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The Joyful Mysteries

The Joyful Mysteries

The key to praying the joyful mysteries of the Rosary can be found in these words of the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J Sheen:

“If you will whatever God wills, you will always have exactly what you want. When you want anything else, you are not happy before you get it, and when you do get it, you do not want it. That is why you are ‘up’ today and ‘down’ tomorrow. You will never be happy if your happiness depends on getting solely what you want. Change the focus. Get a new centre. Will what God wills, and your joy no man shall take from you.”

Consider the Joyful mysteries in the light of those words. Another Mary might have been deeply unhappy following Gabriel’s visit. Another Elizabeth might have been incredibly anxious to be expecting a child in her ‘advanced’ years. Having been heavily pregnant over Christmas one year, I can begin to imagine how hard it must have been to travel 68 miles on a donkey and then give birth in a stable… However, the joy-filled characters we meet through these mysteries (Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Zechariah, Simeon and Anna) do not look inwards at their own anxieties or desires.  Rather, they all share the one focus: God.  They put aside their own will and, trusting that God will fulfil the promises he has made to each of them, they make his will their own.

Listening to God’s will is a large part of what we do when we pray.  We give God a chance to speak to us through the word of scripture and the Word made flesh; we give ourselves a chance to listen through our unhurried meditations.  As we do so, let us be always mindful that Mary, whose prayerful listening at the Annunciation gave joy to mankind, prays with us and for us, that we too might discern the will of God in our lives and that we too might always know the joy of Emmanuel, God with us.


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