OMI Rosary Meditation for Vocations

Preface:

Since the 8th of December 2017 we have been celebrating the Year of Oblate Vocations with, as its theme, Joy and Generosity in Oblate Life!

The year is fitted into the twelve-month period devoted by Pope Francis to the theme “Discernment of Vocations”. Reading the message of Pope Francis for the 55th World Day of prayer for vocations, I wish to emphasize the phrase: “in our restless era, the Mystery of the Incarnation is always there to remind us that God is always ready to meet us and that He is God-with-us as we traverse the dusty roads of our existence, that He is of aware of our longing for joy and happiness as He invites us to share the joy that is His”.

In his message to the Oblates during the audience to the 2016 General Chapter, the Pope said: “the work to be done in order to accomplish this (a church for all people) is immense; and you also have a special contribution to make … The area of mission seems to increase day by day … that is why you are necessary, because of your missionary daring, your availability to bring the Good News which liberates and consoles. May the joy of the Gospel shine forth from your faces and make you joyful witnesses… We are indeed conscious that the mission is increasing day by day but we are also aware that the Lord continues to call men and women to follow him at the present time.

Our way of life should give witness. That is what our Superior General is calling us to do: “I wish to invite all of us to give joyful and generous witness by our lives so as to arouse the interest of young people in our vocation”. (letter of December 2017).

Jesus, in his calling and sending the 72 disciples, said to them: “The harvest indeed is great but the workers are few. Pray therefore to the Lord that he may send workers into his vineyard” (Luke 10, 2)

It may well be said: there is nothing more important in life than to discover why we were made. Our calling, our vocation, is unique and personal. It is something which we alone can do. There are many vocations: the vocation of nurse, social worker, doctor, carpenter … Some of these vocations may be followed in Oblate religious life.

In the course of this “Year for Oblate Vocations” the Oblate General Committee for Brothers wishes to invite you to meditate on the Rosary for vocations.

Once each month, I will go to the tomb of the Founder in Marseille for a period of prayer for vocations. If you wish, you may unite in meditating the prayer of the Rosary on the 4th of each month. It does not matter at what time you recite the Rosary: we shall have the joy of being united with one another and with God.

Eugene de Mazenod writing to Father Tempier on July 26, 1817, had this to say: “Almost every evening I am with you as you make your evening prayer. … I delight in this hour of prayer -- there in adoration of the Divine Master. Think of me at that time”.

Thank-you and thanks to all who will join me in that hour of prayer. It will be addressed, through the intercession of Saint Eugene, to the Lord of the harvest asking that He send labourers into his harvest. The Lord will provide where he wishes to do so. The mission is His. It is up to us to pray.

Aix-en-Provence, December 27, 2017

Brother Benoit DOSQUET

Secretary, General Committee of Brothers

This meditation is based on the Rosary service of Chartres for Vocations in 2005

 

How to use it

Each 4th day of the month (except in September and December, because Marseille Cathedral is closed Tuesdays) someone will pray the Rosary at the tomb of Saint Eugene in Marseille (the appointed time is 3pm). Those who wish may join in prayer for vocations at whatever time they find suitable during the day.

Before each Mystery, the suggested Gospel text may be read together with the meditation given. After each Mystery one of the three prayers for vocations suggested may be recited.

 

A little history

According to historians, the Rosary is a very ancient prayer. From the very first centuries, Christians used knotted cords to count their acts of piety, moving their fingers from one knot to the next. The praying of the Rosary comes from the lay monks of Cluny and later from the Cistercians. These men did not speak Latin and so they did not recite the Psalms. To replace them they recited the Ave Maria at various times of the day. Alain Roche, who was one of the first disciples of Saint Dominic, brought order to the Rosary and enriched it by adding meditations based on the lives of Jesus and Mary. He called it the chaplet of the Rosary because it was like a crown of roses to be placed at the feet of the Blessed Virgin. Until very recently, the whole Rosary was made up of three series of mysteries: after the Incarnation and the hidden life of Christ (Joyful Mysteries), the meditation then turns to the sufferings and the Passion (Sorrowful Mysteries) and then to the triumph of the Resurrection, the coming of the Holy Spirit and Mary’s entry into the glory of God (Glorious Mysteries). On October 16th 2002, Pope John-Paul II added a supplementary five Mysteries, the Mysteries of Light commemorating important events in the public life of Christ: Baptism, the marriage feast at Cana, the proclamation of the Kingdom, the Transfiguration and the institution of the Eucharist.

 

The Joyful Mysteries (Monday – Saturday)

 

The Annunciation: In the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth to a virgin who was promised in marriage to a man of the house of David, named Joseph, and the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel entered and said: Hail full of grace, the Lord is with you

Then Mary said: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word,” and the angel left her (Luke 1, 26-38).

Mary, in saying “yes” made the coming of Jesus possible. Together with you, Mary, we pray the Lord of the vineyard for young people. May they be open to the will of God and may they be enabled to say “yes” as you did.

 

The Visitation: “Mary set out at once and went to the hill country to a town in Judea. She entered the house of Zacharia and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb. Then Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out with a loud voice: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb (Luke 1, 39-42).

Mary, because of your availability, Elizabeth was able to allow herself to be touched by the Saviour of the world living within you. Mary, we pray to the Master of the harvest. May the Church be welcoming and available to the call of the men and women of our time. May we have the courage to serve our brothers and sisters and in doing so, the joy of following your Son.

 

The birth of Our Lord: Then, while they were there the time came for the child to be born and she brought forth her first-born; she wrapped the infant in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger. … Then the angel said to them: “Do not be afraid because I bring you good news which will bring great joy to your people. This day, in the city of David, a Saviour is born for you. He is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2, 6-11)

O Mary, in your Son Jesus, God has become man. Now we have nothing to fear. He will be at our side on the highways of the world. Together with you, Mary, we pray to the Lord of the harvest. May our hearts be open to the presence of the Saviour.  Through our words and deeds may we make known his will to build a world of justice and peace.

 

The Presentation of Jesus in the temple: “Now, Lord and Master, you can let your servant go in peace, according to your word because my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all the peoples; a light to enlighten the Gentiles and give glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2, 29-32).

Mary, you have come to present in the temple him who is the light of the world. Together with you, Mary, we give thanks to the Lord of the harvest for those men and women who give themselves totally to the Lord. May they be a light of hope for today’s world.

 

The finding of Jesus in the temple:  on seeing him his parents were astonished and his mother said: “My child, why did you do this to us? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you!” He said to them, “Why have you been searching for me? Did you not know that I would be in my Father’s house”. But they did not understand what he was saying to them (Luke  2, 48-50).

Mary, you did not understand and nevertheless you trusted the words of the Lord. During the years you spent alongside Jesus, you undertook paths along which you had never imagined you would walk. Together with you we pray the Lord of the harvest to give us the confidence which animated you when we do not understand the challenges placed before us. May we have the courage to invite people to become deacons or priests and to venture to undertake the path of Religious Life even though the future is a path paved with uncertainty.

 

Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesdays and Fridays)

The Agony in the GardenHe went a short distance from them, about a stone’s throw, falling on his knees, he prayed, saying: “Father, if it be your will, remove this cup from me… nevertheless, let not my will but yours be done! (Luke 22, 41-42)

Mary, a few hours before his death, your Son experienced the trial of doubt, but he is so much one with his Father that he abandons himself to His will. Together with you, Mary, we pray the Lord of the harvest for all young people who desire to build their house on the solid rock which is your Son, Jesus, but who hesitate to commit themselves. May they put their trust in the Holy Spirit and understand that what they leave behind is as nothing compared with what they would gain.

 

The scourging of Jesus at the pillar: As for Jesus, having had him scourged, he gave him over to be crucified. (Matthew 27, 26b)

Mary, your Son’s body had been torn by the lashes of the whips and nevertheless, shortly before his death, he said “Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.” When faced with hatred there is only one reply, that of pardon. Together with you, Mary, we pray the Lord of the harvest for all those whose witness is that of pardon in word and deed. May all the baptised in your Church give witness by showing forth your love in our world which all too often is torn by hatred and intolerance.

 

Jesus crowned with thorns : “then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus to the pretorium and gathered the cohort around him. They entertained themselves by putting a scarlet cloak on him and they weaved a crown of thorns and placed it on his head and they put a reed in his right hand; then they genuflected before him and mocked him saying; Hail king of the Jews!” (Matthew (27, 27-29).

Mary, your Son experienced extreme humiliation. He has now been reduced to an object of ridicule. He is mocked, violated. He has become the companion of all those who undergo mockery by those whom he has come to save. Together with you, Mary, we pray the Lord of the harvest for those Christians undergoing persecution. United with them in prayer, we wish to be builders of the Kingdom which Jesus came inaugurate.

 

Jesus carries his Cross: As they came out, they found a man from Cyrene called Simon and they made him carry the cross with Jesus”. (Matthew 27, 32)

Mary, your Son is not the only one being put to the test. Simon of Cyrene is there to help him on the road to Golgotha. Many young people, involved in movements to serve the Church, are ready to answer the call of your Son and to come to the aid of the poor and the suffering in their need. Together with you, Mary, we pray the Lord of the harvest for all those teams of young people, and their guides that they may bring help and consolation to the weakest in our society and learn to recognise Christ in them. “Whatever you do to these, the least of my brothers and sisters, that you do unto me” (Matthew 25, 40).

 

Jesus dies on the Cross: “Afterwards, knowing that all had now been accomplished, in order that the Scripture should be fulfilled, Jesus said “I thirst”. There was a jug filled with vinegar. A sponge soaked in vinegar was placed on a hyssop and his mouth was touched with it. Having tasted the vinegar, Jesus said: “It is accomplished” and bowing his head He gave up his spirit” (John 19, 28-30).

Mary, your Son went to the very end in his love. The response to the call of your Son is to give one’s life with him, in order to bring humanity on the path that leads to the Resurrection. Together with you, Mary, we pray to the Lord of the harvest for those who have devoted their lives to announcing the Gospel. May they draw from their relationship with Christ a renewal of strength and hope and may the communities with whom they work draw inspiration from them.

Glorious Mysteries (Thursday and Sunday)

Jesus rises from the dead: “On entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting there, dressed in white. They were struck with terror but he said to them: “Do not be afraid! You seek Jesus of Nazareth. He is risen. He is not here (Mark 16.5-6)

Mary, on this Easter morning, the message of the angel on the day of the Annunciation has taken on a new meaning: “He who is to be born of you will be called the Son of God.” Yes, indeed, Jesus whom you bore, reared and accompanied discreetly during his sojourn with humanity, is today the Son of God, who came among the human race to open the way to eternal life. Together with you, Mary, we pray to the Master of the harvest for the Church, the Body of Christ risen from the dead in this world. May that body not give in to discouragement, may the baptised remember that they are the temples of the Spirit of Him who is risen from the dead. May they take it to heart that they must live accordingly?

 

The ascension of Jesus into heaven: “You will receive a special strength when the Holy Spirit comes down upon you: you will then be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout all of Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth”.  Having said these words, while the Apostles were still watching, He was raised up and a cloud hid him from their sight (Acts 1, 8-9).

Mary, on the morning of the Ascension, Jesus sent his disciples on mission. The Holy Spirit would guide them to meet the whole of humanity without distinction of race or culture. Together with you, Mary, we ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest: Priests, religious men and women and lay people, to preach the Gospel. May they encourage the whole Church in her mission.

 

The Apostles receive the Holy Spirit: When the day of Pentecost came … all were filled with the Holy Spirit; they began to speak other languages and each one spoke according to the gift of the Spirit (Acts 2, 4).

Mary, on the day of the Annunciation, the angel of the Lord told you not to be afraid. The Spirit of the Lord will “cover you with his shadow”. On Pentecost Sunday this same Spirit was given to the Church which henceforth will have nothing to fear. Henceforth it will with confidence the Good News of the Resurrection. Together with you, Mary, we pray the Lord of the harvest for all those who have received or will receive Confirmation. Faithful to the Spirit they have received, may they be eager to respond to the gifts they have received as Christians and promote the Good news wherever they are.

 

Mary shares the Glory of her Risen Son: “The Almighty has done great things for me, holy is his name!” (Luke 1, 49).

Mary, as we celebrate your Assumption, we celebrate the one who guides and supports the Church which is still on its journey, with you, Mary, we pray the Lord of the harvest for the Church. May it be a witness to the wonders of God and call candidates who are so badly needed and who will work joyfully for the Gospel.

 

The crowning of Mary: “A great sign appeared in the heavens: a woman clothed in the sun and with the moon beneath her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Apocalypse 12. 1).

Mary, in the presence of God you are crowned with glory and honour. You are a little girl from Palestine and in the presence of God you have become great because of your trusting and your availability. Together with you, Mary, we pray to the Lord of the harvest. May our meditation of these mysteries which we share with you make us more available to his call and may it influence our brother and sister Christians.

 

Mysteries of light (Thursday)

 

Jesus is baptised by John in the Jordan: “When Jesus had been baptised He came out of the water and behold the heavens opened and the Spirit came down upon him in the form of a dove and a voice said “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3, 16-17)

Mary, This meeting with John the Baptist on the banks of the Jordan, was for your Son Jesus, a starting point. A voice from heaven said: “You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. We immediately recognise the beginning of our own mission, the day of our Baptism. Having been immersed in the death and resurrection of Christ, God said to us: “You are my beloved son/daughter in whom I place all my love”. Together with you we pray Lord of the harvest for all of the baptised people of the Universe. Reawaken in our lives the source of our own Baptism, make us docile to the Spirit so that we may share in the building up of your Kingdom.

 

The miracle of the wine at Cana: “They ran short of wine. The Mother of Jesus said to him “they have no wine”. Jesus replied “Woman, what do you want me to do? My hour has not yet come”. His Mother said to the servants: “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2, 3-5).

Mary, as a guest, you are not like all the others. You cannot help being concerned that the feast continue in the best possible way. There is no wine and, without wine, the wedding will be a disaster! So now you turn to your Son because you realise that, in spite of his answer, you ask the servants to do whatever He tells them. Together with you, Mary, we pray to the Master of the harvest for families. May they be places where the spouses can live their vocation as married couples to the full. In that way they can become fertile ground for vocations.

 

Jesus announces the coming of the Kingdom:  “After the imprisonment of John, Jesus left for Galilee to proclaim the Gospel; He said “Be converted and believe the Good News”; The time is ripe, the Kingdom of God is at hand. Be converted and believe in the Good news”(Mark 1, 14-15).

Mary, your Son is in continuity with the mission of the prophets of the Old Testament. He invites us to put our hearts in tune with the heart of God, but His message is different from that of the prophets in that He is proclaiming that the time has now come. He is the fulfilment of the promise made by the prophets. In Him the Kingdom has become a reality. Together with you, Mary, we pray the Lord of the harvest for all those who hold positions of responsibility in the Church. May they strive to live their prophetic mission by opposing all that is contrary to the Gospel and by showing, in their own lives that it is Christ who brings true happiness.

 

The Transfiguration in the presence of Peter, James and John: “Jesus took with him Peter, James and his brother John and led them apart to a high mountain. In their presence He was transfigured; his face became bright as the sun and his garments white as light” (Matthew 17, 2).

Mary, it was in climbing a mountain with your Son that Peter, James and John discovered the identity of Jesus of Nazareth: He is the beloved Son of the Father. This experience was a determining factor in the mission of the Apostles. Together with you, Mary, we pray to the Lord of the harvest for the communities of Religious men and women, that they may be transfigured by their contemplation of the risen Christ and thus give witness by their very existence. May their fraternal way of life, their prayerful existence and their zeal in proclaiming the Gospel be an incentive to them and to others.

 

Jesus institutes the Eucharist: “During the meal, Jesus took bread and having pronounced the blessing, He broke it and gave it to them saying: “Take and eat, this is my body”. Then taking a cup and having given thanks He gave it to them and all of them drank it and He said “this is my blood”, the blood of the covenant, shed for the multitude” (Mark 14, 22-24).

O Mary, on the evening of the Last Supper, Jesus showed us the meaning of death; He gave his life so that we should live. He gave us food so that we should be able to follow him along the path of self-giving. Together with you, Mary, we pray to the God of the harvest that He may send and maintain vocations, priests, ministers of the Eucharist. With the grace of the Holy Spirit, through the proclamation of the Word, the celebration of the sacraments and fraternal support, may they build the community of your Church; may they help the baptised to become progressively what they receive in every Eucharist; the body of the risen Christ.

 

Prayers for Oblate vocations

Heavenly Father,

we come to you because Jesus asked us to pray

that you would send workers into your harvest.

Therefore, send us generous young men,

who are passionate for Jesus Christ,

willing to make of their whole life a total oblation to You,

to become close to the poorest and most abandoned,

and to proclaim the Gospel.

 

May they burn with the same fire

That You enkindled in Saint Eugene;

May they come to be part of his family, and

With all the oblates, may they continue

The work of Redemption.

Mary Immaculate,

Who first gave Jesus to the world,

Be with us as we pray.

Amen

 

Saint Eugene de Mazenod……………………………….. Pray for us

Blessed Joseph Gerard………………………………….... Pray for us

Blessed Mario Borzaga……………………………………Pray for us

 

Praised be Jesus Christ,

And Mary Immaculate.

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