Thoughts on the First Joyful Mystery

The Rosary is a beautiful prayer composed by the Father, Son and Holy Ghost in honor of the most beloved daughter, mother and spouse of the Most High Trinity, and is meant to be a sure path to lead us through the darkness of this life. We often hear how much Our Lady loves for us to pray her Rosary, but not enough is said about how much Our Lord Jesus Christ loves for us to pray the Rosary. Do people understand, really understand that we could never pray our Rosaries attentively without Our Dear Lord’s help? And when we prepare to pray it, we must understand that of ourselves, we are completely unable to pray worthily to Mary, the Mother of God. It is only through Jesus, who loves both Mary and ourselves and wants to see us united in His love, only through Him that we can pray her Rosary worthily.

But once you grasp that simple fact; surrender all attempts to pray well on your own, and beg Him, of His infinite mercy to abide with you and assist you as you attempt to honor His dear Mother, He will open the treasures of this incomparable prayer for you. You will be delighted as He unfolds the Rosary for you, for it is an exquisite album filled with His loving memories. With it, He will show you how He desires you to approach Him, how to best serve Him and what plans He has for you.

The very first thing you will notice, once you understand the Rosary from this perspective, is that Our Lord Jesus Christ introduces us to His Mother at the very beginning. When someone loves you, they want you to meet, and love, those who matter the most to them, for love always unites good to good! In the First Joyful Mystery, the Annunciation, Our Lord introduces us to His beloved Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. He paints us a picture of her, so that we can appreciate her beauty and virtue. Let’s see what He tells us.

The Annunciation of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, our Savior
“Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee”

“And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’ s name was Mary.  And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.

Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of His kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

 And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: Because no word shall be impossible with God. And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1, 26-38)

Now, the very first thing He tells us about Mary is that she is pure and innocent, a virgin. At the same time, He tells us that God the Father sent His angel Gabriel, who stands before the throne of God, to Mary. Gabriel’s name means Power of God and he is only mentioned by name in Daniel (in the Old Testament) and in Luke. Note the respect that Gabriel shows to Mary, referring to her as “full of grace” and “blessed among women”. He also states that “the Lord is with thee”, all of which confirm the purity of Mary and her fullness of grace.

After Gabriel tells her that she is to become the Mother of Jesus, Mary speaks her first words. “How shall this be done, because I know not man?” Now, Jesus is showing us with what beautiful virtues His Mother is arrayed. Her purity, far from being a negative thing, merely the absence of sexual activity, is a powerful affirmation of God. Mary’s virginity, like her Immaculate Conception is the indwelling of God’s grace and mercy. Whereas Eve, the first ‘Woman’, withdrew herself from her Creator in order to seek her own good, Mary, the ‘Woman’ of the New Testament, yielded herself totally to God, allowing Him to fill her with His life, thus, she is ‘full of grace’. The virtues shown by this simple verse are Mary’s perfect love of God,  her total consecration to Him, her purity, and her perseverance in keeping her vow.

Gabriel explained that the Incarnation of the Son of God would be accomplished by the power of God through the Holy Ghost. Mary then said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.” With this verse, Our Lord shows us Mary’s humility and obedience, two of the most essential virtues. I call them ‘working virtues’ because you really cannot get through a day without them if you are intent on living close to Jesus and Mary. You must always beg Our Lord for an increase in these because it is a constant war to keep them. They are most hateful to the devil and he strives mightily to strip us of them.

So, Our Lord Jesus Christ has painted us an incredibly beautiful picture here, portraying His Mother so that we can see her beauty, her excellent virtues and her unique stature before the Holy Trinity. By showing her to us in this way, He sets out the virtues He wants us to acquire and the means He intends us to use. “Here is My Mother”, He is saying. “I give her to you. See, we shall have the same Mother!  She will be your example of the necessary virtues and she will teach you how to grow in them and advance toward union with Me, so that we can rejoice together in Heaven.”

If you will take a moment before beginning your rosary to put yourself in His presence and acknowledge your wretched unworthiness to pray fittingly to Our Blessed Mother, and ask His help so that together you can honor and love her, He will draw close and teach you and you will have the peace that only comes from truly being a child of Mary. He so wants to bring us to her, and she so wants to bring us to Him! Only ask and you will be astonished at the profligacy with which these two Sacred Hearts pour out their blessings on you!

O my Jesus, it is for love of Thee and of our Virgin Mother, I offer these prayers, in reparation for my sins, the sins of my family, the sins of the Church and for the conversion of sinners. I beg the reign of Thy Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in my heart, my life, my family and the Church. My Jesus, grant that I may love Thee always and then do with me what Thou will. Amen.

Pray the Rosary and confound the devil!

~ posted by evensong ~