Monday, December 16, 2013

Applying the Glorious Mysteries

If you haven't been reading along, I was having difficulties with two reoccurring issues, and I decided to meditate on the Mysteries of the Rosary to find answers to how to handle my problems. Today was the Glorious Mysteries.

1. The Resurrection

2. The Ascension 

3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit

4. The Assumption of Mary

5. The Crowing of Mary

The Resurrection

Through His resurrection, Jesus freed me from the worries of this life by giving me life everlasting with Him. Living at my best, I'm focused on the next world right now and live accordingly.  When I focus on my troubles, they hold me in this world. The solution?  Hand my worries over to Jesus and trust Him. 

I spoke with an aunt who has big time health issues in her family. She said, "We focus on the present. Yesterday and tomorrow don't matter. We have now." 

She is exactly right. God is the God of the present. When you are lured into regrets from your past or dragged into the future through worry, that can be the enemy trying to keep you away from God, Who is in the present.

It may be that what I'm experience right now has a purpose, and if I'm fluttering around trying to ignore what's happening or I'm too stressed out to enjoy right now, I will miss that purpose. 

It's also possible that I'm beating myself up over something in the past, or I'm worrying about something that hasn't happened yet, and that's why my problem looks so large. 

The mystery behind this Mystery is to stay in the present. Do what I can do right now and trust in God for the rest.  And don't forget to enjoy the present. 

The Ascension

It must have been a huge bummer for the Apostles when Jesus left them. They must have felt so lost. All this time they had Him to depend on, to talk to, to question. Now they were completely alone in a hostile world.  Or were they? 

God didn't have to become man. He didn't need to endure thirty-something years as a human being, which couldn't have been comfortable for someone  who was, well, GOD. But He became man so He could give us an example of how to live. Give to Cesar that which belongs to Cesar. Multiply your talents. Be not afraid.

He also didn't leave us. Not really. Just in the form of a man. We can still ask His advice, and if we listen, He'll respond. That's why spending time in prayer, especially before the Eucharist, is so important. Jesus spent a lot of time in prayer to His Father. Do we need the Father less? I think not. 

Through the spiritual exercises of Ignatius, (led by a competent spiritual director) I've been privileged to experience direct interaction with Jesus. No, He didn't whisper in my ear, but it was definite and wonderful. (I've also experienced "conversation" with the enemy, which is one reason it's imperative that you have a competent spiritual director.)  But He does talk to us if we listen.

And then we have to accept the answer. Father Larry Richards said that when people complain about their day, he asks them if they thanked God for their day. "Did you pray the Our Father? Did you say Thy will be done? Well, this is His will. Thank Him for it!"

The mystery behind this Mystery is to look to the Bible for examples of how God has advised us to deal with our problems. Ask Him for help, and then trust that the response is His will. 

The Descent of the Holy Spirit

I have to say, I preferred it when we referred to the Third Person of the Trinity as the Holy Ghost. That said, the Holy Spirit is with us, a gift from God. Catholics believe that the Person of the Holy Spirit is the love shared by the Father and the Son. 

Don't be fooled. The Holy Spirit is Love, but He'll kick our butts if He needs to. He's there to guide us, and He'll fill our actions if we let Him. 

One of the problems I'm having is because I ignored promptings. Whether they were from the Holy Spirit or my guardian angel, I don't know.  A prompting is just like it sounds--a thought (in the right direction) that keeps coming to mind and won't leave you alone. 

I experienced this once before when a parishioner was dying of cancer. I didn't even know her, but I kept getting a very strong feeling, one that wouldn't leave me alone, that I should let her borrow my Rosary blessed by Blessed John Paul II. I called a friend of the lady's, because I thought maybe I was having delusions of grandeur and I didn't want to bug the dying woman. The friend explained what was going on, I lent the Rosary, and it gave the dying woman great comfort.  

The mystery behind this Mystery is to ask the Holy Spirit to guide my actions in dealing with my problems, and to listen to Him if He responds. That means I have to take action, not just sit around and whine. 

The Assumption

I won't go into a debate about the assumption. There are apologists who do that much better than I could, and I'll go into the difference between ascension and assumption some other time, but the point is that Mary is now in Heaven. She gave me a role model to follow while I'm here on earth, and primarily, it was service and devotion to Jesus. 

How can my problems point me to Jesus? Is there something I can learn from them? Are they of my own making because I haven't lived the life a disciple of Jesus should? 

The mystery behind the Mystery is to look at my problems, see if they originated with being out of step as a disciple, and then work out the solution in accord with how Jesus would want me to. And, of course, ask for His help. 

The Crowning of Mary

We are not alone. No, it's not a catch phrase from a science fiction series. It refers to all the angels and saints in Heaven who are ready and willing to intercede for us. 

I really have to get away from thinking I have to handle everything by myself, because I don't. Jesus will help me. So will Mary and the saints and angels.  But I have to ask. 

The mystery behind the Mystery is that I never have to feel alone in my troubles.  

Next up is the Joyful Mysteries. 

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