THE CURRENT EXCERPT:
Then the soldiers ... gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped off his clothes and threw a scarlet military cloak about him. Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head, and a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" They spat upon him and took the reed and kept striking him on the head. Mt 27:27-30
In the following, "CCC" = "Catechism of the Catholic Church"
From Chapter THREE, "PRAYING THE ROSARY" The Crowning with Thorns (pages 71-74):
The power of this moment in Jesus' life as it impacted my own life prevents me from separating myself as a writer from the undeserving sinner coming to the both wonderful and terrible moment of discovery of the awesome depth of the love of God! My first contemplation of what really happened here came in a monastery of the Passionist Fathers ...fittingly dedicated to the Mother of Sorrows. ....
consider what this then young man, filled with himself, saw as he heard described the Son of God in the Roman robe, holding the reed-scepter, head bloodied by the crown of thorns ....
Now, there is one thing a young man filled with himself can know: the pain of rejection, and especially the pain of rejection by those he loves. That much I did know; and on that retreat, I then saw who it was who mocked Jesus, who struck him and spat upon him. It was those he loved!
My own life lessons had also taught me that the greater the love, the greater the pain. On this night, I came to see that no one could love as much as he who is love itself. No one could love as much -- or hurt as much -- as God!
And then, yet another realization. Had I not suffered rejection in my own life -- I might never have understood what it was that Jesus had endured for me, and for my own eternal salvation. It was then that I saw that my own pain, the hurt itself and not just the ability to withstand it, was a gift of love from the Father -- a grace....
Thus it is here that we should contemplate the willingly taken-on pain of Christ, the rejected and tormented lover -- and also how the very gift of that vision, the contemplation of this mystery in the totality of the contemplative prayer of the Rosary is grace, the gift of the loving Triune God:
"Contemplative prayer is the prayer of the child of God, of the forgiven sinner who agrees to welcome the love by which he is loved and who wants to respond to it by loving even more. But he knows the love he is returning is poured out by the Spirit in his heart, for everything is a grace from God. Contemplative prayer is the poor and humble surrender to the loving will of the Father in ever deeper union with his beloved Son. " (CCC:2712)
"Contemplative prayer is a gaze of faith, fixed on Jesus.... His gaze ... illumines the eyes of our heart and teaches us to see everything in the light of his truth and his compassion for all men. " (CCC: 2715)
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."
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.