As I began to pray that first Conversion Rosary, I wanted to REALLY pray it. I didn't want to just run through the words as I did when I was a child. I wanted to REALLY immerse myself in the prayers so I could offer a proper Rosary to Our Lady. So as I prayed each mystery, I tried to place myself in the scene of the decade.
For example, during the Scourging at the Pillar, I imagined not only the Adorable Body of Christ (hanging, limp from pain, exhaustion and loss of Blood), but also of the soldiers tasked with the torture. I pictured them, massive, brutish and possibly gleeful, being goaded into worse and more sinister whippings by the invisible demons that surely surrounded them. I also pictured St. Michael the Archangel, no doubt present as well, barely able to contain his indignation and fury, held back ONLY by the gaze of His God and Master who wished to suffer this agony to save even those who would turn from Him. How St. Michael must have humbled Himself before His God as all others around Him abused and tortured Him.
During the Joyful Mysteries, I'd picture the Blessed Mother during the Annunciation given news that she was to be Mother of God. How utterly confused she must have been! But through her absolute trust in God's Will, she humbled herself (the Queen of Heaven!) before the Angel Gabriel and accepted, once more, the Divine Plan. "Hail Mary!" he said. "Hail Mary" indeed! We may not understand this anymore, being so far removed from the history in which this tiding was first offered, but "Hail" was a term reserved for royalty, something the humble, unknown Virgin of virgins would never dream to hear for herself (let alone hear it from the lips of an angel!). I wonder if all the angels in Heaven were peering down upon her at that moment, falling over one another as they waited to hear the "Fiat" fall from her lips. Could you imagine?
The reason I share these images with you is to help you look at each mystery deeper... as a picture. After all, if this Rosary is a photo album, each decade presents us a picture. Jesus, of course, is at the center of each picture, but look deeper. There are not only the surrounding images of the Blessed Mother, angels, or even sinners. There are background characters that, sometimes, are invisible to us unless we truly contemplate what each picture is showing us.
So I encourage you on your next rosary, really look at each picture. Try to place yourself in the midst of the setting and ask the Holy Spirit to show you things you may have missed, to unlock the treasure of beauty hidded within each scene from Christ's life. It makes the Rosary less of a chore, and more of a reverent, loving reminder of the gifts our God has given us.