Living Our Lady’s Graces
Dominican Friars | May 23, 2023
Those who pray the Rosary with all their heart know from experience that the Rosary is an “outpouring of love” (St. Pope John Paul II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae). What evokes love in us like nothing else is the face of the beloved gazing at us. The Rosary intends to be just that.
“The Rosary is one of the traditional paths of Christian prayer directed to the contemplation of Christ’s face.” In fact, if we did not have the gift of the Rosary in our life, we would search for a way to fix on Christ’s face. In God’s divine providence we do not need to invent this way, for “with the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love… To recite the Rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ.”
The love poured out to us in the Rosary orients us to both heaven and earth. For in contemplating Christ’s face in the rosary, “we become open to receiving the mystery of Trinitarian life,” while at the same time “the Rosary leads to an encounter with Christ in his mysteries and so cannot fail to draw attention to the face of Christ in others, especially in the most afflicted.” And since “no one has ever devoted himself to the contemplation of the face of Christ as faithfully as Mary,” Our Lady’s role in our contemplating of Christ’s face remains vital.
Pope John Paul II revered the Rosary as “an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb.” What could be better than to be caught up in our Lady’s “perennial Magnificat”? For here is the fact: “Never as in the Rosary do the life of Jesus and that of Mary appear so deeply joined.”
– Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P.
An excerpt from the book Mysteries oft he Virgin Mary: Living Our Lady’s Graces
Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P., grew up in Vernon, Connecticut. He was ordained a Dominican priest in 1986. He holds a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Dominican House of Studies, and a Master of Fine Arts in playwriting from the Catholic University of America. He is an award-winning playwright, and the founder and artistic director of Blackfriars Repertory Theatre in New York City. Since 1994, Fr. Peter John has taught homiletics at various seminaries, and he now teaches at the Josephinum.
He is the author of ten books, including The Classics of Catholic Spirituality, Blessing Prayers, Mysteries of the Virgin Mary, Made for Love—Loved by God, Novenas for the Church Year, Jesus Present Before Me, and Why Preach: Encountering Christ in God’s Word. He served two terms as the director of preaching for his Dominican province. Fr. Peter John is the founding editor-in-chief of Magnificat, where he worked from 1998-2018. He is the Prior (the local superior) of St. Patrick Priory.