The Joyful Mysteries as Image of the Whole of Salvation History

Summary

If the birth of Christ symbolizes, by Advent Tradition, the Second Coming of Christ, perhaps the whole time period in months from the outset, that is, the conception of St John the Baptist, to that same birth of Christ is an image of the whole Divine Plan.

It actually works. Tradition suggests eight days of creation (six days of labor, a seventh day of imperfect rest, and an eighth day of resurrection and eternal rest) image the eight great ages of the whole Divine Plan, from the Fall to the New Creation inclusive. Each day has two parts, an evening and a morning (Genesis: "evening came, and morning followed, the first day, evening came, and morning followed, the second day, ..."). Hence 2 parts per 8 days = 8 x 2 = 16 total parts. Now, Mary conceived in the sixth month of St Elizabeth, so Mary will give birth almost 6 months after St Elizabeth does. St Elizabeth obviously gives birth at the end of nine months. Hence, almost six months later is almost 9 + 6 = 15 total months after the conception of St John. That is effectively 15 months. The days of creation had 16 parts, with the 16th part being the Second Coming of Christ. However, Christ comes early, that is, "those days shall be shortened". Hence, really, Christ returns in the midst of the 15th part of the creation days.

So the months of St Elizabeth and Mary can image the parts whole divine plan by quantity.

The correlations move from there. By the theology of parts, there were 9 parts for the OT. Hence, the first nine months of St Elizabeth’s pregnancy are OT ages, and the birth of St John the Baptist symbolizes the First Coming of Christ.

This leaves 6 parts from the First Coming of Christ to the Great Apostasy, inclusive, which is the NT history. It actually works when assume Fatima and most approved Private Revelation is true of a coming age of peace after a possible imminent tribulation.

The first six months of St Elizabeth, she proclaims, "God shall act on my behalf". Similarly, in the first six parts of the OT, which include the Flood, Confounding at Babel, and the Exodus, God indeed works tremendous and miraculous activity on behalf of His righteous.

Overall, the first three Joyful Mysteries amazingly shew forth the whole Divine Plan. Coincidence?

The Joyful Mysteries as Image of Whole Salvation History

What if the little events of the months of St Elizabeth and Mother Mary's pregnancies and births are a microcosmic analogy of all of human history, that is, of all of God's Plan of Salvation, from the Fall all the way to the end of the world and the New Creation, inclusive?

May sound crazy, but come and see!

A Word about Dispensationalism

Before we get to the Joyful Mysteries analogy, we need a word about Dispensationalism. Now, Several Early Church Fathers see the days of creation as a metaphor for the ages of the recreation of man, or his redemption. It will be necessary to look at this because this creation days analogy will be the basis of our Joyful Mysteries' analogy, the basis from which we will develop it.

Now, St Methodius of Olympus, like Augustine, says five ages are of the old law. However, he goes on to elaborate on the New: The sixth is designated to the church, in which she labors to work against heretics. The seventh is the "Millennium of rest", and the eighth is the eternal New Creation, not the seventh.

Now, this "millennium of rest" that St Methodius references is a source of contention that we must address for this analogy that is forthcoming.

It references a passage from Apocalypse chapter 20. More specifically, starting in Apocalypse chapter 12, the dragon appears from many scenes of apocalypse, here and there, culminating with a beast and false prophet At the peak, this diabolical trinity, as it were, seduces man into self destruction, at which time, in Apocalypse 19, Christ "descends from heaven", and the beast and false prophet are cast into the fire, while the dragon is not yet totally vanquished but temporarily "chained in the abyss" for "a thousand years". During this period, Christ "reigns" on earth with resurrected saints. After the "thousand year period", the dragon is let loose for a final assault on the good, along with the resurrection of evil people. And then in the midst of this final attack, the dragon and evil persons are thrown into fire and evil is utterly vanquished. Then, we see the general judgement and New Creation.

Obviously, this is problematic for an orthodox Christian: per the Creed, Christ's Second Coming represents the definitive end of human history (from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead). It is then that BOTH the just and unjust rise and ALL to the general judgement and eternal recompense. It is then that the elements are destroyed and remade in the New Creation. We cannot split up the resurrection of men into first the just, and then, after some temporal period of time, the unjust. Christ cannot yet again enter human history within human history. Christ's return is the end of time. It divides history from eternity.

Hence, when the Church sat down to form the NT Canon in the early fifth century, though the West was fairly certain that St John indeed wrote the Apocalypse, this passage was called into question.

Luckily, our beloved Doctor, St Augustine, rendered a way to look at it symbolically that enabled the book to enter the canon.

Here, in this interpretation, the Millennium symbolizes the entire Church age, from coming to coming. Christ reigns spiritually through the baptized who are in new life and the martyrs in heaven. At the end of this general period of evangelization, the release of the devil symbolizes the final assault on the Church with the great apostasy and persecution. Then Christ will come again literally.

Hence, the Fundamentalist position, common to dispensationalism, which takes the Apocalypse 20 literally, also known by them as premillennialism, or Christ returning "before" the "Millennium", is condemned by the Church for the aforementioned reasons just above.

For this reason, at least at first glance, St Methodius' claim of seventh and eighth phases after a general age of "labor for the Church" seems spurious.

However, there is an additional view of the Millennium that Augustine suggested that is not condemned but has fallen by the way side because it suggests a deeper specificity to Church history that is not necessarily apparent. Here, there is a "hybrid," never condemned but set aside. In this view, the "Millennium" is a spiritual Sabbath toward the end of the world but before the final apostasy of the very end, provided it is spiritual and not literal--a special reign of Christ figuratively on earth that is peaceful, and not confrontational with heresies and persecution and such, like the last 2000 years. More specifically, the scenes of the dragon before the chaining symbolize, in one dimension, the history of the Church up until the intermediate apostasy of our time. The chaining of the dragon then symbolizes Christ's spiritual victory over the intermediate apostasy through the massive repentance of the Gentiles that is coming and the reunion of Christians. The millennium here is then, again, a hybrid: it is not the entire period of Church history but this final age of spiritual rest, where the Church has brought humanity, at least temporarily, into a civilization of love (e.g., the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart, the Era of Peace), but the millennium is not literal; it is a spiritual reign of Christ, like Augustinianism. The release of the dragon after the age of peace symbolizes the great apostasy and final attack of the dragon, and then the last judgement is the Second Coming, all like Augustine.

Interestingly enough, this corroborates what Fatima and most fully approved mystics give: in current times, we are not at the end of the world, though an apostate culture reigns in former Christendom. We await, perhaps quite imminently, a Minor Chastisement--minor compared to the very end of the world--after which an unbelievable reversion of the former Christendom back to the Catholic Gospel will occur, leading to the near total renewal of the whole world. Christians will be reunited to Peter and there will be a substantial period of historical, spiritual peace on earth for a long but indeterminate time.

Then, at some point, the world will get finicky and forget that their secular godlessness almost ended the world, and shall fall into the great apostasy, at which time, the ultimate Antichrist shall arise, the bestial ultimate persecution of the Church, the conversion of the Jews, the Great Tribulation, and of course, the actual, literal Second Coming, which, as we know, brings the end of time as we know it.

With this view in mind, St Methodius’ model can be used, as we shall see.

A word, one will object: The New Testament period IS the final age. We await no new revelation. “It is the last hour”.

As far as dispensations hold, that is true. For in the end, there are but two great ages, or dispensations, the Old and the New. However, already in Augustine’s analogy, sub-ages [5] are drawn out of the Old Dispensation. This is obviously not dispensationalism as in our brothers and sisters in error, the Fundamentalists. For Catholic theology teaches that God has more or less always used the same principles to judge man: charity: He has called all men of all times and places to seek out what truth they can find of Him, or has been given to them, and to seek to remain faithful to it as best as they can by grace, whether they understand grace explicitly or not. Sanctifying grace was and is the ticket, from Eden to the Fire of the New World that will never end.

But this obviously doesn’t abrogate the notion that sub phases of historical activity progress within these dispensations: The Flood is a different world from Babel, which is different from Egypt and the Exodus, which is different from the Exile, which is different from Maccabbees.

Similarly, the world around the Church has passed through various phases in Her history.

In infancy, she is underground, illegal, wanted dead or alive: misunderstood by a pagan Empire that has not yet substantially converted and that misunderstands her.

In the first 700 years after Constantine, much of her world has converted, and she is no longer underground as in pagan Rome. Furthermore, she is not contending with as many pagans, as she is contending with various heresies, most of which in this epoch, question the central mystery of faith, the Nature of God Himself as Triune and Incarnate.

After the first millennium, she then has a terrible rift, half of Christendom rejecting Peter.

In the Middle ages, she is flourishing for a time, despite tribulation here and there: Scholasticism, Sacred Art, the Age of Faith.

In Protestantism, she is now contending with an apocalyptic division of the Father’s children never before seen: The first great rift was wide geographically but minor in nature (Peter, the Filioque), but now, the whole of Apostolic Succession and Tradition has been cast out, and flurries of mutating factions are being tossed and fro by every wave of doctrine, a brute attempt to understand Scripture apart from the Church.

In the Enlightenment, it was bad enough to contend with myriads of Christians divided over Scripture, but now she is seeing a supernatural death of much of Christendom: for at least the heretics clung to Scripture, but now, the deists ,the rationalists, only accept reason. They have laughed at and scoffed at supernaturally inclined religion by severe disillusionment with religious chaos and bloodshed. They have confined themselves to a general Supreme Being and some natural law, but they will hear of no talk of Divine Intervention, Salvation, or Revelation.

And finally, in our own day, even reason is cast aside, and not even natural religiosity persists: atheism, relativism, materialism: even natural light is extinguished and only darkness is found in the modern European culture and its derivatives.

Similarly, as we have seen, that even though the darkness is back in bold since pagan Rome, we await one final light before history closes into the final darkness: a conditional chastisement and marvelous renewal, a period of spiritual peace. Only after this Sabbath-like, yet imperfect, rest from most serious sin, will the final darkness of apostasy arise again, followed by the end of human history.

In light of these things, we can apply the theology of the days of Creation in such a way that even the NT dispensation has sub-ages, as long as we, again, remember that God still judges by charity in any sub phase of Church history.

The Days of Creation Analogy of All Human History

So now, let us begin to work out the days of creation analogy, using first, St Augustine's model, and then from there, apply the NT history in common sense correlation to complete the model:

So, again, remembering the apocalyptic creation days analogy--that each day of Creation symbolizes an age of the re-creation of the world in God's Salvation History, and also that each day, as you can see below, has 2 parts: the first part being spiritual darkness and the second part spiritual light ("Evening came, morning followed")--the correlation of all God's Plan can be mapped out as follows, where the beginning phases follow Augustine's delineation in On the Catechizing of the Uninstructed and the ages of the Church are correlated by common sense:

The Days of Creation Analogy of All Human History

OT

Day 1:
Darkness: Fall
Light: Flood

Day 2:
Darkness: Babel
Light: Confounding of Tongues, Formation of Hebrew People (Abraham)

Day 3:
Darkness: Egypt Enslaves
Light: Exodus, Red Sea, King David

Day 4:
Darkness: Pre-Exile wickedness of Jews
Light: Exile, Repentance, Restoration to Holy Land and Temple

Day 5:
Darkness: OT Antichrist Antiochus, Maccabees
Light: First Coming of Christ

NT

Day 6:
Darkness: Pagan Rome Persecutes
Light: Catholic Christendom, Doctrinal Development

Day 7:
Darkness: Intermediate Gentile Secular Apostasy [today]
Light: Minor Chastisement, Gentile Renewal, Our Lady's Age of Peace

Day 8:
Darkness: Great Apostasy, NT Antichrist
Light: Second Coming of Christ

Now, seeing that, again, each day has two parts -- darkness, then light -- so 8 days X 2 parts per day = 16 total parts. This would make all 16 parts as follows:

OT

1. Darkness: Fall
2. Light: Flood
3. Darkness: Babel
4. Light: Confounding of Tongues, Formation of Hebrew People (Abraham)
5. Darkness: Egypt Enslaves
6. Light: Exodus, Red Sea, King David
7. Darkness: Pre-Exile wickedness of Jews
8. Light: Exile, Repentance, Restoration to Holy Land and Temple
9. Darkness: OT Antichrist Antiochus
10. Light: First Coming of Christ

NT

11. Darkness: Pagan Rome Persecutes
12. Light: Catholic Christendom, Doctrinal Development
13. Darkness: Intermediate Gentile Secular Apostasy [today]
14. Light: Minor Chastisement, Gentile Renewal, Our Lady's Age of Peace [future to now]
15. Darkness: Great Apostasy, NT Antichrist [future to now]
16. Light: Second Coming of Christ [future to now]

Now, let us analyze the world history in the creation days analogy, looking closer at the parts. In effect, I intend to correlate the months in St Elizabeth's and Our Lady's overlapping pregnancies to the parts of the creation days analogy above, arguing that the months of the pregnancies are in fact an analogical metaphor of all of salvation history! Sound crazy? Just come along for the ride!

Much of this is straightforward when we examine the pivotal points in the pregnancy months with what will be pivotal points in the creation days analogy.

Before we elaborate, here are the main points:

  • The conception of St john the Baptist is the beginning of human history, starting with the Fall, and the birth of Jesus is the end of human history, the Second Coming
  • St John's gestation represents the ages of the Old Testament.
  • St John's Birth signifies the culmination of OT activity, the First Coming of Christ.
  • The first six months of St John's gestation symbolize the first six subages of the OT, in which God acts on behalf of the People of God with great Divine Revelation and Intervention, even as St Elizabeth said, "behold, God shall act on my behalf."
  • Just as King David, the first great seed of Jesus' reign came in the sixth subage of the OT, so the Blessed Virgin Mary conceived the seed of Jesus in the sixth month.
  • The remaining months after St John's birth represent the history of the Church, or NT, until the Second Coming, which is, again by Advent Tradition, the fulfillment of the birth of Jesus.

Now for the full elaboration:

Firstly, since we know that St John the Baptist is the culmination of Old Testament activity and transitions the Old to the New by heralding the First Coming of Christ, and since St Elizabeth bears St John within her womb, a veritable development or growth, it makes total sense to see St Elizabeth as the image of the Old testament, and the growth of St John in her womb, the process of all OT history, from the fall to the First Coming of Christ, so that the birth of St John The Baptist symbolizes the First Coming of Christ itself.

This is extraordinarily appropriate when we look deeper: How many months is St John developing in the womb of St Elizabeth? Nine! How many subparts of OT history are there before Christ? Nine! For, remember, there are five ages of the Old Law, that is five days of creation, which is 5*2 = 10 parts, darkness or light, but the 10th part is the light of the First Coming of Christ, which makes nine total parts for OT history. Bingo! St John the Baptist is born on the edge of months nine and ten!

Hence, the month ten is the first Coming of Christ, or light.

What about the fact that St Zacharia is struck dumb by Divine Miraculous discipline from the outset, and that St Elizabeth withdraws, saying, “God shall act on my behalf”? And what about the fact that Mary conceives the Christ in the sixth month of St Elizabeth, the seed of the New Kingdom, the fulfillment of David ?

All this is astounding!

Firstly, Zacharia is chastised because of doubt. Too, man, in the fall, doubts God’s promises of love. Zacharia can then image sinful man, or the Gentiles, who doubt God till the coming of Christ, when they convert, just as Zacharia is dumb till the birth of St John, which, as we have seen is a type of the first coming of Christ. Moreover, God indeed disciplines, or chastises the Gentiles, holding them in check till Christ through the actions of the Flood and Babel. The division of nations at Babel sufficiently restrains the Gentiles till pagan Rome, when the Whore recovers--the secular, perverse pagan unity.

Moreover, that St Elizabeth says the Lord shall act on her behalf, which happens till Mary comes in the sixth month, would seem to imply that for almost the first six parts of salvation history, God acts mostly on behalf of God’s People. Bingo!

If we look closer at the first six subparts of history, God is indeed doing most of the great work:

Day I:
1. Darkness: Fall
2. Light: Flood

Day II:
3. Darkness: Babel
4. Light: Confounding of Tongues, Formation of Hebrew People (Abraham)

Day III:
5. Darkness: Egypt Enslaves
6. Light: Exodus, Red Sea, King David

See, in day I, or parts one and two, the Flood is a supreme action of God on behalf of Noah.

Similarly, in day II, or part 4, the confounding of tongues at Babel, and the marvelous direct revelations from God to Abraham and his kin, are supreme actions of God on behalf of the just.

Finally, in day III, or part 6, need we say anything about the major miracles of God on behalf of the Hebrews and Moses to lead them out of Egypt! the plagues of locusts, frogs, blood, death of the first born, the parting of the Red Sea!!! the serpents, and manna in the desert!

And the sixth part of history, the third light overall, is it not culminated when the Jews have their promised land and David is their King, the beginning seed of Christ’s ultimate Kingship? And what happened in the sixth month of St Elizabeth, except that Mary conceived the seed of King David’s ultimate rule in Jesus?! “Behold, you shall bear a son, and you shall call his Name Jesus, because He will save His People from their sins. And God shall give him the throne of His father David, and of His Kingdom there shall be no end!”

Note, too that after the sixth part of history, the major miracles like the Flood, Confounding, and Exodus more or less taper off and become rather small. Then, the history of the OT shifts to mainly a prophetic dialogue, one of waiting and watching for Messiah.

Too, the scenes of Elizabeth’s being in the background and of Zacharia’s chastisement give way to a wondrous dialogue of rejoicing at God’s Promises and Mary’s cooperation to assist her beloved cousin till the birth. Indeed, too, the beginning signs of the New Covenant, by the prophets and events, are coming alongside the People of Old to prepare for the First Coming of Christ in the history of parts 7-9.

We have already seen that the OT culminates literally with the birth of St John, who bridges the Old with the New, heralding the First Coming of Christ. Hence, the birth of St John at the very end of nine months and beginning the tenth is, again, the symbol of the First Coming of the Christ.

And!!! Already the church celebrates at the beginning of every liturgical year, that is, Advent, that the birth of Jesus is a type of his Second Coming!!!

Hence, everything fits IF THE FINAL PART OF HUMAN HISTORY COINCIDES WITH THE FINAL MONTH OF THE PREGNANCIES, or when Mary gives birth!

Bingo!

First, we see that technically ,the Second Coming by the parts model is part 16. And when does Mary give birth? Within month 15 (from the conception of St John in St Elizabeth), as follows: Mary conceived in month 6 of St Elizabeth. Technically, that is not the end of month six but in it. Hence, St Elizabeth has really been pregnant for five months and a portion of a month when Mary conceives.

Hence, since Mary is five and a portion of a month behind St Elizabeth in conception, she will be five and portion of a month later in birth!

Now, St Elizabeth gives birth at the very end of month nine. So five months plus a part of a month is, with, observing below, the first number in parentheses counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, part, and the second number following it, the month number overall (10, 11...)

(1) 10
(2) 11
(3) 12
(4) 13
(5) 14
(part) 15

So Mary does indeed give birth somewhere within month 15!

Unfortunately, at least at first impression, this leaves us with a discrepancy of one: in the “parts” of Salvation history, Christ returns in part sixteen, whereas here we have Mary giving birth within month fifteen.

However, the seeming discrepancy can be worked out when we look at the deeper theology of the time of the end of the world and Christ’s Second Coming, as follows. Technically , Christ comes early. (“Behold, I come like a thief,” and again, “And if those days had not been shortened, no flesh should be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days have been shortened). This means if part fifteen of Salvation history (the Great Apostasy and Tribulation, which immediately precedes 16, the Second Coming) was allowed to progress to its natural end, practically incurable sinful man would first martyr off every last Catholic, and then destroy themselves, since the fruit of a world that is spiritually dead is eventually physical death. We have seen this in the fact that had God not sent something analogous to the Flood, man would have died off because of their wickedness, which was not going to change since man had never had any chastisement in history before to consider as a threat.

Hence, Christ actually enters history early, before part 15 completes its natural trend. Hence, Christ technically reenters human history in phase 15! And, Mary gives birth to Christ, the Catholic Advent type of the Second Coming, within month 15 as well! Bingo!

Now, for a mind-blowing corollary to the dethroning of the too-simplistic Augustinianism that we discussed in the beginning of this discourse: To reexamine the NT activity, with month 10 being the First Coming Coming of Jesus as we have seen, New Testament activity for the Church has four phases plus part of a fifth. This agrees with the Mystics Model:

NT

  1. Light: First Coming of Christ

(Day VI)
11. Darkness: Pagan Rome Persecutes
12. Light: Catholic Christendom, Doctrinal Development

(Day VII)
13. Darkness: Intermediate Gentile Secular Apostasy [today]
14. Light: Minor Chastisement, Gentile Renewal, Our Lady's Age of Peace [future to now]

(Day VIII)
15. Darkness: Great Apostasy, NT Antichrist [future to now]

Notice, however, this vindicates the Private Revelation scenario, not Augustine. In Augustine’s view, and the Church’s view for so long, although not dogmatic, the age of the Church only has three sub-parts, not five.

11. Darkness: Pagan Rome
12. Light: Main spread of the Gospel, fullness of Gentiles at end
13. Darkness: Great Apostasy, Antichrist, end of the world

If that were true, then Christ should have been born in the thirteenth month, not the fifteenth. Or in other words, conceived in the fourth month, not the sixth.

But, the mystics view is supported through this remarkable, multidimensional Joyful Mysteries’ Analogy: there is an extra day in Church history in the mystics’ view: the minor apostasy (our modern time) and the age of peace (the coming, future Triumph of Our Lady’s Heart for a glorious renewed Catholic civilization before the final apostasy).

This once again shows how Augustinianism must dismiss the eighth day or fuse it with the seventh, and the same for notes. The seventh day is eternity, not the eighth. The seventh and eighth notes of music are the same, for Augustinianism.

In conclusion, as the Church already sees the birth of Christ as a type of the second coming, the notion that other aspects of the first three joyful mysteries shed light on other portions of history is not far-fetched. We have seen that the analogies work perfectly with the Old Testament history and the New Testament if the mystics are right. They also fit perfectly with the rigorous analysis of salvation history we have developed, and the days of creation analogy, and the beast, and music.

What else can we say, but the Scriptures have left us unbelievable meaning of all human history, and that the Church may need to amend Augustine’s view in light of the now evident prophecies of mystics and perfect Scripture analogies!