The Lord’s Prayer is the most excellent prayer of all since it has Christ for its author; it is therefore more excellent as a prayer than the Ave, and this is why it is the first prayer of the Rosary. But the Ave is more excellent than the Lord’s Prayer in that it contains the Name of Christ, which is mysteriously identified with Christ himself, for “God and His Name are identical”; now Christ is more than the Prayer he taught, and the Ave, which contains Christ through his Name, is thus more than this Prayer; this is why the recitations of the Ave are much more numerous than those of the Pater and why the Ave constitutes, with the Name of the Lord that it contains, the very substance of the Rosary. What we have just stated amounts to saying that the prayer of the “servant” addressed to the “Lord” corresponds to the “Lesser Mysteries”—and we recall that these concern the realization of the primordial or Edenic state, hence the fullness of the human state—whereas the Name of God itself corresponds to the “Greater Mysteries”, the finality of which is beyond every individual state.
From the microcosmic point of view, as we have seen, “Mary” is the soul in a state of “sanctifying grace”, qualified to receive the “Real Presence”; “Jesus” is the divine Seed, the “Real Presence” which must bring about the transmutation of the soul, namely, its universalization or reintegration in the Eternal. “Mary”—like the “Lotus”—is “surface” or “horizontal”; “Jesus”—like the “Jewel”* —is “center” and, in dynamic relationship, “vertical”. “Jesus” is God in us, God who penetrates and transfigures us.
Among the meditations of the Rosary the “joyful Mysteries” concern the “Real Presence” of the Divine in the human, from the point of view adopted here and in connection with ejaculatory prayers; as for the “sorrowful Mysteries” they describe the redemptive “imprisonment” of the Divine in the human, the inevitable profanation of the “Real Presence” by human limitations; finally the “glorious Mysteries” relate to the victory of the Divine over the human, the liberation of the soul by the Spirit.
*We are here alluding to the well-known Buddhist formula: Om mani padme hum. There is an analogy worth noticing between this formula and the name “Jesus of Nazareth”: the literal meaning of Nazareth is “flower”, and mani padme means “jewel in the lotus”.
I heard my deceased elder say that even people who do not pray, but who either have the or are sick, see light streaming from every article in the darkest of rooms; they distinguish objects, sense their double, and penetrate the thoughts of other people. But what proceeds directly from the grace of God in the prayer of the heart gives so much delight that no tongue is able to express it. It cannot be matched in any material thing; it is even beyond compare. Everything perceptible is base in comparison with the sweet sensations of grace in the heart.
–The Pilgrim’s tale
“ Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. ”
–The Prayer of the Heart
The real purpose of meditation is this: to teach a man how to work himself free of created things and temporal concerns, in which he only finds confusion and sorrow, and enter into a conscious and loving contact with God in which he is disposed to receive from God the help he knows he needs so badly, and pay to God the praise and honor and thanksgiving and love which it has now become his joy to give.
Jesus Prayer in Romanian Doamne Iisuse Hristoase, Fiul lui Dumnezeu, miluieşte-mă pe mine păcătosul.
English translation Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.