The Mysteries of Light
Pope John Paul II will be remembered for centuries as the Pope who filled in the heretical gap in the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
Until he inserted the five Mysteries, which he called “of Light” or “Luminous”, the Rosary jumped from the fifth Joyful Mystery, the Finding of Jesus in the Temple at the age of twelve, to the first Sorrowful Mystery, the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. So the entire Ministry of our Lord was omitted from the meditations.
This has now been corrected. The Mysteries of Light are these: The Baptism of our Lord in the River Jordan; The Marriage in Cana of Galilee, his first miracle; the Preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom; the Transfiguration; and the Institution of the Holy Eucharist. Thus, the gap between the childhood of Jesus and his Passion and Death is bridged.
I called this gap heretical, which may be a bit strong (as it was never meant to be so) but it was certainly a grave defect in the devotion of the Rosary. At the time the Rosary was invented, as a visual (or tactile) aid to prayer, there was a tendency in the Church to play down our Lord’s humanity and concentrate on his divinity. This often leads to an other-worldly, pietistic Christianity which turns away from the pains and sufferings of the world to a “Pie in the Sky when you Die” panacea.
But now, thanks to Pope John Paul II, we can meditate on Jesus as the perfect Teacher of Love and Compassion to the weak, the sick, the outcast; the Proclaimer of the Kingdom of his Father on earth; the sharer of our earthly joys and sorrows and temptations; the shining light of God’s glory in a man; and the one who substituted himself for the sacrificed lambs, and commanded us to remember him by eating and drinking the Eucharist together.
John Paul II did many extraordinary things, but I predict that the Luminous Mysteries will be his abiding testament.