A crown of living roses
The illuminated rosary: experiencing the closeness of God in the midst of daily life and of embracing daily life in the midst of prayer
SCHOENSTATT, mkf. To relive the most beautiful, most difficult, most tiresome, most oppressing or most beloved event, to contemplate it, to express it as a petition either orally or in silence or as a sign of gratitude and to place a lighted candle and a rose, adding it to a crown of lights and roses that will gradually grow: this is the unique aspect of the illuminated rosary which always makes it so attractive. On Saturday, March 10th about 60 people took the opportunity to participate in the living prayer of an illuminated rosary. In this way they experienced how good it is to submerge daily events into the prayer with the company of other people.
We want to pray the luminous mysteries of the rosary together. When John Paul gave these mysteries to the Church, he also wanted to give them to us. We want to precisely pray this rosary so that it will bring light to this world. We want it to be a light in the midst of the dreary and routine life of each day which is surrounded by news about weather related catastrophes, suicide bombers, and criminal threats. God will make himself present in our midst reminding us once again: I am here, I accompany you, and I unite myself in everything with you. The luminous mysteries of the rosary do not free us from our responsibility for the world nor the difficulties of our daily life, but they remind us that God the Father in his infinite omnipotence is always at our side". That is what Hildegard Fischer said in the introduction. Members of the Mothers’ Branch, who were attending a journey in House Marienland, candidates of the Sisters of Mary, guests from Ecuador, a Lutheran lady from Berlin, couples, men and women who found out about the illuminated rosary through the newspapers and the radio, accepted the invitation to place their daily lives and all the people that "they carry or worry about in their heart" into a community prayer by placing a rose and a lighted candle.
The brief meditations that preceded the five luminous mysteries of the rosary motivated them to once more contemplate on their daily life.
You are my beloved son
"At the Baptism of Jesus God manifested: this is my most beloved Son. And he also tells each one of us: ‘you are my beloved child’. We do not always feel this way nor do we act accordingly. We want to open ourselves to the infinite love of God. It is a love with which God accompanies and guides us each second of our daily life. And at the same time we want to return that which we received in Baptism to God as a gift: to be a seed, a light, yeast and instruments in his Kingdom" We want to manifest gratitude for the birth of a healthy child, for having quickly found a translator that was requested by a television station; petitions for our own family, all of this emerges spontaneously from the people. It is not necessary to prompt anyone; those who wanted to pray approached the microphone. One rose follows another. One candle follows another…
A celebration and joy that continues
"Jesus manifested himself at a wedding, making it possible for the celebration and the joy to continue. God is joyful before our happiness since HE is joy. May your love be the window through which we contemplate everything that is troubling and in the difficulties that are present in this world. Your love allows us to discover the footprints of your love and of your joy even in the routine things of daily life. May we learn how to discover you in each joy and may we irradiate that joy in the world that surrounds us". At this time many recalled Father Ludwig Guthlein’s homily during Sister M. Lisann’s funeral. This is precisely how he characterized Sister Lisann: giving all of herself and doing everything possible so that the celebration would be a success. The celebration of life, the celebration of faith, and the celebration of heaven were equally important. Celebration expressed in each of the petitions and intentions: for the preparation of the First Communion, for the "re-encounter in heaven", for a lady expecting her first child and so that "our soldiers will return safe and sound from Afghanistan".
"God speaks to us as his mature children. He wants and needs for us to be responsible for ourselves, for our neighbor and for the world, since the Kingdom of God is our world. He wants our conversion in daily life, He wants us to believe the Gospel and for us to collaborate in the building of the Kingdom of God. He wants us to build a world just like the one our Heavenly Father had envisioned, a world where love, truth and justice reign", a world that will be pleasing to the Father for his children in a children’s home, for the eleven year old boy who is a victim of abuse in his home, for the youth who are looking for work, for the Pope, (who at this time is in a meeting in Rome in a Marian vigil with students), for a world that will protect God’s creation.
The splendor and magnificence of God
"Jesus allows the apostles – and we along with them – to experience on Mount Tabor how the world should be and how mankind should be when it is filled with the splendor and magnificence of God. Many of us are bitter in our daily life or we suffer when the splendor and magnificence of God are set aside in this world. Make us open to the Spirit of God, so that the magnificence of Christ will be manifested to the world through us". The four candidates of the Sister of Mary, come from four continents, and in their different languages, they contribute the breadth of the Kingdom of God to this prayer. The youth from Ecuador also bring their country with all its difficulties and their new "sprouts of life" to the rosary. Through the petitions our gaze is placed towards Peru, Afghanistan, Argentina, and Puerto Rico…
We want to prepare every corner of our heart for Him
"Jesus, the transfigured Son of the Father, is given to us as nourishment, coming with all his being into my heart. We want to fill ourselves completely with Him; we want to prepare every corner of our hearts for Him. Take the envy, laziness, and irresponsibility from our hearts. We want to offer ourselves completely to Him as his instruments, so that God can fill the world with his light and with his love through us". At the end of the rosary an "eleventh Hail Mary" was prayed for all the petitions that were not expressed, and this how the rosary ended. Then, at the appropriate time, everyone was invited to take their rose home once again and through it keep this shared prayer alive.
The words of Hildegard Fischer at the beginning of the rosary that the luminous mysteries of the rosary do not free us from our responsibility for the world nor of the difficulties of our daily life, but they remind us that God the Father in his infinite omnipotence is always at our side, became alive in the fresh roses and the macramé rosaries that are made in La Plata, Argentina, which have already been transformed into a symbol of the illuminated rosary.
The communion and the solidarity that was experienced in the illuminated rosary remains: the organizers of the rosary, members of the Professional Branch have economically supported the Children’s Home in Villa Ballester, in the greater Buenos Aires area, for many years. Children of very needy families are helped in this home, so once more voluntary donations are solicited after the rosary. Thanks to the Children’s Home, close to one hundred children are rescued from the dangers of living in the streets. And thanks to the great generosity of those who pray the illuminated rosary in Schoenstatt, this Children’s Home has continued to function until now, not without difficulties, but always standing and serving.
The next illuminated rosary: April 28th at 4:00 p.m. in the Adoration Church in Schoenstatt.
Translation: Celina Garza, Harlingen, TX / Christi Jentz, Milwaukee, WI, USA