The Rosary takes us into the mysteries of the life of Christ. Among these are the Joyful and Sorrowful Mysteries. With Christ as the focus of our meditation as we recite the prayers, we are intimate with the impact of His life on those around Him, particularly His Holy Mother.
Mary lived a life replete with joys and sorrows. Imagine her joy at finding Him in the temple after 3 days! Imagine her immense sorrow as she watched His Passion and death. Christ told His disciples that a life spent following Him is not easy. Mary constantly points the way to the source of peace, strength, and refuge for the journey: her Son, Jesus.
As a physician, I have witnessed the unending juxtaposition of joy and sorrow in life. Most poignant when a new grandchild is born three days after his grandfather died suddenly from a heart attack or the great anticipation by parents of the birth of a child is met with a serious birth complication that ends the child's life hours after birth, every encounter with every patient involved a relationship between the joys and the sorrows of life. It is the human experience. There are no words to describe the emotion, necessitating elevation of such experiences to the divine. Prayer works in every circumstance.
In the Rosary we are given not only a compact version of the New Testament, but a great pathway to solace in times of sorrow and contentment in times of joy. Through prayer we find gratitude and purpose for everything.
The "Joys and Sorrows" rosaries I create were inspired by my sister, in a request for a gift rosary for a friend whose father had died after early onset Alzheimer dementia. My sister requested specifically "smooth" beads to represent the joyful times her friend experienced with her dad and "jagged" beads to represent the sorrowful times, not the least of which was the disease that afflicted his final years. Intrigued by her request, I set out to see what I could find. At least some of the beads had to be German-made.
I was inspired. Discovery of natural stone beads and tracking down antique German glass beads led to a spiritual encounter of a sort I had not experienced. The Joys and Sorrows Collection was conceived.
As I create each rosary, I use the time to reflect on my own life, and offer thanks to God for His many blessings. They are too numerous to count! Designing rosaries for the Joys and Sorrows Collection brings a special opportunity: to express gratitude for the trials in life and for God's abundant mercy as I navigate through them.
Life is a blessing. The joys and the sorrows.
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