Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Hope and the Mysteries of the Rosary

When you're struggling to find, and to hold on, to hope, you will find no better help than the Mysteries of the Rosary. The reason we get so disappointed in life is because we don't know what's happening.

We don't understand why the things that are happening are happening in our life. We become afraid to dream because we keep meeting failure and disappointment and we think those things are signs that we aren't meant to succeed.

We think those things are proof that we don't have what it takes to become who we want to be or to succeed at what we are trying to do. We don't understand that sometimes those things are preparing us to be the person we'll need to be to get where we want to go or be who we want to be.

The Mysteries of the Rosary Reveal the Truth

The Mysteries of the Rosary help us hold on to hope by reminding us that failure does not prove we don't have what it takes. It proves that we have lessons to learn before we're ready to move on to the success we desire. It reminds us that disappointments aren't proof that signs we aren't meant to succeed, they are signs that we are walking a path that is challenging our assumptions. It is our expectations of how life should work and how the journey should go that is the problem.

They Mysteries of the Rosary help us overcome disappointment by setting proper expectations for what we can expect on our journey toward success. It helps us to overcome our failures by looking at them for what they really are: mirrors that reveal areas of our life where we still need to grow. They reveal the truth about what it will take if we want to make our lives and our world a better place.

The Joyful Mysteries and the Truth

We've all had that moment where we have this idea that we think is going to be brilliant. It's going to change everything. It's going to make a real difference. Then we start working on that plan and all hell breaks loose. We can't find anybody to get on board with it. We get discouraged and we feel defeated. We slink back to our hiding hole and we stop sharing our idea. We lose faith in the idea and confidence in ourselves. The Joyful Mysteries help us to fight for that dream by showing us what to do when we meet the temptation to quit or we get discouraged in our efforts.

The Luminous Mysteries

One of the reasons we get so discouraged and are so tempted to quit is that we don't take time to refocus and recommit to this work we're doing. We allow the struggles we're going through to distract us from the vision. The Luminous Mysteries help us to reconnect with the vision and direct us in what we need to do to refuel ourselves when we find ourselves getting worn out by the journey.

The Sorrowful Mysteries

Any time you set out to serve someone else, you'll meet people who will tear you down and wear you down. The more love you pour out onto the world, the more people you'll meet who are filled with hatred and who despise the work you're doing. You need the help of the Sorrowful Mysteries if you're to have the strength you need to love even your haters and the graces you'll need to allow these encounters to make you better instead of bitter.

The Glorious Mysteries

At the end of the day, it's important to focus on the reason why we're willing to put ourselves through all the torment, the agony, and the discouragement. It's important to remember what we're fighting for and what our real purpose is in the whole thing. Because if we allow ourselves to lose sight of why it matters, we'll quit long before we reach the end. You can read all about my confrontation with that reality in my blog post, "The Mercy of Excommunication." The Glorious Mysteries allow us to reflect on what it is we hope to accomplish in this life and why the struggles we're going through will be worth it in the end.

We All Forget

This post has been over a month in coming. The book that I intended to write for you that was going to take just a month has stretched now into four. The reason for that? I got discouraged. I wasn't sure what I was doing was making a difference. I allowed my discouragement to lead me to become defeated in my goal. I forgot what really matters is the service, not the result. If you think it odd that someone who is writing about hope might find so little of it herself sometimes, understand that I write what I do because in seeking to help you, I often find the help I need for me in it, too. This is an important truth about serving others.

The Rosary Reminds Us

In every mystery of the rosary, we find a reminder of reasons to hold on to hope and encouragement no matter what storm of life we happen to be facing. It encourages us by letting us know we are not the only ones out there struggling. It motivates us by reminding us of what our true purpose is and to understand that the pain we experience is part of the process of sanctification, or learning and growing in holiness.

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