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Ignatian-style Rosary 

Painting of Jesus, arms raisedSECOND CONTEMPLATION:
Peter on the day after Jesus died.

  1. I can not believe it--he is gone. I am desolate.
  2. If I had admitted I knew him, would I have died with him?
  3. But I was afraid and said I had never met him, not once but three times.
  4. And he was the one who gave me life and taught me to love and hope.
  5. I will never forget his forgiving look of love that night in the garden after his arrest.
  6. He loves me, even in my weakness.
  7. What will happen to us now.. what are we to make of all his promises?
  8. I was so unwilling to let him wash my feet at Passover. It is a moment I shall never forget.
  9. Where is Judas?  Is he weeping now as I was in the garden the other night?
  10. Just last week I saw Jesus raise Lazarus to life. And now this?

Glass image of Jesus eating with his disciplesTHIRD CONTEMPLATION:
The apostles gather in the room of the last supper

  1. Philip says: We came back here because we did not know where else to go.
  2. This is where he washed our feet and told us to love one another.
  3. He asked us to remember him in the breaking of the bread.
  4. Word has just come that Judas has been found dead, hanging from a tree.
  5. Lock the doors, so we can't be found. I'm afraid.
  6. How can it be that all those wonders we experienced have ended like this?
  7. We hear there is a guard at the tomb. Why are they there?
  8. For some, Jesus was always a threat, but we only experienced love from him.
  9. Why were so many of our leaders opposed to his teaching and could not see the hand of God in the healings we witnessed?
  10. When it seems safe, we must go to the tomb and mourn there.

Reflections of the disciples on the way to Emmaus

  1. It is over. He is dead. We could not bear to stay in Jerusalem any longer.
  2. We listened to him speak of God as a loving Father, we saw him give sight to a blind man.
  3. He forgave a woman her sins, just when others would have stoned her.
  4. He was good, loving--and he challenged those who seemed to be without love.
  5. We left home to follow him. We had hoped he was the Messiah.
  6. Now our dreams are shattered. Have we been used?
  7. The road is dusty. We are filled with sadness. Now we must continue our wait for the Messiah.
  8. We should have stayed in Emmaus, and not followed this preacher.
  9. If God really worked those miracles through him, how could God leave him to die in such an awful way?
  10. Who is approaching us?  Maybe he has recent news from the city about the close followers of Jesus.

Mary after Calvary

  1. After they laid my son in the tomb, John took me to his home.
  2. His mother and family cared for me, but I could not sleep that night.
  3. Images of Calvary keep flashing into my mind. My garments were soiled by his wounded body when I held him.
  4. The next day was the Sabbath so we could not leave the house.
  5. That night I was so exhausted I must have fallen into a deep sleep.
  6. As the morning light came into my room, I felt something touch my cheek, then it went away.
  7. I opened my eyes and Jesus was there. He kissed and embraced me.
  8. I thought I was dreaming, but then he called me “mother.”
  9. I threw my arms around him and held him closely. He looked so different.
  10. Then he said: Later, the others will see me too, but I wanted you to be the first one I visited.


Painting of mother and childFIRST CONTEMPLATION
Preaching of John the Baptist

  1. John’s parents Elizabeth and Zechariah do not under-stand why their son has no wife and wishes to leave home.
  2. They hear that their son is an itinerant preacher and wears strange garments.
  3. John proclaims a message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins and baptizes all who come to him at the river Jordan.
  4. Crowds flock to him and he criticizes those who are fickle in their love of the Lord.  Elizabeth and Zechariah wonder at his words.
  5. The Temple leaders and the people become excited and search the scriptures.  Is this the long awaited Messiah?
  6. Mary too hears many stories about her cousin, John, and she wonders also why her own son as gone away.
  7. John’s pointed preaching reaches even to Herod and his unlawful wife Herodias.  She urges Herod to arrest John, thinking this will put an end to an awkward notoriety.
  8. John sees, from a distance, his cousin Jesus approaching, and senses a curious grace stirring in his heart.
  9. Jesus comes to John and their eyes meet in a knowing glance.  Jesus kneels before the prophet and receives the same baptism as all the others.
  10. Some bystanders hear John address someone as “the Lamb of God”.  They stretch to see who it is, but then become distracted and look away.

Image of Jesus and the apostlesSECOND CONTEMPLATION:
The Call of the Apostles

  1. Simon and his brother Andrew are hard at work, sweating over the fish they had just caught, preparing them for market.
  2. In Galilee, Philip and his friend Nathanael watch the sun set on yet another monotonous day of hard work.  They read the scriptures and reflect on God’s word.
  3. In a small place sits Levi, the despised tax collector.  He counts the day’s receipts and eagerly pockets his profits.
  4. Zebedee mends a fishing net in the cool shade while his sons James and John work in the afternoon heat at the boat.  He wonders why his family chose fishing as their trade.
  5. It is late in the afternoon and the Baptist says “there is the Lamb of God” and two of his disciples leave him and follow Jesus.
  6. They sense a unique quality in this stranger and can not understand why he seems so different.  They notice that his hands betray a life of hard work.
  7. “Rabbi, where are you staying?” and Jesus invites them to “come and see.”  Somewhere in their souls they know they have met someone who will forever alter their lives.
  8. It is four in the afternoon and Jesus’ new friends are unaware of the passage of time, so taken are they by his words and presence.
  9. Jesus sees simple men before him, but knows that His Father will inspire greatness out of their humble nature.
  10. Zebedee misses his sons and wonders how he will be able to work without them.  What is it they found in this man from Galilee?

Death of John the Baptist

  1. Herod is angered with John and throws him into prison.  It is a dank, putrid place, and the stench makes him long for the sweet odors of the countryside. 
  2. Herodius plots to see John die; Herod was taken with John’s preaching and looks for some other way to deal with him.
  3. Some of John’s followers visit him and relay all they have seen and heard about Jesus.  John ponders their words and prays.  He wonders about his fate.
  4. John sends word to Jesus and asks if he is the One to come.  Jesus does not answer “yes,” but instead points to the evidence of his miracles. 
  5. John’s followers struggle to separate themselves from him and follow Jesus.  Others doubt his miracles and hesitate.
  6. Herod plans a party.  There will be much music, fine food and dancing.
  7. John hears the distant sound of merriment; Herodias prepares her daughter to perform a dance.
  8. Herod is blinded by the wine, the music, the young girl’s dance; he rashly promises her any wish.  Herodias sees her moment.
  9. John is startled by the sudden arrival of the guard.  They quickly dispatch their orders, caring not about their blood stained garments.
  10. John’s severed head is brought into the banquet room; people gasp; Herodias smirks in satisfaction; even today people die in such a hideous way.

Statue of Jesus in front of a churchFOURTH CONTEMPLATION
Pardon of the sinful woman

  1. Jesus comes to dine at the Pharisee Simon’s house, many other guests are reclining at table there too, whispering among themselves as others come and go.
  2. From a shadowed corner, a distraught woman peers into the room; she sees Jesus there, conversing with the guests.
  3. Accusing eyes look at a weeping woman who baths Jesus’ feet with ointment and her tears.
  4. Jesus is filled with compassion for this sorrowful, sinful woman; Simon and his guests silently marvel in disgust, knowing who she is, and Jesus knows their thoughts.
  5. Eyes turn as Jesus asks Simon a question about forgiveness; the woman continues to dry Jesus feet with her hair.
  6. Simon, you gave me no water to bath my feet, but this woman has not ceased to wash them with her tears.
  7. Looking at the woman Jesus says her many sins are forgiven because of her great sorrow and love. 
  8. Cynical eyes dart about as the guests refuse to accept these words; who but God can forgive sins?
  9. The woman rises, head bowed in humble thanksgiving; sensing fresh hope and a new beginning, she disappears into the shadows.
  10. The meal continues, more wine is poured; some talk, some whisper, all are astounded by what they have seen and heard.

The Rich Young Man

  1. Jesus is on a journey with some of his disciples; He listens to them as they try to understand his parables.
  2. A young man, and his friends, walks up to Jesus and looks at Him in eager anticipation of a question; the disciples can tell he is wealthy person.
  3. He asks… how do I attain eternal life?  All turn and look at Jesus as they await his reply.
  4. Jesus answers by repeating the Commandments; but the young man seeks more.. he senses a greater depth here.
  5. The young man replies that he has always done this, and Jesus looks on him lovingly.  Could his friends have given the same answer?
  6. “Then one thing is lacking, says Jesus: go, sell what you have, give all to the poor, and then follow me.”  The young man’s shoulders drop in sad disappointment and he slowly looks away.
  7. Attachments to the things of this world make rough the road to our eternal goal.  Jesus notes how hard it is for some to separate themselves from this world’s attractions.
  8. Jesus’ disciples are amazed at the directness of His reply and wonder who, then, can be saved. 
  9. They wonder at His meaning.Peter says: we have left all and followed you, and Jesus responds that all will be returned to them many times over, in this life and in the life to come.
  10. Jesus sees the young man and his friends disappear in the distance.  Little do they know that God’s grace is still with them, waiting to be understood and believed.


The early years

  1. After a long search, Mary and Joseph find their young son in the temple; he tells them that he must be in his father’s house.
  2. Among the bustle of other travelers, they at last take the road to Nazareth; Jesus seems unconcerned about his unexplained absence.
  3. Joseph teaches Jesus the carpenter’s trade; the hard work gives him strong hands and a creative spirit.
  4. Mary prepares a meal; she remembers how their lives together all began and ponders what their future will be.
  5. After many years, Jesus hears the voice of John’s preaching; he bids his parents goodbye and sets out on the road away from Nazareth.
  6. After he receives John’s baptism, he goes into the desert, to fast and to seek quiet solitude with his Father.
  7. Satan tempts Jesus: If you are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread.
  8. Satan shows Jesus all worldly glory; he offers it to Jesus if only he will fall down and worship him.
  9. Satan tries to twist Scripture to his own ends, but Jesus is not lead astray.
  10. At last the temptations cease and peace returns to his soul; he experiences the consolation of evil resisted.

The Lost Son

  1. A father give his young son his inheritance, he sadly embraces and kisses him, and watches as he slowly disappears in the distance.
  2. The young son makes new friends; they enjoy his good taste and high living.
  3. Time passes and he cares not about tomorrow; his father prays for him every day.
  4. The money is spent; he wonders why his friends have gone away, just when he needs them.
  5. He finds lowly work feeding swine; he knows hunger, poverty, loneliness, rejection.
  6. He thinks of his father’s house, his family, the household; he wonders what they are having for dinner tonight.
  7. The young man comes to his senses and begins his long journey home, filled with remorse and sorrow.
  8. In the far distance he sees his home and someone running toward him.
  9. His father can only embrace and kiss his repentant son; he feels only joy at the sight of him.
  10. Deep in his heart, the young man always knew of his father’s love; he wonders why it took him so long to accept it.

The Jewish Leaders

  1. Teachers of the Temple discuss Jesus; some are angrily vocal, others listen quietly.
  2. Nicodemus has witnessed miracles; he has heard Jesus speak to the people; he wonders at what is happening.
  3. Slowly he shares his thoughts with some of his fellow Pharisees; they agree someone should visit Jesus.
  4. In the dark of night Nicodemus finds where Jesus is staying; he hesitates a moment when asking for him.
  5. He acknowledges Jesus’ heavenly mission, saying his signs are unmistakable.
  6. Jesus says: “unless you are born again of water and spirit you will not see the Kingdom of God.”
  7. “What is born of flesh is flesh, and what is born of spirit, is spirit.”
  8. “For God so loved the world, He gave his only Son, that all might have eternal life.”
  9. “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
  10. As he returns into the cold night, Nicodemus’ mind is filled with new questions; what will he say to his fellow Pharisees?

Image of the bread of lifeFOURTH CONTEMPLATION
The bread of life

  1. A large crowd spends tiring hours rowing across a lake in search of Jesus on the opposite shore.
  2. Jesus tells them to search for the food which leads to “eternal” life.
  3. The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.
  4. And Jesus says, as he points to himself: I am this bread of life.
  5. Those who believe in me, my Father will raise on the last day.
  6. Many scoff and say that this is crazy talk; how can his flesh and blood be food and drink?
  7. The living Father has sent me to be your food which leads to eternal life.
  8. It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail; my words are spirit and truth.
  9. At these words, many of his followers turn away; but Peter and others remain, trusting in his often puzzling statements, not yet knowing where it will all lead.
  10. Who but God would think of giving such a gift?  Jesus’ body and blood is real… yesterday, today and always.

Priest holding a cupFIFTH CONTEMPLATION
The Transfiguration of the Lord

  1. Peter, James and John begin a tiring hike up a hillside, following Jesus’ invitation to come apart with him.
  2. They reach the end of their walk, collapse on the warm ground, and soon fall asleep.
  3. They awake to see that Jesus is totally changed; a bright light surrounds him, his garments are illuminated, and he is conversing with someone.
  4. Moses and Elijah are present with Jesus, and Peter impulsively wants to build tents for each of them.
  5. The awe of the moment captivates the apostles as their eyes and ears perceive the majesty of things unearthly.
  6. Then, in a moment, a bright cloud cast a shadow over all of them and they hear a voice say “this is my beloved Son.”
  7. In an instant they become fearful and fall to the ground trembling.
  8. Jesus tells them to get up and not to be afraid.  They open their eyes and see only Jesus.
  9. The apostles follow Jesus down the mountain trail, silently pondering this extraordinary experience of Jesus’ father speaking to them.
  10. Much later the apostles remember this moment and better understand how it strengthens their faith.