• Annunciation (Humility)

This mystery is about angel Gabriel coming to tell Mary that she will be the mother of God. Mary says she wants it to be done to her according to God's will. This is no minor decision for Mary as there is a stigma in ancient Israel for having a child out of wedlock. She knows Joseph has the right to call off their engagement and she may suffer retribution from the community and still she says yes.

  • Visitation (Love of Neighbor)

Mary went to visit her sister Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist. The baby leapt in Elizabeth's womb upon hearing Mary's voice. It is interesting how the bible authors knew babies could hear in the womb but our enlightened "scientists" are just beginning to figure this out today. I wonder how long it will take them to figure out that a baby in the womb is a real person? Obviously sacred scripture supports the personhood of babies in the womb very strongly in this rosary mystery. This mystery means a lot to me personally. I take communion to the sick about once a week. One week, I had to deliver to two mothers in the maternity ward. I had to do a double, no make that a triple-take at my list. Their names were Roe and Wade. Yes. On the anniversary of the tragic Roe v. Wade decision I had to take communion to two women in the maternity ward and the only two names on my list were Roe and Wade. I think about this often when I pray this mystery. I also think about ways I can help bring about an end to abortion. Of course this mystery is about more than merely the status of John the Baptist as a real person while he was an embryo, but this is just one aspect of my meditation on this great mystery.

  • Nativity (Poverty of Spirit)

Here is the central miracle of all time. God puts on flesh and comes to us as a vulnerable little baby. He is utterly dependent on Mary and Joseph for care and feeding like any human child. He is born not in a palace but in an animal feed trough.

  • Presentation in the temple (Obedience)

Here Mary and Joseph obey Jewish law and have Christ circumcised at the Temple. If Jesus and his mom and dad were Jews, how can any Christian feel resentment toward any Jew?

  • Finding in the temple (Piety)

Here Jesus is beginning to get an inkling about his public ministry. The only problem is he is only 12 years old so his parents are quite worried when he remains in Jerusalem in the temple when they've already left for home. How many of us can say we are so enthusiastic about being in God's house?