Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange on the Rosary

Dominican Friars | December 15, 2022

From The Mother of the Savior and Our Interior Life

The French Dominican Fr. Reginald Garrigou- Lagrange, O.P., was a leading 20th Century Thomist who directed the doctoral dissertation of the future Pope St. John Paul II. His thought and piety remain influential throughout the Dominican Order and the Church.

The Rosary is a Credo: not an abstract one, but one concretized in the life of Jesus Who came down to us from the Father and Who ascended to bring us back with Himself to the Father. It is the whole of Christian dogma in all its splendor and elevation, brought to us that we may fill our minds with it, that we may relish it and nourish our souls with it.

This makes the Rosary a true school of contemplation. Early theologians have compared the movement of the soul in contemplation to the spiral in which certain birds—the swallow, for example—move when they wish to attain to a great height. The joyful mysteries lead to the Passion, and the Passion to the door of heaven. The Rosary well understood is, therefore, a very elevated form of prayer which makes the whole of dogma accessible to all.

It takes us from the midst of our too human interests and joys and makes us think of those which center on the coming of the Savior. It takes us from our meaningless fears, from the sufferings we bear so badly, and reminds us of how much Jesus has suffered for love of us and teaches us to follow Him by bearing the cross which divine providence has sent us to purify us. It takes us finally from our earthly hopes and ambitions and makes us think of the true object of Christian hope—eternal life and the graces necessary to arrive there.

The Rosary is more than a prayer of petition. It is a prayer of adoration inspired by the thought of the Incarnate God, a prayer of reparation in memory of the Passion of Our Savior, a prayer of thanksgiving that the glorious mysteries continue to reproduce themselves in the uninterrupted entry of the elect into glory.


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