By Mariah Mulderink
My Favorite Mystery of the Rosary
I have a favorite mystery of the Rosary. I cannot tell you when it became my favorite but it has been for quite some time. My favorite mystery is the First Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden. I will tell you why in a moment, but first let’s talk about what is happening in the Agony of the Garden. It takes place after the Last Supper when Jesus takes Peter, James, and John to the Garden of Gethsemane. He asks them to keep watch while He goes and prays. Christ knows that His time to suffer and die has come. He knows all of the torture and pain He is about to endure. With this weight on Him, He goes to pray. He goes to speak with His Father. In Scripture, we read His prayer, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will” (Mark 26:39) When He returns to prayer a second time after waking the three disciples, He says, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done” (Mark 26:42).
I think we all know what it is like to be apprehensive. However, I for one, have not ever experienced apprehension of torture and death. Christ did. He knew every bit of torture He would experience. He knew that His body would be beaten. He knew that His friends would turn away from Him. He knew it all. Can you imagine knowing that kind of suffering was coming and choosing to remain and endure it? I cannot.
Something Profound about This Mystery of the Rosary
While this may not be the primary reason that this is my favorite mystery of the Rosary, it is something that draws me into it. I would like to draw your attention to a sentence which Christ speaks in both of his prayers while in the Garden of Gethsemane. He tells the Father, “Your will be done!” This declaration almost sounds as though Christ is only submitting to His suffering and death because the Father wants it. This is not true. Why? Because the will of the Father IS the will of the Son. They are one, and therefore, will the same thing. Yes, Christ is experiencing distress as His suffering and death draws near. Of course, He would rather not go through such tremendous pain. However, what the Father desires which is the salvation of humanity, Christ also desires completely and perfectly. It would be a mistake to ever think that the Father and Son’s wills are not the same. They with the Holy Spirit are three persons in ONE God. What the Father wills so does the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Why This Is My Favorite Mystery of the Rosary
This leads to the reason why this is my favorite mystery of the Rosary. While the Son may not have desired to suffer and die, He did desire the result of His suffering and death. The result of His suffering and death is mine and yours salvation. Because of His suffering and death, the gates of Heaven were opened and salvation was made possible for every single person. But let’s go further than that. Yes, Christ endured His suffering and death for this result, but He desired this result for a deeper reason. He desired this result because of love. It was total and perfect love that Christ suffered and died for. How incredible is that? Have you ever truly pondered it? I feel that this is a sincere desire for many of us: to be loved so profoundly by someone that they would, in fact, die for us. Well, my friend, you are loved that greatly. He died for you.
When I pray the First Mystery of the Rosary, I am deeply aware of Christ’s love for me because I contemplate His agony and know that His surrender to suffer and die is out of love for me. In the garden, Christ did not just think of humanity as some general group that needed saving. His love is much more personal than that. He intentionally and specifically suffered and died for each human being ever created and yet to be created. In that garden, Christ resolved to suffer and die for you, for me, for your friend, your mother, your son, EVERYONE.
Yes, there are many points through the story of salvation where we can see God acting out of love for all of humanity. However, there is something particularly profound about the moment just before His suffering began, the moment before His arrest and ultimately His execution. That moment in which He chose us.
Continue to join us each week as we work our way through each of the sorrowful mysteries. We hope that it will help you in your contemplation each day as you pray the Rosary. Please also, take a moment to check out some of our other resources to aid you in your devotion to the Rosary.
Are you an audio type person? Download our Audio Rosary - Sorrowful Mysteries at no cost.
If you are frequently on the go and just can’t find the 20 minutes you need to pray your rosary, our Rosary Bracelets are perfect for you. Having the rosary on your wrist throughout your day makes it accessible and a great reminder. The removable crucifix charm will also help you keep track of where you are in your Rosary so that you can stop and go as often as you need.
Want to help your children learn the Sorrowful Mysteries and contemplate them in a very accessible way? Check out our FREE downloadable coloring sheets featuring the Sorrowful Mysteries.
Mariah Mulderink is wife, mom, Masters in Theology student, and marketing director for Chews Life. Her greatest joys are her faith, her family, her friends, and any chance to be competitive. For her, one of the greatest privileges she has received is the opportunity to pursue her Masters in Theology. Studying the faith is not only fascinating but is also a beautiful way to know God better. She hopes her studies and her faith will always equip her to share Christ in her work and with every person she meets.
You can find out more about her here.