Telling One’s Beads Over Saint Luke’s Gospel
I have always thought the Rosary a particularly Lukan prayer. So many of the mysteries are drawn from Saint Luke’s Gospel. It is Saint Luke who gives us the Gospel of the Holy Spirit; the Gospel of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary; the Gospel of the liturgical canticles sung by the Church at sunrise, eventide, and nightfall; the Gospel of the Angels; the Gospel of mercy.
The Face of Christ
But there is more. According to tradition, Saint Luke was an iconographer. I very much like this painting of Luke painting! He seems to have just completed his image of the Virgin Mother with the Infant Christ. An Angel looks on approvingly. Could it be Saint Gabriel, the Archangel who figures so prominently in the first chapters of Saint Luke’s Gospel? The Evangelist is showing us his painting and inviting us to contemplate the Mother and the Child. The Rosary is just that: a contemplation of the Face of Christ and of the Mother who presents Him to the eyes of the soul.
Veni, veni de Libano
The Rosary, like the Psalter it parallels, grows with the one who prays it. It is like the manna in the desert that accommodated itself to the taste of each one. There are seasons in each man’s life with God, and the garden of the Rosary changes with these seasons. The Rosary is especially valuable in times of dryness; it becomes a way of inviting Our Blessed Lady into one’s desert. When Mary comes into the dry and weary land of our soulscapes, she irrigates it with the grace of her presence, causing it to blossom like the rose.