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Meditation on the Sorrowful Mysteries and the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary

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  • Created on : 15 June 2013
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  • Author: Richard Michael Lamb


Meditations designed to illuminate the meaning of these mysteries.

Glossary thereto:

Kit Maude RIP Headmaster: Oratory Prep School, Bournemouth 1961-66. (OPS) Roman Catholic.
Judy Maude his spouse and Director of OPS School plays. Now RIP. Also Roman Catholic.
Maxima Lady Butler: R.M. lamb’s grandmother (maternal) – A Roman Catholic RIP.
“The Monsignor” – Monsignor J.C. Lamb, uncle to R.M. Lamb died 17/9/64 – Roman Catholic Priest (1947-64).
Jessica, Helen and Mildred spinsters and sisters to the Monsignor (All Roman Catholic) all RIP and R.A. Lamb Esq. (died 28.11.1999).
R.M. Lamb’s years at the OPS were 1961-1965. (9 years old to 13 years old)
Mrs D.M. Lamb: R.M. Lamb’s Anglican mother: spouse to R.A. Lamb Esq. father of R.M. Lamb Esq a Roman Catholic like R.M. Lamb his son.
Rev. A.L. Burrell: Father-in-law to R.M. Lamb Esq. (now RIP) (Anglican Priest) died 3/2/92.
Colonel Ralph May – Roman Catholic Layman (RIP) and good friend to R.M. Lamb Esq. and his spouse Mrs R.M. Lamb, Roman Catholic.
BVM – Blessed Virgin Mary.

1. First Mystery: Annunciation by Angel Gabriel

It would not have worked if the Blessed Virgin Mary had not believed Archangel Gabriel’s words and the intervention of Holy Spirit to enable her to conceive: Christ child.

Thus Mary’s belief made it all possible – without her belief it would all have fallen apart. The importance of her faith in God the Father and the Holy Ghost and the Archangel are crucial. It was a life creating belief. We will never see the same again. Her extraordinarily powerful belief is awe inspiring to enable the Holy Ghost to cause her to conceive Jesus in her most intimate person as a young woman.

2. Visitation to Elizabeth her kinswoman

To impart this highly personal experience to Elizabeth and not keep it to herself selfishly. Elizabeth responded in style to say “Blessed art thou among women – Blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus”. Unflinching praise and humility by Elizabeth arising out of Mary’s recounting of Annunciation story and long journey to visit Elizabeth who was also expecting – the union of two women in charity and humility. The magnificent sprang easily off Mary’s lips she was filled with spirit of Christian Charity and Humility. That is the essence of Christianity Mary teaches us. Without doubt.

3. Birth of Jesus the Christ Child

Separation from this world and poverty:

Birth in the stable no room at the Inn
The austere nature of Christ’s life – his legacy spiritual to us:
Monasteries and convents
Priesthood and bishops
Self-denial and fasting in all of us
All prayer life and unselfishness in our lives.
Lack of materialism
Austere lives

This is separation from this world which we find in all sorts of different ways through Christ. His invisible but powerful influence on us is supreme – the Way, the Truth, the Life to the Father with the Holy Spirit. You cannot deny Christ’s austerity he has bequeathed us, which we imitate.

4. The presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple. (Obedience and purity of spirit)

This centres on presentation of ourselves to Christ and God the Father. We cannot hide our blemishes. We should present ourselves always tidily to show our respect for God and our neighbour particularly in the Cathedral/Church. We present ourselves to be judged by God on every day of our lives and especially for the sacramental occasions in the Cathedral/Church, e.g. my marriage before Rev AL Burrell and the congregation our witnesses. I still face them with the sincerity and honesty of RM Lamb – the man who keeps his pledge come what may – I am guided by the Holy Ghost not mankind. The Spirit comes from the Father and the Son and presents me (RM Lamb) to the Father and the Son. I will be presented in humility and charity (Col Ralph May)

Thus I am obedient even unto death in my presentation to God in my life.

5. The Finding of Child Jesus in temple. (Piety incessant prayer)

Constant presentation in Church for Mass and confession and communion. Representation as I have presented myself before in the Cathedral and Church. My job is to present my client’s case – to represent in court. Thus unceasing prayer is enmeshed in my soul through this prayer of presentation and representation in all aspects and parts of my life.

The final presentation will be to death itself and then I will present myself to God the Father Almighty for the Last Judgement.

Meditation on Joyful Mysteries – Sunday 23rd June 2013

1. First Mystery – The Annunciation to B.V.M by the Angel Gabriel:

Essentially akin to the ordination of a priest i.e. the giving of the command and the acceptance of it. Christ commands us as Gabriel (the archangel) pronounced to Mary. Mary responded with humble and contrite obedience as we should in our lives to our various callings – vocations. Mary is the example of acceptance we should follow.

2. Second Mystery – The Visitation by Mary to her kinswoman Elizabeth also with child.

Solidarity and the pursuance of the order to accept God’s word in her own conception of Jesus – such obedience being followed through in her life and decisions. She goes not to her church or Jewish temple but to her cousin Elizabeth. She is carrying out the calling of the Annunciation in her life not for herself but for another who enunciates those words of the Hail Mary in response to Mary’s arrival: – “Blessed art thou amoung women. - Blessed is the fruit of thy Womb Jesus.” What a resounding greeting and reply and uttered by the Church down the ages thanks to Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth which bore prayerful fruit so early after the Annunciation. Charity and humility in action I say.

3. Third Mystery – Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Poverty: Very much the poor in spirit – so much to cope with yet undaunted. Separation from this world: thus not of this world and yet realistic. Not bewildered. But the nature of Christ the child recognised by very few. Most persons at that time would scorn the idea of Christ on earth and dispute that version. They would regard Joseph and Mary as dangerous cranks so Mary and Joseph had to flee in haste to Egypt with their son newly born. Separation based upon their secret in Jesus’ conception and birth clearly known to Joseph. Mary was living out with Joseph the Annunciation pronounced to her alone.

4. The presentation of the child Jesus in the Temple

Being driven by the Spirit to the Temple – they had no previous child and despite the prevailing insecurity they went to the temple with their only child. Simeon and Anna express the spirit’s direction – the sword to pierce the soul later and now you may dismiss your faithful servant. Joseph’s and Mary’s obedience to the purity of the Spirit engenders this powerful response from Simeon and Anna. The Spirit is present in all four adults and Jesus the child is centre. We see the gradual process and initiation of Christ to religion.

5. The Fifth Mystery – The finding of the boy Jesus in the temple

Jesus now really established in his religion. His understanding was remarkable. I believe R.M. Lamb had a similar understanding at the same age – 10 years to 12 years and this was noticed by the Monsignor and his sisters Jessica, Helen and Mildred the last of whom came to my confirmation: 26th February 1964. Also by my grandmother Maxima Butler Lady Butler – all devout Catholics. I had an early pious Catholicism at Oratory Prep School praying when Mass had ended as Judy Maude RIP observed and relayed by Judy to my mother, an Anglican. I chose entirely of my own volition from pamphlets Damien of the lepers for my confirmation name – I had not come across him before. I used to serve at the public mass on Sundays by rota at the Oratory Prep school. I was a member of the guild of St Stephen (server’s guild) at the OPS chapel. These developments occurred when I was a boy 10-13 years and noticed as Joseph and Mary noticed Jesus – and the elders were astonished at the boy Jesus understanding the texts. I knew my catechism not my biblical texts entirely but I did know the regular gospel readings. I would go to confession and participate in retreats at the OPS and I was a regular week day mass attendee – all thanks to the influence of Kit and Judy Maude at the Oratory Prep School. I acted with important roles in the Prep school plays each year thanks especially to Judy Maude who directed these plays and those performances drilled my gesticulations and speaking voice and comprehension for later public life in public speaking e.g. Advocacy. (Judy supplied the pamphlets on the lives of Saints for me to choose from).

6. Conclusion

Like the boy Jesus I showed early promise – He became a carpenter and worked with his father for 17-18 years before going public. I went to Downside in 1966 and did not emerge from my “seclusion” until approximately 10 or 11 years later when I practised at the Bar.

Meditations on Sorrowful Mysteries – Sunday 17 February 2013

1. Garden of Gethsemane

The agony of my contrition prior to confession (mine) today – all my sins (principally desertion 07/05/13 and continuing).

2. Scourging at the Pilier
Roman punishment Retribution

The liberal use of force in old days, as in 20th Century World Wars and Downside 1960’s. Now we are economical in money and in force and truth – they in those times were prepared to say and do what they believed which we in the Western World find difficult presently. (Even if they did not believe it they did it). We now are hesitant and prevaricate.

Crown of Thorns
La Couronne des Epines

This essentially is believing you are right and everyone is doubting you so that you begin to doubt yourself and feel bad about yourself and your foolishness. Truly being shown up for your weakness and idiocy. Self-deprecation caused by your own self-doubt and the critical eye of others in your life. You have to wear the Crown of your folie de grandeur as my father would say.

4. Carrying of the Cross

Essentially the carrying of the burden of my failings in life which have “stigmatised” me with Christ’ wounds in the metaphorical sense. It is Christ’s cross He carries and we carry ours in his footsteps. The Stigmata is the Cross of Jesus and each one of us bears and carries those invisible marks in our lives.

5. Crucifixion: The Agony and the Ecstasy

The great pain of the crucifixion is ecstasy if we embrace the Crucifix as Christ did. There could be no pain in going to His Father as He did. The crucifixion was the way to His Father as Jesus is for us. Thus His crucifixion mine and therefore my pain and ecstasy in my life. You cannot see or hear Christ’s ecstasy on the Cross but make no mistake it is invisible/inaudible and present. He is triumphantly and ecstatically going to his father as we will in our deaths and then to new life.

Meditation on the Five Glorious Mysteries

First Glorious Mystery
The resurrection of Jesus Christ (conversion of heart)

Any conversion e.g.: political rebellion or revolution is to be respected especially religious conversion. This religious conversion as the dictate of the person’s conscience should be encouraged before and after the event. It should be properly prepared for and gone into beforehand in deference to what is being asked and expected of the convert in his or her conversion. It all comes back to Christ who stands by us in all our changes, metamorphosis and transformations. Christ is the only steady post in all these rebirths and our soul’s journey – he will never desert us. Thus the message of this mystery is to strike out on your journey with the Trinity in mind and never lose heart, or look back.

Second Glorious Mystery
The Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ in to Heaven.

This mean desire for Heaven. But we must respect the boundaries between Heaven and Earth – in other words do not enter the unseen world – we should respect Heaven by observing this protocol. As we “keep our distance” from someone in our lives we must do the same with Heaven. Anyone who condemns these protocols will damn Heaven itself. You have to “die” for Christ in the metaphorical sense on earth to reach Heaven. Many do not appreciate this Call of Christ to us on earth. It is a pressing, vital and beseeching plea without doubt. Do not ignore it.

The message is aspire to Heaven with the Angels and Saints by your actions and thoughts.

Third Glorious Mystery
The Coming of the Holy Ghost – The gifts of the Spirit – The Holy Ghost.
How do we define these gifts?

Essentially the driving force and influence whereby we act in Christ’s interest and aim high. Without the Holy Ghost we are dust and dross. He drives us to meet the ultimate challenges in our lives and tests us to the limit. By the Holy Ghost everything is possible for us – nothing from the smallest thing to the greatest is impossible. I will trust rather than doubt as always.

Fourth Glorious Mystery
The glorious assumption into Heaven of BVM or Devotion to Our Lady

I have devoted my life to Mary not to exclude Christ but in His sonship and her motherhood. She is my mother in spirit as she has taught me so much by her life history and example and prayer life in mine. She and I intermingle. I am on earth – she in Heaven yet her face is in my imagination so strongly she has entered my subconscious. I have prayed so much to her and venerated womanhood in my daily life and actions the BVM can never leave my mind and soul as long as I live. The essence of Richard is adoration of the BVM in my various ways – I will never cease to piously (carefully) pray to Our Lady in her own prayers of old.

Fifth Glorious Mystery
The Crowning of the BVM as Queen of Heaven or Eternal Happiness

To reach Heaven, yes. To have that transforming and transcending experience of going from life on earth through death to Heaven itself. Everything else pales into insignificance in comparison. The great honour placed on the head of the BVM was to put right the appalling and destructive ridicule and mockery of La Couronne des epines. She is now with her son in our estimation and has rightly taken her place in Heaven as the Queen. The great unseen on Earth has now become the shining glory of Heaven. We shall bask in the glory of the BVM. All will be revealed – presently we only see dimly and darkly.