We always see reality under a certain perspective. Our way of thinking, talking and doing things are – consciously or unconsciously – influenced by the perspective under which we see the world – our world. That is why, we say that a pessimistic person tends to see only the negative aspects of his or her experience while the optimistic one tries to find and to emphasize the positive side.
We prefer being optimistic to being pessimistic in life. I suggest that one way to learn optimism is to look at reality with the eyes of God: to see things under God’s light. This is what we may learn if we meditate on the Luminous Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
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FIRST MYSTERY OF LIGHT: The Baptism of the Lord. John, the Baptist’s baptism was a purification rite for repentant sinners. Jesus did not hesitate to stay in the long queue of sinners to receive John’s baptism. John, at first, hesitated but the Lord asked him to proceed in order to fulfill God’s will.
Whenever we look at ourselves with our own eyes, what we see are miseries, limitations, errors and sins. Then our immediate reaction is despair. We see no light and we tend to give up hope. We give up the fight thinking that it’s useless for we fall on the same error or sin again and again.
Why not try to look at ourselves with the eyes of God? God looks at us with mercy. He knows our struggles and failures. But He is as much delighted to see our will to fight again, to stand again after a fall, as to contemplate our victories. In our sinfulness, He comes to us: to accompany us, to be on our side, to stay on the long queue of sinners like us.
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SECOND MYSTERY OF LIGHT: The Manifestation of the Lord in the Wedding at Cana. In Cana, we see Mary as one of those invited, like Jesus and the disciples themselves. But Mary was more than just a guest. She acted as if she belonged to the family of the groom or of the bride. She was very attentive to every detail of the celebration. Among the guests, she was the first to find out that the wine has run out.
“No one is too rich that he does not need anything”, affirms the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines. All of us have our own needs. And sometimes we get the sensation that we are the only ones who have needs, and that our needs are the greatest and the most urgent.
But God perceives what we really need better than we do. Mary, who is now in heaven, also does perceive our needs and knows how much we necessitate essential things. If we look at our needs with God’s eyes, or even with the eyes of Mary, we will understand why at times God does not give us (or grant us immediately) what we ask Him for.
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THIRD MYSTERY OF LIGHT: The Proclamation of God’s Kingdom and the Call for Conversion. “The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel”. We imagine Jesus calling on everyone with this theme. Every time He had an opportunity, He would immediately inject this teaching on His disciples and the people around Him.
We have the tendency to call for the conversion of other people more than of our own. We often use expressions like “Dapat” (“Dapat ‘di niya sinabi ‘yun”, “Dapat ganito ang gawin n’ya”, “Hindi dapat ganyan”) to tell other people what they should do or not do. But how often do we tell ourselves what we often tell other people? Looking at ourselves with God’s eyes reveals to us how much we need conversion.
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FOURTH MYSTERY OF LIGHT: The Transfiguration of the Lord. We contemplate the three apostles, Peter, James and John, witnessing how the Lord was transfigured in their sight. His clothes were as bright as the sun. Then, they saw Moses and Elijah conversing with Jesus. The Fathers of the Church teach us that the Lord’s transfiguration serves as an assurance for the apostles of His divinity, for them to remain strong when Jesus faces His passion and death.
In our baptism we are transfigured into Christ: we become alter Christus (the other Christ), or, as St. Josemaría Escrivá used to say, ipse Christus, Christ Himself. This transfiguration makes us capable of conversing with God in prayer, like children conversing with their father. Such intimate conversation with God keeps us strong in times of adversities and difficulties.
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FIFTH MYSTERY OF LIGHT: The Institution of the Holy Eucharist. During the Last Supper, Jesus manifested the intensity and the greatness of His love for us. He gave to His disciples no less than His own Body and Blood present under the species of bread and wine. “Do this in memory of me” is the command that He gave them – a command that perpetuates His presence among us today.
But we can only be aware of Christ’s sacramental presence among us today under the light of faith. Only he who accepts by faith that inside the Tabernacle is Jesus Christ Himself in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity can experience such presence and enjoy the abundant spiritual gifts that it brings. Let us ask the Lord to grant us more of His light so that we may see and believe, and in believing, our joy may be complete.