Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sorrowful Mysteries, 2nd, The Scourging at the Pillar

Luke 23 13-16
Pilate then summoned the chief priests, the rulers, and the people
and said to them, "You brought this man to me and accused him of inciting the people to revolt. I have conducted my investigation in your presence and have not found this man guilty of the charges you have brought against him,
nor did Herod, for he sent him back to us. So no capital crime has been committed by him.
Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him."

In the 2nd Sorrowful mystery we pray to bear our earthly pain and suffering with Christian fortitude.

One the thing that struck me while contemplating this mystery is the question, how often to I act like Pilate. What I mean by that is that Pilate knew that our Lord was innocent. He knew that jealousy drove the chief priest and elders to bring Christ before him with the outrageous charges they were making. But, he feared their disapproval of him more than he feared accusing and punishing an innocent person.

While contemplating this mystery, I must recognize the times in my life where I have acted likewise. How often do I let others around me be treated unjustly because I fear the disapproval of the one(s) treating that person wrong.

As an example, in childhood I may have been a Pilate while another kid was being bullied. I went along with it and even encouraged it because I feared the bully tuning his attention to me. More so as an adult, have I ever stood by while a problem or situation was unfairly blamed on a co-worker. Do I ever sit by and watch and even encourage and participate in gossip and backbiting about the faults of someone else because I fear that my own faults will be exposed?

A lesson I have learned from this mystery is that, even though Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent and that the only thing the Jewish leaders had against him really was their own jealousy and their own wounded pride, he had our Lord scourged because he feared what they would do if he didn't go along with the injustice. So, I must be careful not to make decisions, especially ones that may result in an injustice done to another, out of the fear that my own faults may be exposed or people that I want to like me may turn against me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Rosary; Making Time

The Rosary is a powerful prayer which offers a great deal in the way of spiritual growth. However, as with anything that is worth doing, committing to pray the Rosary on a daily basis is not without its difficulties. The Rosary is a long prayer of contemplation. To pray a full Rosary takes about an hour. For this reason many of people pray just one chaplet a day.Still, this is a 15 to 20 minute commitment.

Most of us are very busy with work and school to attend to and kids and houses to care for. Finding a solid hour for prayer is very difficult. Even finding 20 minutes may take some creativity and/or sacrifice. Whatever it takes, you will be rewarded with the spiritual growth and closeness to God that we all seek as is our nature.

So, what are some ways that we can find the time we need to pray the Rosary on a daily basis?

I am a morning person so the first thing that comes to mind for me is getting up 20 minutes early. I have been doing this for a while and it works very well for me. The house is quite so there is little to distract me from my contemplation and I meet my commitment to God first thing and my day is blessed because of it. I have started my day in prayer to God and I hope that the prayer and time with God guides my day and helps me to more fully live the Christian life.

Praying a full Rosary all at once is even more difficult to do, mostly because we have to carve out an hour from an already overloaded day. That being said, I have found the practice of praying a full Rosary to be very rewarding. That being the case I would ask, how many of us find an hour to commute to work? How many of us find an hour to exercise? Is there something that you are doing for an hour that does not require your full metal attention? If there is, then you have time to pray a full Rosary.

I am an avid runner. About a year ago, I put up the ipod and began praying a full Rosary on my runs. Again, this works very well for me. I don't know that I would always make my runs, but committing to pray the Rosary while I run gives me an extra boost to get out there when my inspiration to run wains.

Some other suggestions that may work for you would be to pray the Rosary as you lie down to sleep at night. That wouldn't work for me because I would fall asleep, but it might work for you. How long is you drive to work? Is it long enough to pray a chaplet of the Rosary on your way? What about while you grocery shop? What do you do on your lunch hour? Would you consider praying the Rosary during that time? I am sure you can think of other times when you can find 20 minutes to contemplate the Life of our Lord in the Rosary. I would just encourage you to consider seeing if you can find time to take up the Rosary.

As always, I would be interested to hear about your experiences with this pray. Use the comment box below.