out that faithful pray the rosary because of the “mysteries,” which exposed God’s love for his people.
“We meditate on 15 important moments in the life of Christ so we can have our faith nurtured and grow in love. Those who want to be close to Christ love the rosary because it is about him,” said Father Gualano.
Discussing the first Joyful Mystery, Father Gualano said the mystery is not just about Mary learning she was chosen to carry the son of God.
“God is definitively saying he is giving us his son. It shows that God is inserting his love where it ought to be,” he said.
He then highlighted the second Joyful Mystery – The Visitation – and said people often wonder what is so mysterious about Mary going to see her cousin.
“Did you ever look at your children, spouse or a friend and your heart leaps for joy? John the Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb when Mary arrived. There is something joyful about being in the presence of Jesus,” said Father Gualano.
“I want you to love the rosary because the rosary is all about Christ’s love for us. The more you are reminded of his love for you, the less hold Satan has over you,” he said.
Father Gualano also said the rosary is about moments in history when God inserts his love into the world and not about worshipping Mary.
“We ask for Mary’s intercession when we pray Marian prayers. She is not the object of our prayer. Her son is the object of our prayer and Mary is always automatically pointing us toward her son,” he said.
And if people attempt to worship Mary, he said, she would not allow it to happen because she wants people to know and understand her son’s love for them.
“Meditating on her life is very useful. It is a perfect way to participate in grace. She shows us what it means to say yes to God,” said Father Gualano.