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Good Catholics love to pray the Rosary, among other reasons because God Himself said the Virgin Mary is our Mother [Jn 19:27]. Praying the Rosary involves meditating important moments in the Life of Christ (i.e. "mysteries"). Traditionally, there are three series of five mysteries, to which Saint John Paul II added another series:
- The Joyful Mysteries (Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, Finding of Jesus in the Temple).
- The Luminous Mysteries (Baptism of Jesus, Wedding at Cana, Jesus' Proclamation of the Kingdom of God, Transfiguration, Institution of the Eucharist).
- The Sorrowful Mysteries (Agony in the Garden, Scourging at the Pillar, Crowning with Thorns, Carrying of the Cross, Crucifixion and Death of our Lord).
- The Glorious Mysteries (Resurrection, Ascension, Descent of the Holy Spirit, Assumption of Mary, Coronation of the Virgin).
In this article, because the Church (and all of Mankind) is apparently headed for disaster, I propose a new series of mysteries, to help us prepare for this disaster. A bit facetiously, I call them the "Prepareful" mysteries.
Saint John Paul II, in his beautiful Rosarium Virginis Mariae, says:
11. [...] Mary constantly sets before the faithful the "mysteries" of her Son, with the desire that the contemplation of those mysteries will release all their saving power. In the recitation of the Rosary, the Christian community enters into contact with the memories and the contemplative gaze of Mary.
13. [...] it is also necessary to recall that the spiritual life "is not limited solely to participation in the liturgy. Christians, while they are called to prayer in common, must also go to their own rooms to pray to their Father in secret
19. Of the many mysteries of Christ's life, only a few are indicated by the Rosary [...] the traditional pattern [of 15 mysteries is] left to the freedom of individuals and communities [my emphasis]
Since there are many more mysteries than 15 (or 20) in the Life of Christ, and since this is private prayer (not like Mass where we must respect the will of the Church for the liturgy, i.e. Say the black and do the red), and since Mankind (and even the current "Pope") is abandoning the Social Kingship of Christ (which inevitably leads to disaster, since "without a Creator the creature vanishes" [CCC, #308]), it seems logical to me to add the "Prepareful Mysteries" (or Apocalyptic Mysteries) to the Rosary. Especially since Jesus Himself tells us "Be Prepared!":
"Et vos estote parati"
Jerusalem about to be destroyed by the Roman army.
[...] flee to the mountains, a person on the housetop must not go down to get things
out of his house, a person in the field must not return to get his cloak. [...] at
that time there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning
of the world until now, nor ever will be.
Remember, this is Almighty God ordering to flee to the mountains. Why give such a commandment, if fleeing was useless? Also, some people present Christianity as a kind of "opium of the people", a religion of "happy-talk" and "let's all hold hands and sing Kumbaya". But that is not what the Word of God says. The Word of God warns us of horrible disasters, if we abandon Him. And have we ever abandoned Him today! As John Lamont says about the doctrine of Christ the King: "If the rejection of the true religion by state and society is now so deep that this disaster cannot be avoided, the doctrine still needs to be urgently announced in order to enable people to prepare for disaster."
Moreover, this "fleeing to the mountains" in front of an impending disaster can also be interpreted metaphorically. Mountains are high, and Heaven is high. A common example is when temptation assails us, we should "flee to high places" by elevating our soul to God, i.e. we should pray ("to you, Lord, I lift up my soul", Ps 85:4b). Another example, a far more scary example, is when a tyrannical government orders you to adore some idol, so your early life will be spared (but only for a short while!). Here again, it's better to run away from this earthly Jerusalem, and flee upward to the "mountains" of Paradise, thanks to martyrdom.
"Flee for your life! Don't look back or stop anywhere on the Plain. Get off to the
hills at once, or you will be swept away."
man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for
When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.
Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will
shake the faith of many believers.
[Catechism of the Catholic Church, #675]
The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when
She will follow her Lord in His death and Resurrection.
[Catechism of the Catholic Church, #677]
Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.
We can distinguish between being ready, and being "pre-ready" or prepared (in Latin, "paratus" and "prae paratus"). This second mystery revolves around being ready, and the next one deals with being "pre-ready" or being prepared as such. Jesus praying all night is "on guard", he is watching, he is ready.
First, Jesus was physically able to pray all night, in other words he had the stamina, the physical toughness, to work all day and pray all night. Jesus certainly did not have a beer belly and smoker's yellow teeth. He was certainly fit as a fiddle.
Second, Jesus could keep mentally active for a long period of time, without needing a big library or YouTube to compensate for an empty brain. His mind was filled with good things already. Theology teaches us that He has all the human virtues, including intellectual virtues (which includes all skills, which includes survival skills!).
This physical and mental preparedness allowed Jesus to pray all night, but it also reminds us that your most important material weapon is your body, and survival skills take zero bulk and have zero mass, so you always have them with you (even if you walk up to a mountaintop with just the clothes on your back, and find out you have to spend the whole night there). In other words, one of the most important things to prepare is yourself: a healthy mind in a healthy body (i.e. "Mens sana in corpore sano").
Finally, Jesus used this healthy mind in a healthy body to maintain "situational awareness". If bad things are coming our way, we need to stay awake (which includes avoiding the "mental sleep" of entertainment).
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit?
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour.
But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a foodbag. And let the
one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.
Remember, Jesus is God, so this is God telling us to grab our moneybag (our gold), our knapsack (which certainly included some groceries) and to get a gun (in those days, a sword).
I personally list "gold" last in the sequence "God, Guns, Groceries, Gold", because it requires a functioning societal exchange system to be of any use. All the other ones are still useful even if society has fallen apart (in other words, you cannot eat gold for breakfast). Most authors also add "Ground", meaning land you own on which you can grow food. Yes, ideally, I would love to. Although it can be hard to reconcile with mobility.
So [Joseph] got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt
The five "Prepareful" Mysteries are divided in two: the first three are about preparation strictly speaking, but the last two are about taking action, after a bad event happens (for which preparations were necessary). "Taking action" normally means either flight or fight. The Fourth Mystery is about "flight", also known as the Cardinal Rule of Disaster Preparedness.
In the middle of the night, saint Joseph grabs his family and his bug out bag and leaves for a foreign country, in a hurry, using back roads. And remember all children under two years of age and living in that general area will be massacred in a few hours. How much more SHTF can things get for a young and poor family? But saint Joseph was ready, and took massive action to save his family, despite there being very few signs that a disaster was incoming.
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for
me and for the gospel will save it.
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.
Life here below is not the most important thing. We have to make reasonable efforts to protect it, but we also have to be ready to sacrifice our earthly life, if it's the only way of avoiding sin (and sin is the Ultimate Bad Thing, not some earthly disaster). One of the worse sins imaginable is abandoning your loved ones when they are threatened. When a father sees his wife and children being attacked, or when a citizen sees his Country being invaded, or when a Christian must choose between apostasy or being tortured and killed, it's not time to run away, it's time to fight.
Jesus could have escaped from the armed thugs who came to capture Him in the Garden of Gethsemani, but He just walked up to them and said bravely: "I am He" [the Latin says: "Ego sum!" Jn 18:5, which looks a lot like a declaration of might, a victory cry, a call for us to have unbounded trust, if we compare this to other times when God proclaims thus His Name: Ex 3:14, Mt 14:27, Jn 8:58, etc.], probably sparing the lives of his disciples by doing so. Also, attacking requires courage, but enduring is the supreme proof of courage [IIa-IIae, q. 123, a. 6].
Christian Fundamentalists preparing for the Apocalypse.
Another consequence of the life of the body being infinitely less important than the life of the soul, is preparing for the Apocalypse. If you want to see Catholic survivalists preparing for the End of the World, go into a church to watch the lineup in front of the Confessional: there! The Sacrament of Confession (which includes sincere repentance for all your sins, fixing all the harm you've done, and promising you'll change your life) is the only thing you can do to prepare for the End of the World (and when you die, it's "the End of the World" for you...).
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