One December morning in 1931, Fr. Josemaría dashed off this small book in one sitting, just after celebrating Mass. He poured into these pages an example of his way of meditating the mysteries of the life of Jesus and Mary, and of reciting the Rosary.
At that time the young founder was going from one side of Madrid to the other on pastoral visits, wrapped in his cloak, fingering the beads of his Rosary, immersed in a contemplative praying of the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. It was the prayer of a child who abandoned himself into the arms of his mother precisely because he had need of much strength.
Contemplation and spiritual childhood: these are the two solid pillars of the text. “I must tell them a secret,” the author commences, “which may very well be the beginning of the road that Christ wants them to follow. My friend, if you want to be great, become little. To be little you have to believe as children believe, to love as children love, to abandon yourself as children do... to pray as children pray. You have to do all this if you are going to achieve what I am going to tell you in these lines: The beginning of the way, at the end of which you will find yourself completely carried away by love for Jesus, is a trusting love for Mary.”
Contemplation: to participate in the mystery from within, as one more character present. “We will admire his thirty years of hidden life... We will be present at his Passion and death... We will be awed by the glory of his Resurrection...” This is a Rosary solidly anchored in Scripture.
Striking is the literary, at times poetic, quality of the text. Parting with his reader, he confides, “My friend: I have told you just part of my secret. It is up to you, with God’s help, to discover the rest. Take courage. Be faithful. Become little. Our Lord hides from the proud and reveals the treasures of his grace to the humble. Don’t worry if, when thinking on your own, daring and childish words and affections arise in your heart. This is what Jesus wants, and Mary is encouraging you. If you say the Rosary in this way, you will learn to pray well.”
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