Finding Joy Amidst the Sorrowful
It was a typical Monday night bedtime routine. I was attempting to lead the kids through their bedtime prayers while my husband was retrieving our oldest from her Monday night activity. Per usual, I was wiped out from a day that became busier than it needed to be and was consequently short on patience, thinking of all the things I still needed to finish before the day was over. So while my other three littles were busy with their typical bedtime antics, I was hustling through our nightly Rosary at record-breaking speed. It was clearly not the holiest moment of my day, at least not until I started having to announce each Mystery.
For anyone not familiar, there are certain Mysteries of the Rosary that one mediates on while praying the Rosary. These Mysteries are generally dictated by the day of the week. Since it was Monday, I needed to lead the kids through the Joyful Mysteries. With my head so full of all the leftover stressors and anxieties of the day, I announced the first mystery as the first Sorrowful Mystery. My five-year-old, who always passes out during the opening prayers of the Rosary, let alone stays awake during any of the Mysteries, called out from his bed and corrected me saying, “Mama, it’s Joyful today.” I sighed a big sigh, thanked him for the correction, rattled off the 10 Hail Mary’s, and then announced the second Mystery, again announcing the second Sorrowful Mystery instead of the second Joyful Mystery. Again, the little voice came, “Mama, it’s Joyful today”. I thanked him again, became annoyed with myself, and proceeded with the 10 Hail Mary’s. This continued to happen for the third and fourth Mysteries as well. By the time we got to the fifth Mystery, I finally was able to catch on and announced the fifth Joyful Mystery correctly and we finished our Rosary peacefully.
It was as we continued praying the Rosary- with my five-year-old patiently correcting me- that I realized that for so much of anything that happens in life, it can be so easy to get caught up in the stress or anxiety of the situation, focusing on the sorrow of the situation instead of the joyful. It’s a type of mentality that some of us- myself included- have set as default and constantly need to battle against. But sisters, it is a battle worth fighting every day, for it is in finding joy in the sorrowful that leads us into the sacred, helping us grow in holiness. I certainly do not claim to be an expert in finding joy in the sorrowful, but I know someone who is: our Blessed Mother, Mary (and how fitting is it that October is the month of the Holy Rosary!). How many of the Joyful Mysteries and Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary are so intimately related to the Seven Sorrows of Mary? They are so closely connected that one cannot exist without the other. The sorrow leads to the joy.
So what does finding joy in the sorrowful look like in terms of fertility? Amidst the sorrow of charting through a difficult chart during a time of avoidance, find joy in the knowledge that your marriage is being strengthened. Amidst the sorrow of infertility, find joy in the friendships of others walking the same path. Amidst the sorrow of a miscarriage, find joy in those who come to comfort you. Amidst the sorrow of an unexpected pregnancy, find joy in the beautiful uniqueness of the new life within you. And if you feel like you need some help or guidance in finding the joy in your charting situation, reach out to one of our practitioners today.
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, pray for us!
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!
Mary, Cause of our Joy, pray for us!