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  • Sarah Raad

Reception

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

Our Blessed Mother GAVE JOY in the Joyful Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary, and it was Her GIVING of Joy, not the RECEPTION of it that is the focus of the mystery…

The Visitation (Jakob and or Hans Strub)


I have been praying the some of the Joyful Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary over the days and weeks of lockdown.


Sometimes, I have the time to sit and pray and entire rosary – but during the lockdowns – with home schooling, running my business and my house and dealing with all the other actualities of the day without even a minute to myself, sometimes, I cannot manage much more than a few minutes of formal prayer each day. How I miss the morning Mass during lockdowns, inside a Church with God Himself in the on the Altar…


At first, I found this inability to pray formally during lockdowns very demotivating! After all, it only really takes 20 or 25 minutes to pray an entire Rosary – and how is it possible that I cannot manage even that? I should be able to prioritise this. I should be able to set that time aside. I should be able to at least listen to the Rosary while I work – but my children require all my attention and I cannot multitask as well as I would like.

And so, I find that during a lockdown I simply cannot do any better than my best – which is not terribly much at all…

You see, when my children are at home, I – like all those other millions of mothers who get locked down around the world – spend much more time dealing with them. There is food, and cleaning and teaching and disciplining. Then there are the endless negotiations – because teachers allocate work, but it is the parents who have to ensure that the work gets done. It takes a significant amount of time and skill to convince three very unenthusiastic children that a bit of schoolwork will not in fact, kill them – when they were supposed to be at school anyway…


All in all, things can get tough in the family home when nobody is supposed to leave it!


And so, as I and millions of parents around the globe add to our workloads to ensure that our children and families and work and houses are well cared for during lockdowns, I have focused myself on the Joyful mysteries.


And so, though at first I was terribly disheartened by my inability to do all that I would like to, I soon settled down. After all, I read somewhere that when we pray a prayer and it is a struggle and difficult to pray and we persist, we please God very much. For He knows how easy it would be for us to give in. And yet, on we go, one tiny little decade at a time.


I think, upon reflection that I could spend a lifetime meditating upon those Joyful Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary…


Why?


These mysteries are JOYFUL, not because Our Blessed Mother had no sorrows or concerns or worries in her experience of those JOYFUL mysteries – but because She GAVE JOY (not necessarily RECEIVED JOY) in these mysteries… She was JOYFUL in Her giving…

In fact, in all of the Joyful Mysteries, Our Blessed Mother – GAVE JOY. Her reception of Joy is not the focus of the mystery – but Her provision of Joy is what I notice now…

She gave joy when She said YES during the Annunciation – even though She could not understand how this could be, “‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’” (Luke 1:34).


She gave joy when She went to Her cousin – though she carried all of those worries about how it would be that She would deliver the Messiah, and explain that to Her chaste spouse, “‘But why am I so favoured, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’” (Luke 1:43).


She gave joy when She gave Her body to provide Human Life to God in giving birth to Him – despite the poverty of the stable, “and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” (Luke 2:7).


She gave joy when She followed God’s commandments and presented Her Son – even though She heard the Prophesy of Simeon, “When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord” (Luke 2:22).


She gave joy when She found Our Lord in the Temple – even though She had been terrified and confused for days, “When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.’” (Luke 2:48).


And so, as I have grumble through my days of lockdown, it occurs to me that perhaps, with a little effort, I could apply myself as my Blessed Mother did… And show only Joy – for in those Sacred Mysteries, we commemorate Her Joy – despite Her grief – and I guess that is why we call them mysteries…


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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