Praying the Sorrowful Mysteries

Sorrowful Mysteries

As it is now Friday, we will be praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary today in order to meditate upon the Passion of Our Lord. Because I love love love St. Louis de Montfort’s book The Secret of the Rosary, and the German method of praying the Rosary he suggests within, I want to share it with you in case you have never prayed this way.

The uniqueness of this method applies to the way you pray the “Hail Mary’s.” During each decade, you add a short phrase in the middle of the prayer. For example, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus…praying in the Garden of Olives in His agony…Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

I approach this in two ways: 1) Sometimes I repeat the same meditation over and over for all ten “Hail Mary’s” in a decade, and 2) sometimes I say a different phrase for each “Hail Mary.” If this seems odd or distracting to you at first, I urge you to keep trying it because I have found that it helps me focus better and stay mindful of what mystery I am on, and I am super-distractible during prayer. I even ad-lib the meditation phrases sometimes, as I consider the aspects of the mystery and how they relate to my life now. (Oh, one last thing: remember, we are praying to Our Blessed Mother when we pray the “Hail Mary”, so sometimes the meditations use the second person voice, saying, “…giving you to us to be our Mother…” It will make sense, I promise!)

Here are some ideas to get you started:

I. First Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden

  • …going up into in the Garden of Olives to pray…
  • …urging His apostles to pray lest they be tempted…
  • …undergoing excruciating mental and spiritual anguish…
  • …asking His Father if He might remove this Chalice…
  • …but above all wanting to fulfill His Father’s will…
  • …abandoned by His sleeping friends…
  • …foreseeing what would happen to Him the next day…
  • …strengthened by the appearance of an angel…
  • …His sweat becoming as drops of blood…
  • …seeing the multitude coming to arrest Him…

II. Second Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar

  • …Whose followers abandoned Him in fear…
  • …delivered to Pilate out of the envy of men…
  • …Whose innocence was known to Pilate, but Who was ordered to be tortured anyway…
  • …Whom the chief priests stirred up the people to reject…
  • …rejected by the people in favor of a notorious murderer…
  • …stripped of His garments…
  • …Who was chained to a pillar…
  • …Who was whipped 39 times…
  • …scourged with a whip containing pieces of bone that tore His Sacred Flesh…
  • …Who bore this torment out of His love for us…

III. Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowing with Thorns

  • …Who had already been mocked by King Herod…
  • …Who was ordered to be publicly mocked and humiliated…
  • …Who had a scarlet military cloak put around Him…
  • …Who had a crown of thorns beaten onto His Head…
  • …Who was slapped and scorned by evil men…
  • …Who was spat upon…
  • …Who was ridiculed and told to prophesy…
  • …Who fulfilled the prophesies of the Suffering Servant…
  • …accepting all of this for the sake of His people…
  • …Who really was and is our King…

IV. Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross

  • …condemned to die like a criminal…
  • …taking up the Cross lovingly for us…
  • …walking through the streets of Jerusalem, bleeding…
  • …falling beneath the weight of the Cross…
  • …meeting you, His beloved mother, on the way to Calvary…
  • …having His face wiped by a compassionate woman…
  • …Who was ordered to be assisted in carrying His Cross by a stranger…
  • …falling a second time under the burden of the Cross…
  • …meeting the women of Jerusalem, telling them to weep not for Him, but for themselves and their children…
  • …falling a third time under the weight of the Cross…

V. Fifth Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion

  • …having His clothes stripped from Him once again…
  • …having His Sacred Hands nailed to the Cross…
  • …having His Sacred Feet nailed to the Cross…
  • …Who was raised up on the Cross in front of the crowd…
  • …with the letters “INRI” nailed above His Head…
  • …with the burden of the guilt of all our sins upon Him…
  • …Who gave you to St. John, to be our Mother…
  • …Who felt abandoned by His Father…
  • …Who was given a sponge filled with vinegar to drink…
  • …Who said, “It is consummated!” and gave up His spirit…

May this method of praying the Holy Rosary be as fruitful for you as it has been for me! I hope you can pray the Rosary every day!

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