The Rosary: An Initiation into Silence

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Saint Isaac Jogues was known for his long hours of quiet prayer while journeying and for the recitation of the Rosary with his companions. The Rosary is a prayer for our hours of solitude, for times of waiting, for moments of uncertainty and disquiet. In these circumstances the Rosary becomes an anchor of hope tossed into the depths of God's wisdom and providence.

The Rosary stills the tumult within and allows the soul to hear the "still, small voice" (1 K 19:12) of the Lord. "And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance to the cave" (1 K 19:13). The Rosary is an initiation into what Pope John Paul II called, "adoring silence."

We must confess that we all have need of this silence, filled with the presence of Him who is adored: in theology, so as to exploit fully its own sapiential and spiritual soul; in prayer, so that we may never forget that seeing God means coming down the mountain with a face so radiant that we are obliged to cover it with a veil (cf. Ex 34:33), and that our gatherings may make room for God's presence and avoid self–celebration; in preaching, so as not to delude ourselves that it is enough to heap word upon word to attract people to the experience of God; in commitment, so that we will refuse to be locked in a struggle without love and forgiveness. This is what man needs today; he is often unable to be silent for fear of meeting himself, of feeling the emptiness that asks itself about meaning; man who deafens himself with noise. All, believers and non - believers alike, need to learn a silence that allows the Other to speak when and how he wishes, and allows us to understand his words.

John Paul II, Orientale Lumen, art. 16

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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