The Mysteries : Joyful, Sorrowful, and,
(A brief theological reflection
by a former evangelical
Ronald D. Curley
Holy Mary, Mother of God (Theotokos), our Sanctissima, we ask
that you would guide us into the Sacred Heart of your dearly
beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our minds are so clouded and weakened by the affairs of life.
We seem to see through a glass dimly.
Our "lenses" are smudged and compromised by the daily
issues that surround us. These compromising marks tend to obscure
the spiritual things that ought to occupy our hearts.
Nevertheless, we implore you to help us and show us the Fruit of
your womb, Mater Dei.
Come, Holy Spirit, and reveal to us the mysteries that surround
the most holy Rosary of our Lady.
Eternal Father, we offer you the Body and Blood, the Soul and
Divinity of your Dearly Beloved Son in atonement for our sins,
and for the sins of the whole world. For the sake of his
sorrowful passion, have mercy upon us and the whole world. Amen.
Hail Mary . . .
1 John 2:15-18
15 Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone
loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the
eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from
17 Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever
does the will of God remains forever.
18 Children, it is the last hour. Just as you heard that the
antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared.
Thus we know this is the last hour.
As we contemplate the meaning of these words, we are called to
reflect upon the joyous proclamation of the truth of the good
news (gospel), the "evangelion" of Jesus Christ's
coming into the world to save sinners and set the captives free
from the power of the evil one.
We are called by God not to love the world, because it is passing
away. It is only temporary. All that surrounds us will be
meaningless in 100 years.
It seems, as new paradigms come forth in the world, pushing
things out of the way, the old values are pushed aside by what
people have mistakenly called, more relevant" ideas
that question the proven truths that had stood the test of the
ages. Old moralities are being questioned by each succeeding
generation. There is a constant tension between the world and the
things of God. In some places the outright hostility becomes
overt and blood is shed for righteousness and truth.
Still, we are told by the Holy Spirit that whoever does the will
of God will remain forever. The days we have lived in since the
beginning is called by John, "the last time," a time
that will see antichrist come. Yet, there are, and have been,
many antichrists, setting themselves up against Christ to make
What is antichrist, but, that which takes us away from true
devotion to Jesus Christ?
What is antichrist, but, that which takes us away from the things
of God to make us holy men and women, that God has revealed by
the Holy Spirit?
We enter into this dialogue, as we reflect upon the Rosary of our
Lady, as we seek to focus our hearts upon the Lord Jesus Christ
and the Salvation that God has become for us:
ANNUNCIATION OF OUR LORD
31 Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a
son, and you will name him Jesus.
32 He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and
the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father.
Mary, Mother of God, yours was a special, a unique conception,
designed by the HolyTrinity before the foundation of the cosmos.
You were seen in the plan and purpose of our God before the
foundation of all things. God, who is "Holy, Holy,
Holy," chose you to become the Mother of Holy Jesus.
You are our Sanctissima, the example for us of exalted virtue,
filled with the Holy Spirit, of highest holiness, the fitting
vessel for that Most Holy One that would come into the world
through your cooperative and submissive resignation.
Our Mother, you willingly accepted the destiny in Christ Jesus
that was laid before you and you became the Mother of God. You
remain forever the Mother of our Lord, the Son of the One God
You cooperated with the plan of God. You agreed with God to allow
our Lord to use you as the vessel of God's Grace to us. It was
God alone who worked in your inner parts to become Flesh, fully
in Jesus Christ. In you the full Incarnation of the Son of God,
the Son of Man, Immanuel, God with us, became a fact.
You gave your faith to God and God alone, Mater Dei. You truly
became the Mother of God by God's gracious act in the
Praise the Holy Name of God.
We can learn much from this.
How should our lives in Christ follow your example of surrender
that we might manifest Christ in us to others more fully?
How shall we prepare for the coming of our Lord?
We are called to be holy, because God is Holy.
42 cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you
among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
43 And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord
should come to me?
44 For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
45 Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by
the Lord would be fulfilled."
Elizabeth desired not to hold in her excitement in the Holy
Spirit, when she saw you. She sensed the presence of you, O
Sanctissima, and the Blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus, our
Salvation. "Most blessed" was her cry in a loud voice.
How shall we address you, O Sanctissima? Shall we keep silence
and say nothing?
Shall we say nothing of the Fruit of your womb, Jesus? Is the
Salvation of God nothing to us?
Will anything "leap within" us?
What manner of faith will we have, as we are confronted with the
trying times to come, as the world presses upon us and squeezes
our senses senseless?
THE NATIVITY OF JESUS
6 While they were there, the time came for her to have her child,
7 and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in
swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no
room for them in the inn.
Is there room for my Lord Jesus and his Mother in my heart, my
innermost being, where I am who I am?
He is wrapped in the clothes of a beggar in a place where animals
eat the kinds of grains that go to make the bread we enjoy. There
Jesus, our Salvation of the Lord, is laid by loving Mary. She
sweetly adores the One who will be Crowned with Glory and Honor
and Praise at the Revelation of Jesus. Yet, he laid aside his
prerogatives and emptied himself, becoming Immanuel, the Man,
Jesus, the Messiah, the Christ.
There is quiet in that place, as animals saw more than men.
The world rushes on, new paradigms that came and went, as Jesus
calmly lay asleep and Mary pondered all things in her heart.
THE PRESENTATION IN THE TEMPLE
22 When the days were completed for their purification according
to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him
to the Lord.
Simeon and Anna saw this Child and knew him well. You, Blessed
Mother, took second place with Joseph, as prophet and prophetess
made clearer the plan of God. You pondered these things in your
Oh, Mary, pierced and wounded, you saw what would become of him.
Yet, as the Lamb himself opened not his mouth, you with Sacred
Heart of Jesus, remained silent and in the silence of the silent
years, were there as Holy Mother, loving him and guiding his
steps toward his maturing Manhood.
There in the Temple would remain the Temple of God.
Will you come and remain in me and make my heart a temple for
THE FINDING IN THE TEMPLE
46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the
midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them
47 and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and
Was this, our Mother, a view of what would come, after three
What did he say? What were his words to yours and Joseph's ears?
What questions will we ask of him, Mary, our Mother?
There would be another day in the not too distant future. It
would be a darker day that was to come. It would be a time of
trouble for our Lord who comes to suffer in his people. Our
blessed Lord Jesus identified fully for all time with all of our
pain and sorrow, as the Man of sorrows, acquaited with grief.
Yet, Jesus is ever pure and sinless, completely undefiled and
THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN
36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he
said to his disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and
37 He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to
feel sorrow and distress.
38 Then he said to them, "My soul is sorrowful even to
death. Remain here and keep watch with me."
39 He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying,
"My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me;
yet, not as I will, but as you will."
The Holy Jesus asks us to wait for him in prayer. He goes to
pray, and, we sleep. We become weary so easily and fall asleep.
His sorrow and distress in his humanity are real. He wants his
friends to wait and support his agony. It is too much for them.
They have their own needs. They sleep.
How often do we sleep, when we should be in prayer, waiting upon
What was the heart of Mary doing, Lord? Was it pierced through
with sorrow, as she waited for the day that she saw would come?
How should we then wait for him & rediscover the sorrowful
passion of our Savior and Lord?
THE SCOURGING AT THE PILLAR
25 And the whole people said in reply, "His blood be upon us
and upon our children."
26 Then he released Barabbas to them, but after he had Jesus
scourged, he handed him over to be crucified.
So typically, do we cry out for Barabbas, as if to think our
tangible "solutions" are found in "messiahs'"
that are of our immediate understanding. Our politicians call for
loyalties that are not theirs to call for. Like sheep astray, we
give them what is God's alone.
Where was our Blessed Mother's heart, when Jesus was stripped
down and his flesh was torn by the leather straps laced with bits
of glass and metal?
Mary was identifying in spirit with those lashes that tore at her
heart and opened the wounds as a sword would pierce her soul.
Jesus would be crucified. He took the Cross willingly.
Are we ready to be whipped and crucified for Jesus?
THE CROWNING WITH THORNS
28 They stripped off his clothes and threw a scarlet military
cloak about him.
29 Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head, and
a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked
him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
How they mocked the Lord of Glory, exposing the One, who clothed
the lilies of the field for our enjoyment. His eyes looked on
with loving gazes, as they led him off to death and torture. They
doubled their fists and blindfolded him, making him guess who
struck him. What shame and mockery.
He could have called legions of angels and the world would be no
But, Mary, like Moses, pondered all in her heart. And, God,
showed her father Abraham, the father of faith, that God does not
destroy the righteous with the wicked.
Have we come to that place where we identify with the wounds of
Jesus and the pain of Mary, as we reflect upon these mysteries?
Oh, my Jesus, forgive us of our sins and save us from the fires
of hell, and, lead all souls to Heaven, specially those most in
need of your Mercy. Jesus, you are Mercy. Mary, you are the
Mother of Mercy.
THE CARRYING OF THE CROSS
17 and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called
the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.
18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on
either side, with Jesus in the middle.
The skull became the place where they crucified our Lord. Yahweh
became the Man -- Jesus in his Humanity, died for us.
You carried the heavy cross, Lord Jesus. It was roughly laid upon
your wounded and bloodied shoulders. It was a heavy cross,
because it was ladened with my sins and the sins of the whole
world would come upon you, Most Holy One, when you were placed
upon that instrument of death.
The daughters of Jerusalemlooked upon your Blessed Face, that
Image that was so marred. There, your Mother followed, watching,
suffering with all those who suffer your Passion, as they went
with you up the hill to Golgotha.
Has each of us come to the place where we are crucified with
THE CRUCIFIXION AND DEATH
45 Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle.
46 Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands
I commend my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his
Jesus fully paid the price for you and me.
Father into your hands I commend my spirit . . . After this he
The curtain in the Holy of holies that separated the Holy place
from the Most Holy place where the Ark of the Covenant was meant
to be was opened fully.
Jesus made a way to the Father in himself. Oh, how you saw this
when Christ was in your arms. He was your Savior in your
Immaculate Conception, yet, Jesus became the Way, the Truth and
the Life for all who will call upon the Name of the Lord.
One wonders in this, if the Mother of God was not somehow
represented by that veil that was torn in the earthly temple,
when Christ died upon the Cross? Was she rent that we might have
access to the Father through her Son? Did the Father rend her
pure Vessel's soul to make the Way between God the Father and
Man, through Christ more clear to all of us?
We sense that Marys heart was torn and the Way to the
Father was made in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Let us enter into the Presence of God and the Throne of Grace to
obtain Mercy and Grace to help in time of need.
Is not the time of need right now?
Prayer leads to holiness through the Holy place into the Holy of
THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD
5 Then the angel said to the women in reply, "Do not be
afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.
6 He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come
and see the place where he lay.
Jesus is alive.
Is it not impressive that we find out about the living
resurrected, Jesus through the women that followed Jesus?
It was Mary that first sensed the Life that was in her. He will
be called the Son of the Most High! Is the Son of God the Son of
a "dead" God? No. God is the God of the living, not the
Mary pondered all things within her heart.
Do we see Jesus only on a cross, or, does Jesus live within us,
making a difference?
The Resurrection of our Lord is absolutely necessary for our
salvation. Blessed, Lord, it was through your resurrection that
you have provided in yourself the Blessed Hope of our own
resrrection in the Day of th Lord, when all who sleep shall rise
transformed to live with you forever.
THE ASCENSION INTO HEAVEN
50 Then he led them (out) as far as Bethany, raised his hands,
and blessed them.
51 As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to
We believe that Jesus who rose from the dead will also come again
in glory to raise the dead bodies and transform all things and
establish his glory upon the earth.
In the story of Abraham's offering of Isaac, the faith of father
Abraham shows us that Abraham looked for a Seed. As Christ Jesus
rose from the dead, Isaac in a figure was "resurrected"
from the dead from that altar on Mount Moriah. You are that Seed,
that died, was planted in the ground, and rose again to draw all
men unto yourself, our Lord.
Oh, Mary, were you not like Sarah, who lost her son, only to
regain him in resurrection?
Now, Jesus, is seen our Mother, for forty days and forty nights.
Jesus is touched and seens and heard, and then, he leads us out
to Bethany to watch his victory over death.
He goes back to his Father in heaven to await the fulness of time
when he will come again for his Church in Glory.
He lives today and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
3 Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted
and came to rest on each one of them.
4 And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to
speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to
After ten days, they were gathered with Mary in the upper room in
Jerusalem in prayer and thanksgiving, anticipating the promise of
the Father and Jesus -- the Holy Spirit's descent upon the
Church, a new birth.
God is the God of new things.
He does not leave us comfortless.
Mary, there again, you became the Mother of the Church.
We honor you, Blessed Theotokos, Mater Dei, Mother of God, our
Still, you ask us to honor him.
Blessed is the Fruit of your womb, Jesus.
THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY
18 Then Uzziah said to her: "Blessed are you, daughter, by
the Most High God, above all the women on earth; and blessed be
the Lord God, the creator of heaven and earth, who guided your
blow at the head of the chief of our enemies."
How appropriate it is to see your assumption, a picture of some
in the Church that will never see death.
Because, Jesus lives, we will live that live in him.
Because, our Lady was assumed in Heaven, is the pledge of her Son
that God honors his Mother, who does the will of God perfectly.
How are we fixed upon Jesus to do God's will perfectly?
THE CORONATION OF MARY
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve
Lo, in the Heaven of heavens, the vision of John, who was given
charge of you at the crucifixion, showed you crowned with the
glories that are yours, as the Last Eve, as won by the Last Adam.
O, Sanctissima -- How are we able to speak of these things. They
are too wonderful for our eyes to behold, our ears to hear.
Are we not as little children in our understanding of them?
Do we not grow weary, as we even think of them?
We are like the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemene again,
growing weary, when we ought to be in joyful celebratory prayer.
It is good, dear Mother, that you have given to us the Rosary,
that we might recite and ponder, as you did, the mysteries that
God has revealed through your loving intercession.
Hail, Holy Queen . . .