By Lucy Johnson
About a year ago, I was listening to my local Catholic radio station. The guest was discussing how saying the Rosary everyday for a year had changed her life. She encouraged listeners to do the same. I thought to myself, “I can do that.” I grew up in a family that knelt down and prayed the Rosary together every night. Although I loved saying the Rosary, I tended to only say it with my husband and children on long car trips.
After listening to that radio program, I decided then and there to commit to saying a daily Rosary for a year. Easier said than done. With my ever-changing, busy schedule, I find myself praying the Rosary throughout my day: a decade here or there while I’m walking to work, driving to a meeting, or on my lunch break. A few days, I have forgotten all about it and have stayed up past my bedtime to “get it in.”
While it might be easier to just carve out 20 minutes a day to “get it over with,” what I find is that I’m thinking about the Rosary all day long, meditating on the mysteries, and praying for who ever is most in need of prayers. My decades have become 14 Hail Marys because of add-on intentions. The daily mysteries have their own intentions built in. For example, I pray for strong marriages or newly married couples while meditating on the Wedding at Cana. I pray for expectant mothers, newborn babies and an end to abortion on The Birth of Our Lord, Jesus. I pray for all of us to know and accept God’s will on The Annunciation.
Which leads us to today’s Gospel reading, the story of the Transfiguration, the 4th Luminous Mystery of the Rosary. In the past when I thought about the story of the Transfiguration, I would focus on Moses and Elijah and Jesus revealing his Divine Nature. Moses represents the Law, Elijah the Prophets, and Jesus the fulfillment of both the prophets and the law.
But now on Thursdays when I pray the Luminous and mediate on this 4th Mystery, I think about the apostles that Jesus chose to be present: Peter, James and John. These three men formed Jesus’ inner circle of friends and confidents. They were also the ones Jesus chose to accompany him to the house of Jairus (Mark 5:37) and in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:37). Who were these men, and why were they chosen?
We know a lot about Peter and John but not as much about James. I am especially interested in James because in the fall of 2018, I hope to walk the Camino de Santiago. My baby, the youngest of seven, will be going off to college, and I will be turning 60. I would like to use this walk to reflect on my next stage of life and to what God is calling me. Just as Jesus used mountains as places of discernment, I hope this walk will be a time of discernment for me.
We also know that James and John were brothers, and that Peter had a brother, Andrew. These four men were fishermen and good friends. In fact, it was Andrew who brought Peter to Jesus saying, “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41). So what about poor Andrew? Did he feel “left out” when Jesus took the other three with him? If we were Andrew, would we feel slighted?
A priest friend once explained that he thought of Andrew as the sort of solid individual whom Jesus could trust to keep the rest of the group together while Jesus went off with the other three. Andrew was one who served wherever needed and didn’t get jealous of his brother and friends when they got selected to go with Jesus. After all, Andrew had found the Lord and trusted in Him.
When I pray the Rosary and think about the Apostles, they become more alive to me. Hopefully, I can become more like them and learn to love and trust the Lord with my whole heart and being. I have really enjoyed mediating on the daily Rosary, and I’d like to pass that challenge onto you. Perhaps you can start with just a decade a day. Good luck. I’ll add you to my prayers.
About the Author:
Lucy Johnson lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband, Jeff. She has 7 children, and soon to be 7 grandchildren. Past-President of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women. (ACCW 2013-2015), Pharmacist, A “Martha” working on her “Mary”.