Monday, December 27, 2010

The Glorious Mysteries and the Holy Family

A belated Merry Christmas!

I took a break from writing for the past few weeks to focus on my family and our trip to California to visit my parents and sisters.  Many thanks to those who have prayed for my dad.  He is now off all antibiotics and does not require open heart surgery at this point.  We're still praying that the next few check-ups and tests show that the infection is completely gone.

Yesterday, I did a late-night Rosary Workout on the treadmill in our hotel as I knew I would be sitting on airplanes all day today.  As I prayed the Glorious Mysteries, I thought about Jesus, Mary and Joseph since it was the Feast of the Holy Family.

As I prayed the first decade, I contemplated Jesus descending to the dead and seeing his foster father, St. Joseph.  Jesus loved him dearly, and I imagined the joy that St. Joseph must have experienced at seeing his beloved foster son and knowing that he would soon enter heaven.   I also pondered Jesus appearing to His beloved Mother after He rose from the dead.  Even though Scripture does not record such a meeting, I'm pretty certain that Jesus put her at or near the top of His list of people to visit after rising from the dead.

During the second decade, I thought of Jesus' and Mary's bittersweet parting before He ascended to heaven.  I imagined the emotions that Mary must have felt knowing that she would be briefly separated from her beloved Son but also knowing that it was time for Him to take His rightful place at the right hand of the Father.  Although I have no concept of what heaven is like, I think it likely that Jesus must have greeted St. Joseph with special attention when He arrived, although Joseph, in his great humility, would never have expected it.  The bond of the Holy Family must have been so very powerful.  It gives us a model for the holiness in our own families.

As I meditated on the third decade, I thought of Mary in the Upper Room, again filled with grace by the Holy Spirit.  At the Annunciation, she was "full of grace," even before the Holy Spirit overshadowed her, multiplying the grace exponentially.  At Pentecost, she received even more grace.  She will bestow it upon us, if only we ask.  I thought of St. Joseph and how his role was to be Mary's protector, while the Holy Spirit is her true spouse.  (For an excellent article covering this somewhat confusing topic, see Catholic Culture's The Holy Spirit and Mary.)

As I ran up an incline with a burst of late-night energy, I prayed the fourth and fifth decades.  During my meditation, it occurred to me that the Holy Family was finally reunited after Mary's Assumption and Coronation.  What a joyful day that must have been!  We are blessed to be able to ask for their heavenly intercession and protection for our own families.

I try to pray the Rosary every day (although I occasionally fall short of this goal), and at times it can almost seem monotonous, which is my own fault.  Yet when I try a fresh perspective like meditating on the Glorious Mysteries through the eyes of the Holy Family, I see the mysteries in a new light.  I am continually amazed by the depth of the Rosary every time I put a little more effort into praying it.  The next time you pray the Rosary, try a new perspective in your meditation and see if that doesn't bring new revelations.  If so, please share them!


Anonymous said...

Today, on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, one can imagine Mary and Joseph hurrying off with the Christ Child to Egypt, at the angel's command. Only later, our priest at Mass today suggested, would they have heard of the terrible slaughter of the Holy Innocents. What thoughts must they have had about that? "Rachel mourned, for her children were no more." Throughout the world today women make appointments to have their unborn babies killed.

Peggy Bowes said...

Sorry to be so late in responding. The feast of the Holy Innocents always fills me with sorrow. It reminds me of the story of Miriam and Moses. Mirian (a form of Mary) hid Moses in the Nile of Egypt so that he would not be killed like all the other Jewish boys. In the New Testament, Mary also hides Jesus in Egypt so that he too will not be among the Jewish baby boys who are murdered. Moses went on to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, but Jesus leads us to the true Promised Land of Paradise.