Welcome to Rosary Meditations
This past year I celebrated the 20th anniversary of being received into the Catholic Church. I had been raised in the Methodist Church and later attended the Episcopal Church, both of which helped to lay the foundation for my Christian faith. However, those who know me best know that I am a lamb of the Lord’s own flock, one for whom He went in search, leaving the ninety-nine behind. It is only through His grace that I have come this far.
While my ecclesiastical history has much to do with where I am today, it is my military, business, and personal history that have contributed to why I am where I am today. My life experiences in serving with the U.S. Army Intelligence Service, practicing civil law for 35 years, and ranching and farming land in Texas and Mississippi prepared me well for a personal journey that has taken me through an examination of Catholic traditions and mysteries that serve as the impetus for this blog.
The culmination of those life experiences resulted in my book, Rosary Meditations: A Lawyer Examines the Evidence. These “meditations” are the fruit of a lawyer’s efforts to understand the evidence regarding the events from which the Mysteries of the Rosary arise—the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries that retell the events in the lives of Jesus and Mary.
As primary evidence, I considered the Scriptures, some patristic writings, and the “Tradition” of the Catholic Church as part of the Church’s definitive teachings. I referred to pertinent archeology, astronomy, art, history, and modern science as applied to the Shroud of Turin, the Sudarium of Oviedo, the titulus, and the Eucharistic miracles of Lanciano and Bolsena. I read several modern writers, some with whom I agree and others I do not. Throughout my examination, I have sought not to stray from the teachings of the Magisterium.
Let me state that I am not a theologian or a philosopher. But I am a lawyer and consider myself qualified to examine and weigh evidence. I searched at length for a book that would set out in factual detail the events of the various mysteries. Finding no such book, I began writing a memorandum for myself which has developed into this book. I simply felt a personal calling to focus on the Rosary Mysteries to more fully understand the factual circumstances of each. I called upon my military service in contemplating the Resurrection, for example, the role of the Roman guards who were present at Jesus’ tomb. I employed my courthouse experience, for example, to envision the attempted pre-trial discovery by Annas and the botching of the trial by Caiaphas. I referenced my agricultural background as a rancher and farmer, for example, to enlighten me as to why shepherds tended their flock at night.
From the evidence presented in each mystery, I sought to infer the most probable facts, as any lawyer may do. Obviously, an inference is not as strong as direct evidence of the fact inferred, so there is always the possibility of error; after all, one is dealing with probabilities. I also did what the rules of evidence prohibit—that is, I drew inferences from inferences. From a probability one infers another probability. This is not as reliable as the original inference, but it is what we all do every day because we can then construct a factual picture which is normally reliable, though certainly not perfect.
While writing my book, a friend asked why I would want to know such details of these biblical events. It’s a good question. Knowing the details will not get me into Heaven. My answer is that the reason is two-fold: (1) Scripture frequently is open to interpretation. It is ambiguous, as witnessed by the existence of a multitude of Christian ecclesial entities in the United State, each with a different interpretation that called that denomination into existence. (2) The witness of each Gospel varies from the witness of the others, and that is a good sign. Every lawyer who has spent much time in the courthouse knows that when the witnesses all agree on every detail, the testimony has been “cooked.” Different witnesses to the same event or transaction see different things, remember different things, and consider different things to be important. The testimony of each witness may be truthful, but their testimonies need to be correlated. The meditations involve a lot of correlation, particularly regarding the events of Holy Week and the post-Resurrection appearances.
In my book, I investigate and examine the events mentioned in the Mysteries of the Rosary. For those of you reading this who are not familiar with the Rosary, please note that “mystery” is not to be interpreted as something beyond comprehension. Instead, “mystery” refers to a significant moment in the life of Mary or Jesus that reaffirms the Gospel message. Hence, I examine the events in The Joyful Mysteries, which cover the joy radiating from the event of the Incarnation through Jesus’ infancy and hidden life in Nazareth; The Luminous Mysteries, which cover the public life of Jesus; The Sorrowful Mysteries, which cover the individual moments of the Passion; and The Glorious Mysteries, which cover Christ’s and Mary’s glory—in the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus and in the Assumption and Coronation of Mary.
This blog and website will be an extension of the book. I will cover a variety of topics, all related in one way or another to the Rosary Mysteries, and all pertinent to the story of Jesus and his life as we know it. You can expect some insight on major events and people, explanations of feast days and holy days of obligation in the Church, and other meditations that I reflect on during my journey through the Bible and the Catholic tradition. I’ve also provided resources on my website to help you more easily understand the people, places, and historical events mentioned in the Bible.
Whether you are Catholic or Protestant, I hope my examination of the Rosary Mysteries and the topics we will cover in this blog will serve to strengthen your faith and your soul.