The Institution of the Eucharist

The fruit of this mystery is Adoration.

This is the final Luminous mystery as it turns out that I didn’t do this back before Lent began, so here it is now.  The focus is on adoration of the Eucharist however this is simply adoration of God. One of the ways that the Church can adore the Eucharist is in Eucharistic Adoration, where a host is place in a Monstrance and that is placed on an altar. Some churches have perpetual adoration chapels but if you can’t find any place that holds an Adoration or even a Benediction. One of the ways to adore the Eucharist is to pray in the presence of the Tabernacle before or even after Mass. This might not be a common idea but show up to church a bit early and prayer before the service begins or before and after you receive Communion pray. However, Pope John Paul II suggested to us all in his letter, Dominicae Cenae that “The Church and the world have a great need of Eucharistic worship. Jesus waits for us in this sacrament of love. Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Him in adoration and in contemplation that is full of faith.” This is more than just the brief time we have before or after Mass we need to make more time in our week for God and grow closer to Jesus.

Crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth

The fruit of this mystery is Perseverance and Crown of Glory, Trust in Mary’s Intercession.

As we enter into the month of May we turn our focus on Mary our mother and Queen. She is someone that we should be able to turn to when we are in trouble and need some help, as Mary will help like she did at Cana. Since most everything to Jesus through Mary, at Cana she told the stewards to listen to Jesus and there was the best wine of the evening. Mary needs to have role in our lives, be it simply praying a Hail Mary during the day or going all out and praying a whole Rosary. It is only through Mary that we eventually get to Jesus. As Pope Francis said on Sunday “May the Virgin Mary help us to welcome with meekness the Holy Spirit as the interior Master and as a living memory of Christ in our daily journey.” I hope that we all can add some sort of additional devotion to Mary or read up on one of the many titles of Mary during this month.

Assumption of Mary

The fruit of this mystery is Grace of a Happy Death and True Devotion towards Mary.

As we near the month of May we turn our focus to Mary. When the time came for Mary to die she fell asleep and her body was brought into heaven like Jesus. This should be a goal for all. We need to be willing to emulate Mary in the world, be willing to say “Yes” when we face difficulty. Mary is our mother, Jesus while he was on the Cross gave his mother to his beloved disciple, we are that beloved daughter/son. Although at time we might not always be happy with our mothers they would give everything for you to succeed in life Mary did this for Jesus at the Wedding at Cana where she told the stewards to do whatever he (Jesus) tells you. Mary point us toward Christ and by following Mary we will be on the path.

Descent of the Holy Spirit

The fruit of this mystery is Holy Wisdom to know the truth and share with everyone, Divine Charity and Love of God.

After the Ascension of Jesus the Apostles were still in the “keep this a  secret from everyone” phase they were all scared and locked up in a room when a howling wind came through the house and flung the windows open. The Apostles were filled with the spirit, they went out and spread the message and baptized many that day.  We need to remember that the Holy Spirit is with us at all times and we only need to ask for some help from the Spirit so that we can be like the Apostles on Pentecost, being inspired and going out bringing the message to the world.

The Ascension

The fruit of this mystery is Hope and Desire for Ascension to heaven.

Hope is one of the three Theological Virtues along with Faith and Love and Pope Benedict wrote an Encyclical about Hope. Benedict also nicely summarized the idea in a homily saying “Whoever believes in Christ has a future. For God has no desire for what is withered, dead, ersatz, and finally discarded: he wants what is fruitful and alive, he wants life in its fullness and he gives us life in its fullness.” This is the Hope that we all have it was used by Barack Obama when he ran for President in 2008 notably in Shepard Fairley’s poster. We all have hopes for the future but we can be instrumental in making our hopes reality.

The Resurrection

The fruit of this mystery is Faith.

This ties in nicely with the readings this past Sunday, where we heard about Thomas and how he needed to see the nail marks in his hands and put his hands in the side of Jesus, so he would know it was truly Jesus. I read some other commentaries/reflections on the readings and it notes that the other apostles needed to see the hand and side of Jesus before they believed that it was truly the Christ resurrected, so they all needed proof that it was Jesus. So we are truly blessed since we cannot see but still believe. Pope Francis’s encyclical Lumen fidei the conclusion of Benedict XVI’s encyclicals on the theological virtues (Faith, Hope, Love) is a the most recent church document about faith. In general terms our faith is based on love, we have utmost faith in something we love. Let us grow closer to the Lord during this season of Easter and come to love our heavenly family.

Crucifixion and Death of our Lord

The fruit of this mystery is Salvation and Forgiveness.

This is the final Sorrowful Mystery and the fruits are apt. With his death leading us all to salvation as St. Paul says it is through the death of Jesus that leads us to life eternal.  This is the turning point in Salvation History we are living in the aftermath of this as we try to build the kingdom here on earth. Forgiveness is another thing that stems from the death of Christ. As we inch closer to the end of the season of Lent if you have the chance to go to Confession by all means go and do it. Let us also take some ownership in building up the kingdom by making the world a better place.

Carrying the Cross

The fruit of this mystery is Patience.

This is one of the things that we all could ask for more of. Patience is a virtue it’s also one of the fruits of the Spirit. Of all the virtues and fruits of the spirit this is the one that it would be nice if we could have more in the world. For many of us living in a world surrounded by instant gratification and doing multiple things at the same time patience can seem like a bizarre concept. Francis de Sales once wrote “Be patient with everyone but especially with yourself; I mean that you should not be troubled about your imperfections and that you should always have courage to pick yourself up afterwards.” Let us keep this in mind as we anxiously await the end of the season of Lent, and just in general.

Crowning with Thorns

The fruit of this mystery is Contempt of the world and Courage.

This is a rather difficult fruit for most people to comprehend Contempt of the world. We all live in the world some more so than other but it’s a constant struggle for us to forget about Worldly Concerns as we are surrounded by them constantly. Yet, looking at this fruit it’s much more about living a contemplative life. As we read in Ecclesiastes “Vanity of vanities all is vanity” this is basically saying that sure the world exists but it doesn’t really matter there are more important things to focus on. This is takes the average person great courage to turn away for the excesses and splendors of this world. If we could all take some time as we continue through this Lenten season to just take a little break from our technology put down the tablets, phones and computers and pick up a book or take to a person in real life check out your neighborhood, visit a friend. We all need to take little breaks from our regular lives and refocus.

The Scourging at the Pillar

The fruit of the Mystery is Mortification and Purity.

When most people hear the word mortification they jump to the self flagellation and wearing of hairshirt like the albino in The DaVinci Code. It could also be like putting a pebble in your shoe and walking around with it. Pope John Paul II, wrote an Apostolic Letter on Suffering, Salvifici Doloris, in which  he wrote “Christ does not explain in the abstract the reasons for suffering, but he states: “Follow me!”. Come! Take part through your suffering in this work of saving the world, a salvation achieved through my suffering! Through my Cross”. On the other side Purity is also a fruit of the mystery and we need to strive to be pure if we want to follow the Lord. Confession is a major help in keeping us pure.