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I lived with a Vincentian who was a railroad buff. The walls of his room were covered with scenic railroad posters. With joy he would tell you that he had ridden every major railroad in the US. His face would light up when he could show someone proof in his collection of punched train tickets from the 1950’s!

I think of him today under two headings – his love of riding trains and his scrapbook of memories.

The Rosary as Mary’s Memories

Mother’s scrapbooks

I am sure some were surprised … and deeply moved  by … what you discovered your mother kept of your childhood.

Baby shoes, coloring books, report cards, Mother’s Day cards – maybe even your first baby tooth. All memories precious to her.

The rosary as “Mary’s memories”

St. John Paul described the mysteries of the rosary as “Mary’s Memories.” We know she “kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Lk 2:19; cf. 2:51).

St. John Paul wrote…

The memories of Jesus, impressed upon her heart, were always with her, leading her to reflect on the various moments of her life at her Son’s side. In a way, those memories were to be the “rosary” that she recited uninterruptedly throughout her earthly life.

To me, that’s another way of saying she kept a scrapbook of memories in her heart.

In her heart, I am sure she had memories that were joyful, sorrowful, and glorious… and now light-filled.

Mary’s memories of the train bound for glory – the glorious mysteries.

These mysteries remind us we are already on a train bound for glory

  • Jesus was bound for glory in the journey of his Resurrection … and Ascension
  • Pentecost reminds us we are all called aboard this train and to spread the Good News
  • Her Assumption reminds us that Mary was on the early train and awaits us.
  • In the fullness of time the Coronation of Our Lady in Heaven reminds us that we are coheirs with her.

Mary’s memories of glory nourish us today

Mary’s memories remind us of an Afro-American spiritual…

This train is bound for glory
This train… is bound for glory,

Her memories strengthen us as we ride that glory train. In faith, we ride with Jesus and Mary on our pilgrimage of faith and journey to our homeland.

I now understand better the Catechism of the Catholic Church

In [Mary] we contemplate what the Church already is in her, [the Church’s] mystery on her own ‘pilgrimage of faith,’ and what she will be in the homeland at the end of her journey. (#972) 

That has been the good news since the Garden of Eden to the end of times

See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, can’t you see it (Isaiah 43:19) 

Eye has not seen what God has in store for us

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. (Revelation 12:1)

The glorious mysteries are food for our journey as members of the pilgrim People of God in history.

Mary’s memories of the journey to glory are “good news” giving meaning to our lives.

Oh…. Fr. India … looked forward to his last train ride.  The night the nurse told him she would be in later to look in in on him. He peacefully said. Don’t worry. I won’t be here. He wasn’t. It seems he knew he was making the final journey of a lifetime, the journey he so often made in contemplating the Glorious mysteries.

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