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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Not Sorrowful Mystery

What's "Joyful" about the Presentation in the Temple in the Holy Rosary. To me, hearing the news about the baby and hearing that a sword will pierce her own heart would be devastating to our Mother Mary. Do you know how it ended up being a Joyful mystery instead of a Sorrowful mystery?

Because it was a happy occasion in the first place. And there is only the one bummer piece of prophesy, and even that one follows from the joy of what Christ brings to the world. All of which is covered by Simeon, who is thrilled, by the way, to get to hold the child in the first place.

At this point, there is no such thing as Baptism. This particular ritual, offering the baby to the service of God in the Temple, is the Jewish version of this happy day. Imagine, then, you take your baby to the Baptism and some old man jumps out of nowhere to wax on about what a very important baby this is. The Savior of the World, this one, and the old man is oh so happy to be able to witness this person's presence in the the world. The old man prattles on about the immeasurable change this will create. And then he mentions that this will be particularly hard on you, Mom. But your hardships will also help humanity for the rest of time.

Is that so bad? It's not a Sorrowful Mystery because it's not a sorrowful occasion. The Jewish ritual of presenting a child to the temple of was an act of obedience and gratitude. It was a way to thank God for the child. If you were doing it today, you might hit the IHOP on the way home to celebrate.

And we're happy that Mary and Joseph led by example in following the rules. They didn't have to do that. Jesus is the New Testament with God, after all. They present Jesus, the Lord, to the Lord. We're happy about that. It shows us that they followed God's laws. They could have sat home, thinking, "This IS the Lord. He'll have His own book soon enough." 

Here is a lovely article about how nice it all really is.  That should help.

And note that there are a bizzlion depictions of this event in art. And everyone always looks happy.

You can be happy, too.

9 comments:

Barbara Golder said...

Actually in the seven sorrows mystery, this turns up as a sorrow--I find it wonderful and mysterious that it is remembered both ways.

Kathy (not the other one) said...

Sister, can you do something on pilgrimage? I'm going to Wales in a month and I'm not sure if I'm going on a pilgrimage or not. I'm planning on visiting as many ancient Christian sites as I can, from the days of the first Christians in Britain. One place I particularly want to go to is St. Winifred's well, because of all the Winifreds in my family. I'm planning on approaching it by foot on a day hike that includes some other historic holy sites. On the one hand, I truly believe a place can accrue holiness because of the faith of some many believers over so many years, including pre-Christian believers at some of these sites, and I want to connect with that on this trip. On the other, I'm not looking for a miracle and I'm not hoping to be healed by the waters or anything, and in fact I kind of have a feeling St. Winifred herself might be one of those saints the church has some doubts about these days, her story is so out apocryphal and out there (Her uncle reattaches her head after it's been cut off and she comes back to life? Come now!) so I think I can be pardoned for being a little skeptical about her herself. So am I going on a pilgrimage or am I just a tourist? Especially since I'm sure there was an aspect of tourism to the pilgrimages the folks did in the Middle Ages, as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Winefride%27s_Well

(And don't call me on the spelling of her name. It's one of those Ye Olde names that's spelled a lot of ways.)

katney said...

I think that any travel can have an element of pilgrimage. It depends on the frame of mind and intent.

Anonymous said...

Sister, could you please help me find a good saint to pray to to intercede for my cousin? She has been in a terrible depression for a few weeks, but lately it seems to have turned into absolute despair. There's no cause that any of us in the family can find, but of course that doesn't mean there isn't something. She doesn't want to seek professional help, although other family members are pushing on that front. I've prayed to St. Jude and St. Dymphna, but if there is another saint or saints I could invoke, or possibly get her a medal of, it might help. I don't want to give her a medal for St. Jude because I don't want her to think her case is hopeless, and she already knows what area St. Dymphna is patron of, and I'm concerned giving her that metal might send her further down. Any help you could give would be appreciated.

Ren said...

Dear Sister, This post (on the Not Sorrowful Mystery) has been very helpful during my Rosary. I tend to get distracted and your thoughts provided a good meditation starting point. Have you ever considered doing one of your booklets on the Mysteries of the Rosary? I'd be first in line to purchase.

Kathy (not the other one) said...

Dear Sister: While I'm asking favors, can I ask what one does with holy water? The sisters who run the shrine at St. Winifred's Well let pilgrims take water home with them for free if they bring their own containers, and I just bought a couple of little jars. It occurs to me, though, that though I have no idea what to do with it once I get it home. Bathe my feet? (Not joking. The well is supposed to have healing properties, and I have some serious problems with my feet. I do think I'm going to try bathing my feet while I'm there. And I'm not so sure about the walking 13 miles from where I'm staying to the well.)

Kathy (not the other one) said...

(Not sure if my previous comment went through, so I'm posting it again.)

Dear Sister: While I'm asking favors, can I ask what one does with holy water? The sisters who run the shrine at St. Winifred's Well let pilgrims take water home with them for free if they bring their own containers, and I just bought a couple of little jars. It occurs to me, though, that though I have no idea what to do with it once I get it home. Bathe my feet? (Not joking. The well is supposed to have healing properties, and I have some serious problems with my feet. I do think I'm going to try bathing my feet while I'm there. And I'm not so sure about the walking 13 miles from where I'm staying to the well.)

Diana said...

Holy water is a sacramental. You can use it to make the Sign of the Cross.

There is also a ritual of sprinkling three drops of holy water onto the ground (floor).

The first drop is a blessing for those who are to die today. The second is for a safe return of those who are traveling.

The third is -- not sure, but I think it's for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, to get to Heaven as soon as possible.

There are many books, articles, web pages, etc., about sacramentals in general, and holy water in particular. You might want to try reading some of those. There are some websites where you can post questions, also.

Regarding the Second Joyful Mystery: I believe Our Blessed Mother would have already had a strong suspicion that something strong, powerful and unusual was going on, long before this?

The Angel Gabriel --- the Virgin Birth --- the Star in the East --- the Three Wise Men.

Diana said...

Excuse me. Disregard my previous post. I thought the question referred to regular Holy Water, as in church.

This St. Winifred's water is apparently something like Lourdes Water, with possible healing powers.

I don't know if that has to be blessed by a priest or not? I don't know if that's called "Holy Water" or not, either.

When people have Lourdes water, they just call it "Lourdes water," so now I'm confused about this myself. LOL Sorry.

God bless.