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The Joyful Mysteries 1
The Annunciation: "Only say the word?" 2
The Visitation: "How can this be?" 7
The Nativity: "Let us go to Bethlehem." 12
The Presentation at the Temple: "Looking for the Redemption" 17
The Finding in the Temple: "Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house? 22
The Sorrowful Mysteries 27
The Agony in the Garden: "Watch and pray." 28
The Scourging at the Pillar: "By his bruises we are healed." 33
The Crowning With Thorns: "Hail, King of the Jews!" 37
Carrying of the Cross: "Take my yoke upon you." 42
The Crucifixion: "The sun's light failed." 46
The Glorious Mysteries 51
The Resurrection: "The Firstborn From Among the Dead" 52
The Ascension: "A cloud took him from their sight." 57
The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost: "He lives with you and will be in you." 61
The Assumption of Mary: "He has lifted up the lowly." 66
The Coronation of Mary: "The Queen takes her place at your right hand." 70
The Luminous Mysteries 75
The Baptism of the Lord: "This is my Son, the Beloved." 76
The Wedding at Cana: "Do whatever he tells you." 81
The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God: "It is righteousness." 86
The Transfiguration: "It is good that we are here." 92
The Institution of the Eucharist: "Do this in remembrance of me." 96
Appendix 1 Prayers for Meditating Upon the Mysteries of the Rosary in the Context of the Mass 101
Appendix 2 Praying the Rosary as a New Catholic 107
Posted March 20, 2010
Originality- I know, the last word you were expecting me to use for a book about the Eucharist and the Rosary, but that is what Matt Swaim delivers. I am not aware of another work that uses the twenty mysteries of the Rosary to zero-in on specific elements of the Mass. I love both and have written on both; but this book made new connections for me between Scripture and the Mass - insights that emerged for Swaim while meditating upon the mysteries of the Rosary - that I couldn't wait to share with friends.
Swaim says in the book's introduction that he views it as a work of "personal devotion rather than liturgical exploration or even theological speculation;" but trust me, there's more than enough liturgical and theological insight to satisfy even the most intellectually-oriented among us. Swaim's language is down-to-earth and easy to follow, but the realizations he leads us to are incredibly profound; and I found this to be especially true in his recurring consideration of the priesthood. Here's but a glimpse into the treasure trove: "The reason that the response of Elizabeth [in the Visitation] to the Christ-carrying Mary is striking to us is because our own response to the Christ-carrying priests is usually underwhelming by comparison . . .a mistake we sometimes make in the Catholic Church [is] one of treating priests, whose consecrated hands make Christ present on the altar, as mere sacramental vending machines" (p.9).
Like me, I sincerely hope that other readers will make us of Appendix I, in their preparation for Mass. Swaim has somehow crystallized his reflections on each mystery into prayers only two or three lines in length, that nonetheless capture an application of each mystery to the Mass and petition the Lord to allow us to share therein.
At 7" by 5" and 115 pages, the books' physicality strikes me as rather iconic of the realities it focuses upon - the contemplation of an unassuming young girl from Nazareth and sacramental signs as mundane as bread and wine; nothing of note in the eyes of the world but both filled with the power and very presence of God incarnate.
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