Written by Nicole Berlucchi, October 2nd, 2023 | The Landing, Issue 2
We often think of the Rosary as a Mary prayer, but the truth is the Rosary is a marriage prayer with a very kind and loving, meddling Mom who wants what is best for us, to live our lives for Christ.
Anyone who has been married knows that a marriage is full of joy, light, sorrow/crosses, and glory. We are taught that marriage between a man and a woman should be modeled after the marriage between Christ and the Church. The Rosary gives us the opportunity to learn from that mystical union while asking for help from Mama Mary who knew and understood Jesus’ love for the Church best.
When I got married, I had already formed a habit of praying the Rosary daily. In our early years, I was often praying for changes in my husband’s behavior, but what I realize now is that even though I was praying for changes in Joe, changes in me were required in order to foster and give space for changes in him.
The early years were immaturity at its best. Lord, please help “saintly me” help my husband become more saintly like me. OK, that wasn’t my exact prayer, but you get the idea of where my head was at.
I felt I didn’t need to make changes and that Joe did need to make changes in order for our marriage to work. The truth was we both needed to do some growing up and some growing into our union, most especially remembering that our covenant was not only with each other, but also with God.
I know that the Rosary was key in unleashing the grace we both needed in order to build a marriage that could truly serve as a living symbol of God’s love in the world.
Mary helped me step by step so that when Joe and I hit a wall, we were able to listen to the Lord, remember what He had done for us, and follow His example which would lead us to glory. I’ve been asked how did I remember to focus on Christ in a moment where our marriage felt lost, and my answer is simple: the Rosary.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but the mysteries I had prayed through and meditated on over and over had instilled deep in my heart lessons. Lessons on listening. Lessons on my identity. Lessons on sacrifice, and lessons on realizing you only reach true glory with God. The basics were:
Joyful mysteries: Say yes to the Lord and trust Him.
Luminous mysteries: Root your identity in Him and what He has taught us.
Sorrowful Mysteries: Die to self and sacrifice.
Glorious mysteries: Rise higher than you ever imagined.
These four components summarize how we are to live as the spouse of Christ, knowing that He became man, walked among us, died for us and conquered death so that we might have eternal life.
In the joyful mysteries, He says yes to us, to become Incarnate, so we, in return, say yes to Him like Mary did. He shows us through Mary and Joseph what it means to trust in the earliest unknown circumstances.
In the luminous mysteries, He shows us how to live. Spouses often begin to act like each other without realizing it, picking up sayings or facial expressions by sheer nearness and time spent together. The luminous mysteries bring us into companionship with Christ so that we can imitate how He lived—on mission, interceding for others, reminding us of our true goal to reach heaven and giving Himself to us in the Eucharist so that we might truly become one with Him.
In the sorrowful mysteries, He sacrifices for us because of our sins. His sacrifice is because we have hurt Him, not in order to avoid us hurting Him. He takes all the wrong He knows we will do and loves us anyway, giving His own life as the price for our sins. In this He models that we must realize suffering is not a consequence of our own wrongdoings, but instead an opportunity to offer oneself to the Lord.
In the glorious mysteries, He reminds us that His plans are beyond our imagination and that He can accomplish anything He wills. He gives us infinite hope of the world that is to come, infusing us with the Holy Spirit to strengthen us until we reach glory.
As you can imagine, because I have prayed over these mysteries for years, I found myself not following the world’s advice of just walk away; not worth it; life will be easier alone. Instead, I was anchored to the Lord, searching for what He wanted, where He was directing me, looking at the sacrifice not as a victim, but instead of how it can serve a greater glory, a glory beyond my wildest imaginings.
I assure you He did. He brought Joe and I through a struggle with infertility that led to a struggle with intimacy which led to estrangement and disconnection, but through the Rosary, counseling, and remembering the true design for our Marriage, we found each other again. We rooted our vocation in our true mission. We lived for Christ. We sacrificed for each other and continue to do so. We hope in the future because we know God is with us until the end of time.
In this month of the holy Rosary, don’t take lightly all the Rosary offers us: how in praying Christ’s life every day with Mary interceding for us, we become more like Him and become the spouse He intended us to be.
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us. Christ the King, pray for us.
About the Author, Nicole Berlucchi
Nicole Berlucchi is a writer, wife of Joe, mom of four, a Philadelphia, PA native living in the Nashville, TN area. Devoted to Jesus and Mary, she finds the Eucharist, Adoration and the Rosary to be a continuous source of light and life for her spiritual journey. You can find her at www.nicoleberlucchi.com or on Instagram @berlucchiwriting.