4 Reasons Why I Love the Luminous Mysteries

I love praying the Rosary.  It joins movement with spoken word and deep spiritual reflection on the life of Christ.  Since it makes me do three things at once (very trinitarian, right?), it is perfect for my self-diagnosed ADD.

Since its official recognition in the 12th century, the Rosary, as most know, was based around three main Mysteries- the Joyful (which are actually quite sorrowful in light of the cross), the Sorrowful (which are even more sorrowful than the Joyful) and the Glorious (which just plain rock in their gloriousness).

However, since Blessed John Paul II (a fellow Rosary lover) created the Luminous Mysteries, I gotta say they have become my favorites.  Here are some reasons why:

1. They focus on Christ, the Teacher

One could argue that ALL of the Mysteries are good for teaching, but it is the Luminous Mysteries that paint Jesus as an instruction-describing, advice-giving, feedback-providing Educator   In each mystery, He teaches large/small groups how to truly live a good life, celebrate successes and correct errors.

2. They Sacrificially Balance the Rosary Week

The traditional daily recitation schedule for the Rosary used to look like this:

Sunday- Glorious, Joyful, and very rarely , the Sorrowful Mysteries (the Mysteries prayed depended on the liturgical season when it was prayed)

Monday- Joyful Mysteries

Tuesday- Sorrowful Mysteries

Wednesday- Glorious Mysteries

Thursday- Joyful Mysteries

Friday- Sorrowful Mysteries

Saturday- Glorious Mysteries

Since Ordinary Time mammoths the rest of the liturgical schedule, the Glorious Mysteries almost always were prayed three times a week (and why not, they’re just that awesome!)

With the inception of the Luminous Mysteries, however, balance was given to the weekly recitation schedule, but at a sacrificial cost.  It now looks like this (with some variations during Lent and Advent):

Sunday- Glorious Mysteries (ALWAYS)

Monday- Joyful Mysteries

Tuesday- Sorrowful Mysteries

Wednesday- Glorious Mysteries

Thursday- Luminous Mysteries

Friday- Sorrowful Mysteries

Saturday- Joyful Mysteries

Notice how the original Mysteries now have two days each?  Notice how the Luminous Mysteries only get one day?  Just like a Teacher, the Luminous Mysteries sacrifice fame for balance and clarity.

 3. They Complete Mary’s Mission

Mary is the patroness of the Rosary, and for centuries the greatest advice she ever gave to her children went unheard via the beaded blessing.

 “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5).

Without the Luminous Mysteries, we were able to meditate on the mission of Christ, but it wasn’t until the Luminous Mysteries came about that Mary’s mission to us was directly addressed. The Miracle at the Wedding at Cana does just that; it unites our vocations to Christ through the intercession of Mary.  Finally, her mission is complete.

4. They Bring Us Into Full Communion With Christ

This one is easy.  How could the Catholic Church not have a Mystery dedicated to its most sacred Sacrament? Thank you Blessed JPII for giving us the Institution of the Eucharist in Rosary prayer.

Light has always been the symbol of hope, learning, and life.  This trinitarian symbolic light manifests itself in the person of Christ.  The Luminous mysteries bring “light” to all who pray them and it even sheds a little bit onto the other mysteries.  

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4 thoughts on “4 Reasons Why I Love the Luminous Mysteries

  1. I felt when they added the Luminous Mysteries, the Rosary is much more complete. I have to admit though it’s been a long time since I prayed one. Maybe I’ll start again. I really get inspiration from other people (like you) who reminds me that we are united under this powerful tool of prayer. Thanks for another great post.

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