I just finished a book that’s worth mention, and worth sharing, and worth rereading often. The Rosary, by Garry Wills, was handed to me by Padre quite some time ago. “Pretty good book,” he said in his low-key way (and there was no Irish humor in this comment). That was an understatement!

Wills examines the rosary, and explains the tradition behind it. He opened my eyes to a couple of things about the rosary and its history (which I won’t ruin for you here, because you really should read it yourself!). The meat of the book is a mystery-by-mystery examination, which this reviewer explains far better than I could (from amazon):

…a deceptively simple analysis of the most potent and recognizable symbol of
traditional Catholicism. After providing an enlightening history of the rosary,
highlighting the passionate conflicts associated with the physical object itself
and with the actual practice of saying the rosary, Wills painstakingly dissects
and analyzes each of the rosary’s distinctive elements. The four prayers
connected with the rosary–the Apostle’s Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary,
and the Glory Be–are briefly examined and explained. The bulk of the narrative
is devoted to placing the Joyful Mysteries, the Luminous Mysteries, the
Sorrowful Mysteries, and the Glorious Mysteries firmly into historical,
theological, and spiritual context. Gorgeously illustrated with reproductions of
paintings by Tintoretto, this beneficial guide will erase any lingering
ambiguity about the meaning and the message of the rosary.
Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Put a copy of The Rosary in your summer reading pile. You won’t be sorry you did.