The Mysteries : Joyful, Sorrowful, and, Glorious

(A brief theological reflection
by a former evangelical protestant pastor)


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 the world.
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 themselves "god(s)."

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:



Luke 1:31-32

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 (Deus).

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 Incarnation.

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.


Luke 1:42-45

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?


Luke 2:6-7

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.


Luke 2:22

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 heart.

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 God?


Luke 2:46-47

46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions,
47 and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.

Was this, our Mother, a view of what would come, after three days?

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 Holy Incarnation.



Matthew 26:36-39

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 pray."
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 God?

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?


Matthew 27:25-26

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?


Matthew 27:28-29

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 more.

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.


John 19:17-18

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 Christ?


Luke 23:45-46

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 last.

Jesus fully paid the price for you and me.

Father into your hands I commend my spirit . . . After this he expired.

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 Mary’s 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 holies.



Matthew 28:5-6

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 dead!

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.


Luke 24:50-51

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 heaven.

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.


Acts 2:3-4

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 proclaim.

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 Sanctissima.

Still, you ask us to honor him.

Blessed is the Fruit of your womb, Jesus.


Judith 13:18

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?


Revelation 12:1

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 stars.

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 . . .