Saturday 22 January 2022

Praying a Scriptural Rosary - Father Guy Nicholls - CTS Devotions and Prayers

Praying a Scriptural Rosary
Father Guy Nicholls
ISBN 9781784697341
eISBN 9781784696801
CTS Booklet D841

Over the last several years I have read over 250 volumes from the Catholic Truth Society. This is the first by Father Guy Nicholls. that I have encountered, and I believe the only book he has published with the Catholic Truth Society. I could only find two other volumes by him, both on Saint John Henry Newman, and both academic works. Dr Guy Nicholls is a priest at the Birmingham Oratory and the Founder and Director of the John Henry Newman Institute of Liturgical Music, and a Lecturer at Oscott College, the Birmingham Diocesan Seminary. The description of this volume is:

“Although the Rosary is the quintessential Marian prayer of the Church, Fr Guy Nicholls shows how it is also a profoundly Scriptural devotion that reveals Christ in its Mysteries. By offering a short Scripture passage to reflect upon for each bead of every Mystery, this innovative book facilitates a richer meditation on the life and death of Christ, revealing the true Scriptural nature of the Rosary.

With full-colour images and illustrations throughout, this booklet is an essential devotional resource for any who want to meditate upon the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary to 'imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise'.”

And also we are informed that:

“With a short Scripture passage to meditate on for each bead of every Mystery, this book reveals how the Rosary is a deeply Scriptural devotion that reveals Christ in its Mysteries.”

The chapters in the work are:

What is a Scriptural Rosary and how is it prayed?
The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary
The Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary
The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary
The Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary

This volume begins with these words:

“Although the Rosary is closely associated with our Lady, and justly so, it is principally a systematic meditation on the Incarnation and work of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. In the Rosary, we contemplate Emmanuel, God-with-us, as he was born of the Virgin Mary, as he ministered in Galilee and Judaea, as he suffered and died in Jerusalem and as he was raised to new life and to heavenly glory which he shares with us first through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and also by the promise and foretaste of eternal life with him in heaven, which our Lady already fully shares there with him.

These meditations are inspired by twenty distinct episodes, the ‘mysteries of the Rosary’ as they are called, on each of which we reflect in turn, doing so in the company of the Blessed Mother of God. So complete is the range of the mysteries in which we ponder the journey of Christ’s life, death and resurrection in the Rosary that Pope St Paul VI, borrowing a phrase from Pope Pius XII, described it as a ‘compendium of the entire Gospel’.1 So central is the role which we invite our Lady to exercise with us on this journey that Pope St John Paul II summed up the entire Rosary as contemplating the Face of Christ with Mary.”

We are informed that:

“The historic or classic arrangement of the Mysteries divides them into three main groups, the Joyful, Sorrowful and the Glorious which focus in turn on five ‘moments’ or scenes in the earliest years of Christ’s life, five more in his Passion and Death, and five in his triumphant Resurrection and its consequences for us. To these Pope St John Paul II added the optional five Mysteries of Light, to fill in a gap between the Joyful and the Sorrowful mysteries, through the commemoration of five special ‘luminous’ events or aspects of our Lord’s earthly ministry, from his Baptism to the Last Supper, which shed light upon his work of salvation.”

And also:

“The Rosary is a prayer suited to persons of all ages and conditions, young or old, sophisticated or simple. It is suitable to be said alone or with others, slowly and interwoven with sentences of Scripture or frequent pauses, or rhythmically like a march. It is suited to be prayed when we ourselves are joyful or sorrowful, for ourselves or for others in whatever need, and in union with the whole Church praying to Christ her Son.

Let us look at the four great cycles of the Rosary mysteries: Joy, Light, Sorrow and Glory. How do these sum up our faith, and what can we gain from them?”

We are given an introduction to each set and to each mystery. A sample of how this is presented is:

The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary
The five Joyful Mysteries are all scenes of the earliest years of our Lord’s earthly life, from the announcement of his Advent or Coming, to his own declaration of his divine Sonship in the Temple at Jerusalem when he was about twelve years old. In all of them our Lady plays an especially significant role. We ask her to let us accompany her as we meditate on them.

The Annunciation by the Angel Gabriel to Our Lady
The Annunciation teaches us our Lady’s total submission to God’s will. Her heart was already turned perfectly towards God when Gabriel was sent to invite her to be the Mother of the only-begotten Son of God. We pray that our Lady may show us that we can be confident in leaving all to God’s providence, just as she always did.

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be as deep as Sheol or as high as heaven”. But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Is 7:10-14)
Our Father...

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. (Lk 1:26-27)
Hail Mary...

And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O highly favoured one, the Lord is with you!” (Lk 1:28)
Hail Mary...

But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. (Lk 1:29)
Hail Mary...”

This is a wonderful little booklet. I prayed through a set a day over 4 days my first time through this booklet. It is a wonderful resource for personal prayer, for group prayer, or even corporate prayer. At my parish a few times a week they do a Rosary either before or after Mass, this booklet would be an excellent resource for those corporate times of prayer. The physical booklet is stunning, and the eBook is perfectly formatted. The full colour full page prints help draw us into the mysteries. It is an excellent resource. I just wish there were companion audio downloads so that you could use them to pray along with. But aside from that it is amazing! Pick up a few copies of this book I am sure you have a friend or two who would be blessed by it and maybe you could pray it together.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Father Guy Nicholls:
John Henry Newman
Unearthly Beauty: The Aesthetic of St John Henry Newman

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