Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy: Meditations on the Rosary

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Since earliest times Christians have used pebbles, a string of knots, or beads on a cord to keep track of their prayers, and prayer beads can be found in virtually every major religious tradition in the world. Anglicans and other Protestants have also begun to use the rosary to help refresh a life of prayer--it creates a rhythm that helps wean us from our distractions and focus our attention so that we can more readily move into God's presence. As the beads and prayers recede into the background, the mysteries that make up the rosary come into our minds and hearts like religious pictures or icons. First published by Doubleday in 1975, J. Neville Ward's unusual collection of meditations offer an entirely new approach to the rosary for all Christians. He begins with its traditional use and then offers fifteen insights into the life of Jesus and his mother Mary that can speak to us today. Thus a meditation on the sorrowful themes reminds us of the suffering that is so much a part of our own lives, while the joyful and glorious mysteries speak of the desire for faith, hope, and love that will heal them. These reflections serve up a rich spiritual repast for Christians seeking new contemplative practices and learning to pray with the rosary.