Thanks for your question.
The Rosary is prayer or meditation that is very Christocentric. It
was developed in the Middle Ages to fight a heresy about Jesus,
Some were teaching that Jesus was not God from the moment of conception. To counter this Mary appear to St. Dominic and gave him the Rosary;
it has fifteen mysteries which revolve around the Incarnation.
Starting from the Annunciation to Mary, that she would conceive Jesus by the
power of The Holy Spirit, these mysteries take us through Jesus' life as
[Man and God] to His Suffering, Death, Burial and Resurrection. The last two
mysteries, Mary's Assumption and Coronation, appear to be about Mary, but deeper meditation show that they are
about the Body of Christ, the Church, who will some day be assumed into
Heaven and be crowned, the Bride of Christ. These events did happen to Our
Lady, and she has always been seen since the earliest Christian writings,
as the Icon of the Church.
Sadly, many do not realize that they should be meditating on these mysteries
as they pray but when the Rosary was developed, it was the way
people learned. In the thirteenth century, you could not go up the street to you
local store and buy a Bible. Most people couldn't read, so the
Church used our prayer life as a way of drilling home Truths about the
If you go through the words of the Hail Mary carefully, you'll see this
prayer was given to fight a heresy about Jesus not being God from the moment
of conception. The first part of the Hail Mary is straight from the Scriptures in Luke, Chapter One.
Let us dissect the main points
Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God
Again, this prayer drives home the Incarnation. The title Mother of God is there to insure a proper understanding of who Jesus Christ is.
By becoming a man, the Eternal Word chose to make man a participant in
the redemption of humanity. Therefore, everyone, who is "in Christ", becomes
a co-heir and co-laborer with Christ. This "collaboration" in
the spreading of the Gospel is nothing less then co-redemption. Every time
a Christian leads someone to Christ, or assists a fellow Christian in the
process of sanctification by word, dead, action, or prayer they are playing
the role of co-redeemer. That is what it means to be a co-redeemer and
indeed a Christian.
Mary played a particular role in the redemption of
mankind by bringing Christ into the world.
She continues that role by her
intercession. St. James wrote that "the prayer of a righteous man avails much." (James 5:16)
Mary, being righteous and in the presence of God, and therefore knowing
His will, has an intrinsically powerful ministry of intercession.
You say you are a Catholic. Well, I'm a former Baptist Minister, and I
used to have all the same reservations you do. I'm glad you are asking
these questions. We can help you with them, but I would encourage you
to study the faith a bit deeper before you make such sweeping generalizations
or superficial judgments. The Church has been here for 2000 years longer
then either one of us. If there is something that seems odd to us, it's
our understanding that is incorrect, not the Church.
Well my friend, may you fulfill all your dreams in Christ, Jesus, and by all
means stay in touch.
Under His Mercy,