instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The ages of man

I have just noticed how the mysteries of the Rosary match a common pattern in life.

The Joyful Mysteries line up with the innocence of childhood, when the Faith is about Baby Jesus and being loved and taken care of.

The Sorrowful Mysteries match the doubt of adolescence, when ancient questions occur to you for the first time, and the whole structure of the Faith seems undermined. For some, the structure wobbles, for others it collapses altogether and dies.

The Glorious Mysteries correspond to the recovery of the Faith from adolescent doubt. Adult faith has undergone a transformation, perhaps similar to the transformation of the human body after resurrection.

The Luminous Mysteries ... well, in this scheme, they'd align with a more systematic catechesis, when some of the facets of the Faith that were glossed over for young children are examined. Something like that, but I'm not sure that's quite as common as the other stages. (I might say that I find the Luminous Mysteries to be a fruitful addition to the Rosary, but something of a tough fit for these sorts of Ubiquitous Rosary Program posts. It seems to be a lot more natural to think in terms of triples than quadruples.)