If God wants man to be united with him in the perfect love that the Blessed Trinity always had, has, and will have, then man must do whatever it takes to achieve and maintain that loving union with God.
To help us attain to that everlasting union, God has given us three gifts. By these gifts, we may come to know, love and serve God in this life, so that we may be happy with him forever in the next. These three distinct gifts together form a pathway that will lead us to our final end if we continue to walk along it.
The first of these gifts is Holy Scripture. Here is the Word of God, presented to mankind as God’s revelation of his love for them. By it we may come to know God. In its most basic analysis it contains the three fundamental elements of the Story of Redemption—man’s creation, his fall from grace, and his restoration to the life of grace.
The Holy Rosary is God’s second gift to man. This time he gave it through the hands of his Blessed and Immaculate Mother, reminding us of her essential role in our Creation and Redemption. Her Rosary encapsulates the scriptural Story of Redemption, highlighting its essential events so that we may see the big picture without distraction. When we encounter these events in the context of the joys, sorrows and glories of Our Divine Saviour and his Blessed Mother, we naturally apply them to our own life experience with all its own joys and sorrows. The Rosary is our instruction manual on how to correspond to God’s love for us by means of the daily joys and sorrows we face in our lives, and the glories that are promised to us hereafter. The Rosary shows us how to love God.
At the Last Supper, God gave us his third gift of Divine Worship—the means by which man is enabled to adore God perfectly. This supremely acceptable form of worship would be by sacrifice. In the Old Testament, man had struggled and failed to offer to God something worthy to atone for his sins. But now, after Christ’s Passion and Death, there would be finally be a sacrifice that would be sufficiently pleasing to God. It would be the sacrifice of the Blood of a New and Everlasting Covenant between God and man, the Blood of God’s only-begotten Son shed in the Sacrifice of Calvary, the same Blood of Christ offered to his Father in the Sacrifice of the Mass. The perpetuation of the graces of Calvary through the Sacrifice of the Mass enables his faithful followers to serve God worthily.
But this third gift did not end there. The Mass would contain an extra element, a sacramental element that would allow us to know, love and serve God in this life, and be happy with him forever in the next. It would be the miraculous transformation of bread and wine into Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, but still under the form of bread and wine that could then be received sacramentally in Holy Communion. Finally, man could achieve union with God, the union that would be his final destiny and which God desires for himself and for us.
Is it any wonder, then, that there are so many connections between the Rosary and the Mass? They both have their source in God and his revelation to us of the path of salvation. They both answer our inmost yearnings for union with God, the Rosary by describing that union, and the Mass by actualizing it. As Catholics, we must cling to both Rosary and Mass in order to make sure we never deviate from the path they lay out before us.
As with all prayer, the purpose of the Mass is to unite us with God. While we do this in a spiritual sense whenever we pray, the Mass allows us to experience a more intensely intimate union with God, which we would not dare attempt if we had not been commanded to do so by our Lord himself. We feel ourselves unworthy. We know we are unworthy, and yet God commands it.
God's delight is to dwell among the children of men. He was made flesh and dwelt amongst us for this reason. He wants us to save our souls for this same reason, so that we might dwell with him forever. This is the reason we were created. Each Mystery of the Rosary carries us in spirit a step further towards that ultimate union with God in heaven. Meanwhile, in this life, God wants us to be as close to him as we can, not only spiritually but physically. He has provided us with the means of achieving true spiritual and physical union with him through the reception of his Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in Holy Communion.
While our Lord gave us the Mass, his Blessed Mother gave us the Rosary. This should not come as a surprise to us. After all, she is our Mother too. She wants us to save our souls so that God’s will may be fulfilled, her Son may be glorified in our salvation and we, her children, may be happy. She wants to lead us to her Son. For this reason she gave us her Rosary, with each of its beads a signpost on the road to salvation. These signposts all point us towards the Mass. She knows that our salvation can be achieved only through the graces that flow from the Holy Apostolic Mass and the union with God that is its fruit. And so she points the way. To the Mass through the Rosary. To Jesus through Mary.