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Rosary Reflections: The Joyful Mysteries

The Rosary consists of both vocal and mental prayer. We pray the various prayers represented by the Rosary beads aloud (or silently). Yet the “soul” of the Rosary is mental prayer, or meditation on each of the 20 mysteries (important events in the lives of Jesus and Mary in the gospels). The repeated Hail Marys of each decade help lull the mind into a peaceful state and facilitate meditation. It takes time, patience and practice to learn to meditate. Sometimes it’s helpful to read a few brief reflections before praying the Rosary.

In part one of this series, I will focus on reflections for the five Joyful Mysteries.

The Annunciation

I like to imagine Mary praying in a garden when the Angel Gabriel appears to ask her if she will bear the Messiah. Mary’s fiat (or “yes”) reverses the disobedience (“no”) of Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Annunciation reminds us that we can follow Mary’s example and do God’s will for us (Luke 1:38), or we can follow Eve’s example and defy God (Genesis 3:6). He gives us free will to make each choice. How will you choose today?

The Visitation

Mary brings the tiny baby Jesus out into the world for the first time as she makes the long journey to visit her cousin Elizabeth. When we receive the Eucharist at Mass, we are taking Jesus out into the world, hidden within our bodies as He was once hidden in the womb of His mother. Do we act as if we are human tabernacles, carrying the precious presence of Jesus to others, or do we go back to our normal behavior when we leave the church?

The Nativity

Jesus was born on a piercing cold winter night in a shelter for animals, the most humble place imaginable! He came to earth to serve, not to be served (Mark 10:45). Do we live our lives in service to others or to ourselves? Are we storing up earthly treasures, or do we strive each day to add more heavenly treasures to our stockpile?

The Presentation

I often wonder if the people on the road to Jerusalem ever stopped to notice a poor young couple and their tiny infant, slowly making their way toward the Temple. Did they realize that the very Messiah was in their midst, or did they rush on by, too preoccupied with their own concerns? Jesus is present in each and every one of us. Do we take the time to notice our fellow human beings and treat them with love?

The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple

It was so obvious, wasn’t it? Yet not even Jesus’ own parents thought to look for Him in His Father’s house! Jesus is present in the Blessed Sacrament in every Catholic church. He’s waiting for us, hoping that we will look in the obvious place. Do you take the time to stop and visit Him, even for just a few minutes?

Peggy Bowes is a former Air Force pilot and the author of The Rosary Workout and Tending the Temple. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children.

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