Thursday, October 09, 2008

Mysteries of Light: Reflection for the "Mary Moments" Rosary Carnival

In this apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, John Paul the Great introduced the "Mysteries of Light" adding a fourth set of mysteries to the traditional three attributed to St. Dominic in the 12th century.

These mysteries reinforce the Holy Father’s instruction that the Rosary is a profoundly Christo-centric prayer, and that to honor the Mother is to reveal the Son. For these mysteries reveal in a profound way the humanity of Christ, which He received from the Blessed Mother. These mysteries are particularly meaningful to my family, for they coincide with special moments in their own spiritual development.

1. The Baptism in the Jordan. Jesus was not an infant when He received baptism at John’s hands. He fully understood what He was doing, and why. And because we had to wait three years to finalize our adoption, our children were both well aware of what they were doing on their baptism day. “Today we have a new name – and a new family!” my son shouted. “Yes, you do,” the priest agreed. “Your name is Christian, and yours is the family of God.”

2. The Wedding at Cana. This is one of my children’s favorite bedtime stories. Sarah lives for brides and weddings, and they both love the dramatic “master of the party,” who runs about moaning, “Oh, no! No more wine! Whatever shall we do?” To which Mother Mary replies, “Do whatever He tells you.” That’s a lesson for all of us … isn’t it?

3. The Proclamation. Teaching children about the “here” and “not yet” of the Kingdom of God starts from the very beginning of their spiritual formation. Once they understand that the things that are most “real” are the things they cannot see or touch, and that the best part of life is the part that is yet to come, it affects the way they make choices – how they form relationships, invest their lives, and spend their money. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you…”

4. The Transfiguration. The three men dazzled: Moses, giver of the Law; Elijah, father of the prophets; and Jesus. “Let us stay here, and build three tents,” suggested Peter, awestruck. But the transformation was not yet complete – the Son of God had to become the Lamb of God. Good Friday led to Easter Sunday. And we, all His followers, are transfigured as well, infused with His divine life.

5. The Institution of the Eucharist. When I think of this Passover meal the Lord shared with His disciples, I always picture Mary in the kitchen – chopping the herbs, pouring the oil, baking the bread. Once again, she provided the “stuff” by which the Son of God would touch mankind for all eternity.

"Many of the problems facing contemporary families, especially in economically developed societies, result from their increasing difficulty in communicating. Families seldom manage to come together, and the rare occasions when they do are often taken up with watching television. To return to the recitation of the family Rosary means filling daily life with very different images, images of the mystery of salvation: the image of the Redeemer, the image of his most Blessed Mother. The family that recites the Rosary together reproduces something of the atmosphere of the household of Nazareth: its members place Jesus at the centre, they share his joys and sorrows, they place their needs and their plans in his hands, they draw from him the hope and the strength to go on."