The Rosary and Contemplative Prayer Course
Instructor: Dr. Anthony Lilles
Professor of Theology, St. Patrick’s Seminary, Menlo Park, CA
At the dawn of the New Millennium, St. John Paul II wrote an apostolic letter on the rosary as an aid to his great pastoral program: contemplating the face of Christ. He presents this contemplation as both Marian and Eucharistic, a loving gaze that discovers the gaze of Christ through the Church. Twenty years later, the Church faces a crisis in Eucharistic devotion and at the same time, a crisis in personal prayer. Having lost a sense of the Real Presence of Christ, many Catholics are adrift in the chaos of secularism, and they are searching for something sacred to hang onto that will help them regain a sense of hope. Contemplation in the Catholic spiritual tradition as expressed in the rosary offers a life line for these disciples. These lectures propose Marian devotion to Christ found in the rosary as a powerful tool for spiritual revival. A biblical, historical and practical exploration, participants reflect on the meaning, mysteries and power that this contemplation unleashes for fuller and more conscious participation in the liturgy, renewal of Eucharistic devotion, and spiritual transformation.
Course Syllabus: The Rosary and Contemplative Prayer, September-October 2022
An online course for the School of Pastoral Ministry, Archdiocese of San Francisco
Instructor: Dr. Anthony Lilles, Professor of Theology, St. Patrick’s Seminary, Menlo Park, CA
Highly Recommended Reading*:
John Paul II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, Apostolic Letter, 2002. Available here: https://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_letters/2002/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_20021016_rosarium-virginis-mariae.html
Aidan Nichols, OP There is No Rose: the Mariology of the Catholic Church, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2015, pp 1-21, 131-150 (available as an eBook through the San Francisco Public Library)
Hans Urs von Balthasar and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), Mary: The Church at the Source, trans. Adrian Walker, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005, pp 19-36 (available through FORMED.org)
- Describe how the rosary has impacted you or the life of the Church and the context of the rosary today.
- Discuss the meaning of the mysteries of the Rosary and their relation to contemplation and Eucharistic Revival.
- Discern best practices and personal appropriation of the rosary in one’s own life, family and parish.
*For the St. Patrick’s Seminary Students required to take this course the “Highly Recommended Reading” is REQUIRED.
September 13: Marian Piety, Contemplation and Eucharistic Revival: a context for our study. Lecture based in recommended readings (see above) from There is No Rose and Mary: The Church at the Source.
Slide presentation as a PDF: