THIS WEEK'S EXCERPT: "... the Holy Family was not 'homeless'; nor were they destitute."
From Chapter 3, Section 3 (pages 57-58): 3rd Joyful Mystery, "The Nativity"
.... It is tempting to say that the message of the nativity is in the things that are not present, i.e., in its material poverty. From that, one could easily move to a condemnation of wealth and make the mistake of seeing poverty itself as goodness. In your meditation, ponder that rich men came bearing very expensive gifts, wise and holy men seeking what was present, not what was missing....
Contrary to popular vogue at the close of the second millennium, the Holy Family was not "homeless"; nor were they destitute. With a home in Nazareth and Joseph's trade, they were travellers who could at least afford a room at the inn, had there been an available room. Joseph likely paid for the stable. The hardship of the day was very real, to deliver a baby in a stable in the cold of winter, and
it would get worse as they became refugees from the persecution of the murderous Herod. But even being forced to flee to a foreign country, Joseph could still ply his trade. Following Herod's death they could still return to their Nazareth family and community.
The Nativity is a joyous mystery, and it was joyous not merely because the long term benefits of saving the world made the sufferings of the moment endurable. It was joyous in the moment because those in it lived in the riches of the moment -- the riches of holiness are available in every moment for the children of God. Whether we must endure material suffering or soak in affluence, the boundless riches of the kingdom are our inheritance and there to draw upon now. It is less significant that those possessing little were drawn to the treasure in the manger, than it is that those with wealth of their own saw where the greater treasure lay.
WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK DIFFERENT:
Bud Macfarlane Jr., MI. Bestselling Catholic novelist and founder of the Mary Foundation and Catholicity.com
"Ray Wilson has achieved a complete, comprehensive and fresh Rosary prayer guide that is both easy-to-understand and powerful. I recommend it with great pleasure."
John C. Cahalan, Ph.D. Catholic educator, writer and lecturer
"Ray Wilson shares enlightenment on the Rosary given by God through extraordinary experience. It begins at the most fundamental level and leads to the highest form of prayer, contemplation -- both clear enough for anyone to see and light enough for all to enjoy."
Fr. Gerald J. Mendoza, O.P. Writing in the Foreword
"I appreciated the title… not prayer available only to thinking Catholics …but thinking Christians... not prayer of blind faith but… spiritual practice that helps us to spiritually, meditatively and intellectually enter into historical truths."
The very title directly challenges skeptics by contending that the Rosary with its repetitive prayer is for "thinking Christians." It begins with an eyebrow-raising report of a message spoken to a lone highway driver and then miraculously confirmed (told in the audio here). The startling report does pass the "credibility test" of both the Nihil Obstat censor (Diocese of Springfield, MA) and the well-educated and prudent cover endorsers named above.
The story moves on and the car is replaced by the distinctly separate vehicles of meditation and contemplation (concepts made very clear), not merely for the journey in reading the book, but for making every Rosary henceforth an exciting intellectual and spiritual journey into the "Sacred Mysteries," twenty events in the life of Jesus Christ.
Reason and Faith team up in "reasoning faith" for a journey of the mind and soul which mere death cannot separate. It is a journey taken long ago by faith-filled people along paths traveled by the God of the Living, not of the dead. The events were real, and the people still are, granted life eternal in the eternal kingdom, present not just "now and forever," but forever and now. As the apostles were granted a glimpse into the Kingdom in the sacred mystery of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, the Rosary offers such a glimpse today, not only once, but repeatedly.
This book presents the Rosary as a flexible itinerary which encourages side trips, broadening and enriching the visit in each mystery event according to the traveler's own individual constitution. The Rosary beads keep the count, the repetition maintains the focus, and the Spirit escorts a freed will and exploring intellect.