Introduction On Meditating
On the Traditional 15 Mysteries of the Rosary

by Fr. L.M. Dooley, S.V.D., 1950

One of the conditions for observing the five First Saturdays, as requested by Our Lady, is a 15 minute period of meditation upon the mysteries of the Rosary. This quarter of an hour meditating is to be carried out with the set purpose of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Now for many a soul the word "meditation" is a forbidding word. It conjures up the hooded figures of Trappists or solemn-faced religious huddled together in the appalling silence of a monastery or convent. Traditionally, the ordinary run of laity dissociate meditation with their day. In this, however, they are woefully in error.

Without knowing it, they are performing this exercise day after day, with subject matter alone making the difference between their meditating and the meditation of the religious. To illustrate: A mother has a sick child. She at once revolves in mind a type of remedy to apply, or she consults a book on medicine, or she ponders on summoning a doctor. She is meditating upon a practical question, namely, on how best to promote the good of her sick child. Or, vacation time rolls around. The workweary soul begins consulting time-tables, seashore resorts, or the distance to alluring spots of scenic beauty and enchantment. Such a one is meditating, that is, pondering upon a certain topic with reference to his own pleasure, in this case. In religion we merely change the subject matter.

For instance in the meditations on the mysteries of the Rosary, as we have them in the following pages, we may think, for instance, of the Birth of Christ. I recall what I have read and heard on this central mystery of the ages. I see Mary and Joseph in the bleak and unadorned cave. I picture to myself the manger and the crude surroundings. I hear the stamping of the animals, their slow measured breathing, their restlessness. I observe the ecstatic face of Mary. The next moment I see her wrapping her first-born in swaddling clothes. There He is before me, the desired of all nations, in the winsome form of a Boy. I adore Him. Figuratively, I take Him in my arms. I caress and fondle Him and speak low, sweet love words into His infant ears. Perhaps I say: “Jesus, I love you so much. I thank you for being a little one for me. Keep me ever close to you. Let me love you more and more.” Pondering thus on this mystery for 15 minutes, I fulfill the requirements of Our Lady of Fatima and help make reparation to her Immaculate Heart. Should one mystery, as illustrated above, not suffice for my soul, I take another of the 15 mysteries, or as many as I desire, as long as I spend a quarter of an hour meditating upon its fruitfulness for my soul. Such a meditation will enrich ones soul, will deepen ones appreciation for prayer, and fire ones soul with greater devotion toward Our Lady.

We will thus enter more and more wholeheartedly into the spirit of Fatima around which these meditations revolve. The very word Fatima will cause our soul to dilate and to absorb more and more the rare atmosphere of that holy place so redolent of heavenly and Marian memories. Truly we are privileged to be living today in a Marian age. May we all then imbibe ever deeper the Fatima spirit of prayer, sacrifice and reparation. May these meditations find a ready welcome in the hearts of the laity. May they love the approach of the five First Saturdays and may Mary’s Immaculate Heart be sweetly and bountifully consoled by those who will eagerly apply themselves with zest to this tailor-made opportunity to hasten the reign of Jesus and Mary throughout the world.--Father Dooley

Joyful Mysteries

1. The Mystery of the Annunciation
2. The Visitation
3. The Nativity
4. The Presentation
5. Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple

Sorrowful Mysteries

1. The Agony in the Garden
2. The Scourging at the Pillar
3. The Crowning with Thorns
4. The Carrying of the Cross
5. The Crucifixion

Glorious Mysteries

1. The Resurrection
2. The Ascension
3. The Descent of the Holy Ghost
4. The Assumption
5. The Coronation

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"Rosary Meditations for Fatima Saturday"

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