Random Catholic Musing: the Joyful Mysteries ought to be called the Terrifying Mysteries. Sure, they're joyful -- but we call them that thousands of years later when we know how everything plays out. Rephrased, these 5 rosary decades are:
- Unwed teenager notified of unplanned pregnancy she could be executed for. She gets to tell her fiancé he's not the father.
- Aforementioned teenage girl's first family reaction to said pregnancy.
- 15-year-old gives birth alone in a cave in a strange town without access to medical care. She is immediately visited by hoboes wielding weapons (shepherds were not cuddly, polite people) yammering excitedly about some trippy-sounding vision that involves the baby.
- While registering her infant's birth, young mother hears very disturbing prophecy about swords piercing her heart. Fun for the whole family.
- 12-year-old boy disappears from family trip, still missing after 3 days; distraught parents hunt in city.
It's easy to forget this when all the Christmas cards are filled with excessively twee poetry set in italic calligraphy and soaring orchestral music. I don't like twee poetry; sentimental historical depictions make me gag. But terror? I can do terror. I can do aloneness and unplannedness, and societal pressure and being lost and getting approached by random people who might look a little sketchy, and having to tell people things they probably don't want to hear.
I just can't do it with quite as much grace -- for me, that part is the mystery -- but I reckon that's why Mary is a saint.