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Item #: 0848-3
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Mirror of Scripture and Gateway to Prayer

Author: Deacon Roy Barkley
Copyright: 2000
First Printed: 01-24-2001

The incidents in the life of Christ reflected in the Mysteries of the Rosary summarize the story of our redemption. They are all derived either directly or indirectly from Sacred Scripture. All but the last two come straight from the inspired word, whereas the Assumption and the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin are prophetically veiled in Scripture and subsequently elaborated in authoritative Sacred Tradition which reflects the contemplative and Spirit-guided mind of the Church. In fact, the Mysteries of the Rosary embody in small compass so much of the meaning of God’s word that they almost constitute a summary of revelation. This book about the Mysteries of the Rosary is scriptural, Christ-centered and Marian. Its subject is the connection between the Mysteries of the Rosary and the rest of Scripture, and between the Rosary and some of those elements in our culture that plead most insistently for a remedy from the Mother of God. Its goal is to encourage devotion to the Blessed Virgin and to bring her bountiful influence to bear on the many problems of the world we in which we live. The lovely illustrations by Serge Nouailhat of the French Communaute des Beatitudes enhance the beauty of the thoughtful reflections contained in this work.

About the Author: Deacon Roy Barkley, a native of Texas, received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1974. He was trained as a medievalist and is particularly interested in the Church Fathers. In addition to teaching at colleges in Texas, Ohio, Michigan and Germany, he has worked as a professional editor and writer for twenty-five years. Since his ordination to the diaconate in 1991, he has served in the Diocese of Austin. He is a parish director of religious education, a former president of the Texas Catholic Historical Society, and a long time member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. This is his first book for Alba House.

Book: 236 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8189-0848-4
Prod. Code: 0848-3


"Your meditations on the mysteries of the Rosary beautifully combine scholarship and sincerity. The illustrations of Serge Nouailhat are striking and thought-provoking. I know that your work will be a great help to many." --Fr. Thomas A. Thompson, S.M., Director, The Marian Library


"Deacon Barkley tells us in the Preface: "My main purpose is to encourage the use of the Rosary as the centerpiece, next to the Mass, of one's prayer life." He has done an excellent job in accomplishing this purpose. He begins with a chapter on the vocation of Mary, of how she accepts and reflects on the word of God and how she becomes a model for all of us in our own spiritual journey. The following chapters then deal with each of the mysteries. These reflections are highlighted by the gorgeous illustrations of Serge Nouailhat both at the beginning of each mystery as well as on the cover of the book. Barkley uses a set structure to discuss each mystery. First, there is a scriptural view of the mystery. This is followed by some important affiliations between this passage and the rest of the Bible. Then the reader is asked to reflect on how this mystery affects one's spiritual life, the culture of today and current societal problems. The first chapter on Mary can also help in this matter because the fourth section deals with the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in these particular scenes. Finally, suggested intentions are offered when praying the mysteries. Readers will find the book as a great source of inspiration for meditating and praying the Rosary. Those who daily pray the Rosary will want to deepen their own experience and perhaps learn some new insights into their devotional practice. Those who do not regularly say this prayer may discover some scriptural nuances that may move them to pray the Rosary more often." --Joseph Ballard in Pastoral Life, December 2001


"Roy Barkley, deacon of the Diocese of Austin, Texas, has written an attractively printed book reflecting on the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary in which he connects the mysteries with Scripture. In writing his book, he hopes to lead the reader to a more profound devotion to Mary and Jesus. Each chapter on a specific mystery shares the same organization: an explication of the literal meaning of the Scripture source; an affiliation with other Bible passages; an application of the mystery to our own lives; a recollection of the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the mystery; and finally, an intention designed to lead us to further prayer. The book is enlivened by wonderful color illustrations by the French religious artist, Serge Nouailhat. A rewarding title for anyone interested in learning about or experiencing more deeply the prayer practice of the Rosary. Recommended." --Arnold Rzepecki in Catholic Library World, September 2001


"Barkley's book focuses on the rosary as a summary of the story of salvation history. --Clare Boehmer, ASC in Review for Religious, September-October 2001


"Deacon Roy Barkley of the Diocese of Austin offers the reader a graceful exposition of the mysteries of the rosary from a biblical perspective. He introduces each set of mysteries with an overall theological introduction and then gives the biblical background to each of the individual mysteries. Lovely color prints appropriate to each biblical mystery also grace the volume and enhance its value as solid spiritual reading. --Donald Senior, CP in The Bible Today, July/August 2001


"With a Preface setting out the author's goals, four chapters (beginning with 'Mary and the Rosary'), along with an Afterword on 'The Rosary as a Living Prayer,' The Mysteries of the Rosary (Mirror of Scripture and Gateway to Prayer), by Deacon Roy Barkley, educator, editor, historian, and parish director of religious education (Diocese of Austin, TX) has illustrations for each mystery by Serge Nouailhat (member of the French Communauté Des Beatitudes). Among the author's aims: Reference the Rosary (celebrating the mysteries of salvation) along with the Mass as center pieces of prayer life. He points out the connections between mysteries of the rosary and other scriptural references -- and notes 'elements in our culture that plead most insistently for a remedy from the Mother of God.'" --Crux of the News, July 23, 2001


"Barkley introduces the reader to two key items of the rosary early in the book. The rosary is a gospel prayer and the themes of its mysteries are a beautiful summary of our redeeming story. It was Pope Paul VI who called the rosary the gospel prayer. Mary is presented not as a substitute for Jesus but as the perfect Christian. Whose whole life was more centered on Jesus, in a special unique and maternal way, than that of Mary? Each of the 15 decades is covered in five steps each. The first step is an explanation of the scriptural lesson from the rosary. The second step which tends to be a little deeper is the relation of the rosary mystery to the entire gospel lessons. This will require a little more energy but will be very rewarding to the reader. The last three steps are the application of the mystery lesson, the role of Mary and the intentions it can evoke in us. This book is longer than the average book or booklet on Mary. It is also as proportionately rewarding. Barkley has an interesting background. Holder of a doctorate degree from the University of Texas at Austin, he was trained as a medievalist with a special interest in the great Church Fathers. he is a deacon in the Diocese of Austin and is director of religious education in his parish. He is former president of the Texas Catholic Historical Society and a member of the American Mariological Society. His book on the rosary is highly recommended but it requires your attention. It is not lightly written. --Rev. James Vanderholt in Media, June 22, 2001

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