Mysteries of Love

Scripture for Rosary beads of the Mysteries of Love

These Mysteries of Love start with a brief reflection on an Old Testament moment from Psalms where David praises God for his unconditional love.

Our Lord Jesus Christ
Our Lord Jesus Christ

I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
    I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

Do not put your trust in princes,
    in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
    on that very day their plans perish.

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
    the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
    who executes justice for the oppressed;
    who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
    the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
    the Lord loves the righteous.

(Psalm 146:2-8)

What is your image of God, is it different in the Old and New Testaments for you? Tissot presents Jesus dressed in white, hands over his heart, opened eyes starring right at the viewer and with his head cocked slightly. Unlike his other illustrations there is no background imagery. It seems to me Tissot’s intentional focus was to visually have Jesus unmistakably as God, without words, say “I love you.”

 

 

 

 

clip_image005In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

 

 

clip_image007Apostle’s Creed: I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen

 

clip_image009Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

 

 

clip_image011Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 

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Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

 

 

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Jesus Looking through a Lattice
Jesus Looking through a Lattice

The First Mystery: Mutually of us loving God and God loving us

Springtime Rhapsody

The voice of my beloved!
    Look, he comes,
leaping upon the mountains,
    bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle
    or a young stag.
Look, there he stands
    behind our wall,
gazing in at the windows,
    looking through the lattice.
10 My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my fair one,
    and come away;

(Song of Songs 2:8-10)

“Here he stands behind our wall, peering through the lattices.” It is not surprising Tissot opens his four volume “Life of Christ” with this illustration of a single verse from Songs. It is also my personal favorite of all of Tissot’s work because it speaks volumes of the times when I need to see or hear Christ but he is hidden or silent. My faith assures me he is watching and listening, ready to fill me with love.   Having Mary with us in prayer helps us “locate” Jesus.

 

 

clip_image019Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

 

 

clip_image020Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

 

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clip_image022Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

 

 

clip_image024O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.

 

 

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The Ointment of the Magdalene
The Ointment of the Magdalene

Second Mystery: Fidelity of God’s Love

Homecoming

Who is that coming up from the wilderness,
    leaning upon her beloved?

Under the apple tree I awakened you.
There your mother was in labor with you;
    there she who bore you was in labor.

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
    as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death,
    passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
    a raging flame.

Many waters cannot quench love,
    neither can floods drown it.

(Song of Songs 8:6-7a)

At Confirmation the Bishop dips into fragrant Chrism oil and says “Be Sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” In washing Jesus’s feet with fragrant oil and her hair, Mary Magdalene is sealing with all her heart her devotion to Jesus. Her blazing fire, her deep waters, her love even his death do not flood enough to sweep it away. Our Lord’s fidelity to her was reinforced after she went to anoint his body with oil. The risen Christ speaks to her first. Is your own relationship with our Lord sealed with this same intense fidelity?

 

 

clip_image028Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

 

 

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Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

 

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clip_image031Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

 

 

 

clip_image024[1] O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.

 

 

 

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Saint Joseph
Saint Joseph

Third Mystery: Mingling of human and divine love

31 But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.  (1 Corinthians 12:31, 13:1-3)

St. Joseph is often pictured as a man at his workbench showing Jesus how to be a carpenter. Tissot captures a different moment, synonymous with the silence and humility of St. Joseph in the bible. We cannot forget that he also said “Yes”. From what is in scripture he was never a resounding gong, instead deferring his entire being to love.

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Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

 

 

clip_image029[1]Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

 

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clip_image036Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

 

 

 

clip_image037O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.

 

 

 

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The Adoration of the Shepherds
The Adoration of the Shepherds

Fourth Mystery: Of how Love is patient, love is kind.

 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.  (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)

 Angels appeared to the shepherds and they believed. They put aside what they were doing to seek out the new lamb. Finding Christ they could not help but adore. “I know my sheep and they know me” became I love my sheep and they love me. These shepherds, who lived the attributes Paul describes for their flock, became the sheep. In Jesus’s first encounter with others, love flowed both ways. Tissot illustrates this with shepherds in various poses of awe and Jesus glowing in white with Mary.

 

 

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Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

 

 

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Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

 

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clip_image044Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

 

 

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Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.

 

 

 

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The Sermon of the Beatitudes
The Sermon of the Beatitudes

The Fifth Mystery: Christ’s blessings on those who love

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

(Matthew 5:1-12a)

In addition to teaching what to do, I have no doubt Jesus looking out on the crowd must have also been blessing those gathering for already using these gifts of love. We are still gathering as Tissot perfectly illustrates. We still have opportunities to be righteous, merciful, clean of heart, and make peace. When we use these gifts of love don’t we already know the blessings in the here but not yet of heaven?

 

 

clip_image041[1]Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

 

 

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Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

 

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Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

 

clip_image052O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.

 

 

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The Magnificat
The Magnificat

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us. And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus Appears to the Holy Women
Jesus Appears to the Holy Women

Let us pray. O GOD, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that by meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

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In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen

 

 

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The art in this Mystery with the exception of my own of painting representing Mary (for the rosary bead)  is from the French artist James Tissot (1836-1902)*.James Tissot’s art is now in the public domain and available as non-copyrighted downloads from the Brooklyn Museum (www.brooklynmuseum.org), The Jewish Museum (www.thejewishmuseum.org) and WikiArt (www.wikiart.org/en/james-tissot) web sites. I have followed their publication guidelines such as using proper captions for use. The small repeating images of Tissot’s paintings in this Mystery are referenced and have captions in the introduction to this collection of Rosary Mysteries. For additional information regarding art by James Tissot, the assembly of the alternative Rosary Mysteries, my comments from Lectio or suggestions on how to use these mysteries,  please see the Introduction.to Contemplatio Absconia Mysteria – To Contemplate Hidden Mysteries.