When I meditate on the mysteries of the rosary, I often use images from The Passion of the Christ to help me stay focused. There's not a lot to choose from when it comes to the Resurrection, but it is one of my favorites from the movie. I see Jesus's beautiful face, as he sits up in the tomb, with Peace written on his features. His wounds from the horrific tortures He endured and the crucifixion, with the exception of the nail holes in His hands, have healed. He breathes a sigh of relief and resignation as He rises to begin the next and final phase of His earthly mission.
Yesterday, when I prayed these mysteries, I was struck anew by that sigh that He gives. It suddenly occurred to me that maybe it wasn't in preparation for the work ahead, but a sigh of relief that His physical suffering was over. He had "run the race and kept the faith" just as we must. That thought, of torture and death, brought my thoughts to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East these days. The deaths at the American Embassy in Libya.
The world is a crazy, sometimes very scary, place these days. I wondered why so many people react with such violence and hatred to those who disagree with them, when I realized it's the devil. Does the venom you see in the news, on Twitter, on Facebook, ever remind you of the curses spouted by Linda Blair in The Exorcist? So many have forgotten God, either mindlessly letting Him slip from their hearts, or actively pushing Him away from a desire for a different idol, or no idol at all save Self.
It was quite a digression from the subject of the mystery, the resurrection of Christ, but with tears streaming, I heaped more prayer intentions on Mary's comforting shoulders, and forged on with my prayers, because that is just about all I have to offer the world at large. In my little bubble here, my task is to raise faithful, Catholic, children in a world that needs faith desperately, and to serve in the other ways that God calls me. And pray, ceaselessly, for all those on the front lines, so to speak, for those whose very lives (and, sometimes, souls) are in danger. That same image, which reminds me of the torture He endured and that others still endure, gives me great hope that on the other side of the suffering is great joy and peace.