The Joyful Mysteries as Image of the Whole of Salvation History

Analogy of Analogies: The Joyful Mysteries as Image of All Human History
by Scott Pauline

A great tragedy occurred in salvation history in the so-called "Enlightenment." An essential mammoth misfortune for this contrarily darkening age of the world, as well as, for that matter, the general period of thought and ideology between Protestantism and our modern godless age, can be argued to be the radical rejection of the supernatural. Indeed, as I testified in the article exploring the theology of strife,i the mighty and terrible divisions of Christianity and of Western religion in general bred, as it were, a radical rejection of organized religion and, dare we say, even the notion of a God who is supernaturally involved with His creatures. Yes, two great ideologies or religious philosophies that emerged from this (once again) so-called Enlightenment were deism and rationalism, and these were indeed supernaturally dead, as deism denied supernatural intervention from God, such as miracles, and rationalism denied supernatural revelation from God, as in the Bible or Tradition. Consequently, religion was no longer seen as God coming down from above to find man and show him the way but as man striving on his own powers to find God himself, both through solitary pursuit of truth without the Creator, and by mere human efforts apart from grace and salvation.

From this calamity arose a novel and twisted approach to the Bible, one that, predictably, eviscerates revelation, and in doing so, not only discounts the miracles and such, but also vanquishes, largely, a great element of mystery: analogy. For certain, analogy is a great category of wonder, that one set of things can image a deeper reality in another dimension beyond the immediate literal sense of the Scripture. In this vein, by the very same supernaturally dead religionists, the Scriptures start to be regarded as mere raw historical documents that no longer convey awe through the images, persons, events, places, and so forth, of passages, but simply brute data and moral lessons. One surprising effect this had on what would seem to be a religious disposition that would contrarily despise the new "developments"was on Fundamentalists, and, in particular, a heresy that lingers to this day and does great damage to the name of Christianity through a completely asinine approach to a controversial text, namely, the creation stories of Genesis. Here, the text is seen by the poor misguided souls as science, which is then very much a sort of humorous tribute to the supernaturally dead minds that preceded them.

Luckily, we, as St. Augustine has seen in De Genesi ad litteram, know better: "Spiritus Dei noluisse ista docere homines nulli saluti profutura" (“The Spirit of God did not want to teach people things that would be of no help to their salvation”). That is, the sacred author of Genesis in no wise intends the text to be scientific, for, after all, how God made the rivers, and the spiders, and the kangaroos, is irrelevant to human history, God's Plan, and our salvation. In fact, some Early Church Fathers see in the allegory of Genesis rather a foreshadowing of not the creation of man but the recreation of man, or his remaking—his renewal, and hence, of the ages of salvation history themselves, the phases of spiritual activity that progressively raise man up morally and spiritually from the alternating manifestations of the fall. In this way, the days of creation, far from describing the scientific development of the universe from the stars all the way to human beings, rather images, in supreme interpretation, the ages of the world!

Now, the purpose of this discourse is not to dwell, permanently, on this analogy but rather to introduce its essentials for the outcome of a backdrop to our meditation. Toward that end, we can see the wonder here: day and night, the story of salvation history alternates like these days of creation; evening came and morning followed, the first day; evening came and morning followed, the second day, and so forth. That is, spiritual darkness enters history around God’s People, but God draws light from it, spiritual illumination. Then, the sin comes back, and God redeems it again. Evening came and morning followed, the first day, the second day, and on and on.

In a parallel sense, the imagery of the beast mirrors this reality: in Apocalypse chapter 13, it is written,“And I saw one of his heads as it were slain to death: and his death's wound was healed. And all the earth was in admiration after the beast.” (Rev 13:3) Here, a head of the beast can image a darkness of our day of creation above, that is, a period of spiritual desolation, or sin. The slaying of such a head then clearly images the spiritual light, the sunrise, that vanquishes it, namely, a great redemptive action of God in history that destroys the sinful stage and brings renewal. Too, then, if a wound to a head of the beast is healed, it images that a sinful age has come back or succeeded a spiritual light.

In this way, salvation history quite veritably, in the big picture, manifests itself as a perpetual alternation being spiritual night and spiritual day, much like how the Christ persistently falls down and gets up on the way of the cross. We can be more specific.

In the beginning was the fall, and darkness fell over quickly with the age of Noah’s day, wickedness! But God entered in with great light, the Flood. Sinful humanity was baptized away, and creation started over.

Then, sin arose again with Babel, and God brought light, the confounding of tongues, followed by the greater light, the calling of Abraham and the formation of the first People of God, the Hebrews.

Then, the third darkness arose with Egypt’s enslavement of the Hebrews, and it was followed by light, the Exodus, the Old Testament Kingdom, and David.

Then, the fourth darkness arose, the progressive wickedness of the Jews as they approached the Babylonian exile, and it was followed, once again, by light, that same Exile that converted the hearts of the Jews back to God and ushered in the great renewal—the return of the Jews to the Holy Land and the rebuilding of the Temple.

Finally, the fifth darkness was Maccabees, where many Jews were martyred by the antichrist figure Antiochus IV Epiphanies and the war that ensued. And a little while later, the greatest redemption of God in Person in human history, the coming of the Christ.

Effectively, the process continues into the New Testament era, more or less. Now, one may now ask, is there any support for this explicit historical analogy in Sacred Tradition?Absolutely! St. Augustine himself delineates these five ages of the Old Law in his On the Catechesis of the Uninstructed.ii Let us look at the passage:

Five ages of the world, accordingly, having been now completed...the first is from...Adam, ... down to Noah...Then the second extends from that period on to Abraham .... the third age extends from Abraham on to David the king. the fourth from David on to that captivity whereby the people of God passed over into Babylonia; and the fifth from that transmigration down to the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ.iii

The text perfectly provides what we are looking for. Let us apply it. Simply notice that, first, St. Augustine delineates five epochs for the OT, and this is the same number as our five sets of darkness and light traversed above. Similarly, if we look closer, the partitioning points of St. Augustine’s rendition are precisely the points of light in our analysis, leaving the greater history between his same points of light as the points of darkness in our discourse. Just follow it:

Firstly, the lights:

Secondly, the phases of darkness in between:

  1. Between Adam and the Flood: the darkness of the fall and wickedness of Noah’s day.
  2. Between the Flood and Abraham: the darkness of the great sin of Babel, blasphemous materialistic perversity.
  3. Between Abraham and David:the darkness of the Egyptian Enslavement.
  4. Between David and the Captivity: the darkness of thegreat sin of the Jews prior to the exile.
  5. Between the Captivity and the First Coming of Jesus:thedarkness of the Maccabeean struggle, including Old Testament antichrist figure, Antiochus.

Too, Augustine brings us into the days of creation themsleves with the first NT development, the sixth age, the Church, in which man is remade in mind and heart through the Gospel, even as God made man in his image and likeness on the sixthday.iv

With His coming the sixth age has entered on its process; so that now the spiritual grace, which in previous times was known to a few patriarchs and prophets, may be made manifest to all nations; to the intent that no man should worship God but freely, fondly desiring of Him not the visible rewards of His services and the happiness of this present life, but that eternal life alone in which he is to enjoy God Himself: in order that in this sixth age the mind of man may be renewed after the image of God, even as on the sixth day man was made after the image of God.

Surprisingly, St Methodius of Olympus gives us a similar, but slightly altered layout: “Five are the ages of the old law, the sixth age is designated to the Church, the seventh is the millennium of rest, and the eighth designates the eternity of heaven.”v

Now, the Church age, or the sixth age, is normally seen as the final age of history, the age where the Church labors to work out the deposit of faith and renew the world, constantly being resisted by heretics, pagans, and such. After this sixth age, the seventh becomes the eschaton. However, technically, the days of creation extend to eight, as with St. Methodius above. In an aside work,vi I have suggested a way to see a seventh age that is a common view to some Fatima followers, one that is an age of spiritual peace, making the eigth eternity instead of the seventh. Such a suggestion uses what we can call the “scenario of the mystics,” where, by EWTN scholarship, the majority of fully-approved Private Revelations down through the centuries suggest “a minor apostasy and tribulation toward the end of the world, after which will occur the reunion of Christians. Only later will the entire world fall away from Christ (the great apostasy) and the personal Antichrist arise and the Tribulation of the End occur.” This reunion of Christians effectively ushers in the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart, an era of peace where “Jesus will reign in the hearts of men.”viiEffectively, the minor apostasy referenced above is our modern era, as much of the East has been assaulted by atheistic materialism in the 20th century, and much of the West, in the latter part of that century, has been assaulted by relativistic materialism. This current minor apostate development would be the seventh darkness of human history. Too, the concurrent chastisment looms for certain, barring an unlikely repentance of the world preemptively. Then, this age of peace that is coming—being, obviously, the seventh light of human history—very appropriately images the imperfect seventh-day Sabbath of the Genesis allegory, itself being an era in which peace among men and nations reigns, the Gospel holding faith and love in virtually all humanity’s hearts. It is a veritable rest from the sin and struggle of human history, God’s grace finally reposing in men’s hearts. Finally, then, as expected, the eigth age is the great apostasy [the eighth darkness] followed by Eternity, the Second Coming and unending New Creation [the eighth light].

As a final note, the beast heads we referenced earlier also reveal the mystery of the ages in the very same correlation, and St Andrew of Caesarea testifies to this:

The seven heads are seven mountains, upon which the woman sitteth, and they are seven kings: Five are fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come:; and the beast that was and is not, even he is the eighth,… and goes into perdition. (Rv 17:9–11)

Under the name of five kings who have fallen out of the seven, Blessed Hippolytus understands ages, of which five have already passed. The sixth, in which the Apostle saw this, is still going on, and the seventh age, which follows upon the sixth, has not yet come, but when it comes, it will not continue long...

The comparison is immediate: the five kings of the beast that have fallen are the five spiritual darknesses we drew out of Augustine for the OT. The one that “is” is pagan Rome, the darkness of the age of labor for the Church. The other that is yet to come [the seventh] is our modern age, the minor apostasy, and the final, or eighth, king becomes the great apostasy, which somehow brings humanity back to where it started in Noah’s day: the world is wicked sparing a remnant and is destroyed by water; the world is wicked sparing a remnant and is destroyed by fire. “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man.” (Mt 24:37) “And the beast you saw was, and is not, and will be again.”

With the days of creation and beast king analogies complete in essentials, we may now graduate to our prirmary discourse.

The Analogy of Analogies: The Joyful Mysteries of Advent as Image of All Human History

So we have epic analogies for the ages of the world in the creation days and the beast heads, which is to say, in the beginning of Scripture and in the end of Scripture, Genesis and Apocalyspe. Therefore, at the end of all this introductory effort, we look at the title of this writing and ask, what in the world do the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary have to do with the days of creation, the beast, and all of human history? Well, herein is something astounding that I never thought I would have discovered but that is, quite frankly, mind-blowing, at least in and of itself, sparing whether there is divine intention here; and it is this: what if, instead of at these great Scriptural poles, God left somewhere in the middleof the Bible a little scene of soft whispers that conveyed this mystery, something obscure and humble and small, kind of like the familiar passage with Elijah and the mountain, where the Lord sends great manifestations of power, but only in the soft wind and whisper is He present?

And he said to him: Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord: and behold the Lord passeth, and a great and strong wind before the Lord over throwing the mountains, and breaking the rocks in pieces: the Lord is not in the wind, and after the wind an earthquake: the Lord is not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire: the Lord is not in the fire, and after the fire a whistling of a gentle air. And when Elias heard it, he covered his face with his mantle, and coming forth stood in the entering in of the cave, and behold a voice unto him, saying: What dost thou here, Elias?” (1 Kgs 19:11–13)

Indeed, all estimates indicate that He has! And that little breeze is the Joyful Mysteries’ pregnancies! Yes, veritably, this is how God operates. He uses the small and insignificant to confound the wise and great. He uses the humble and lowly to bring down the mighty and arrogant. Consequently, it would be entirely warranted to expect the pregnancy narratives of the Joyful Rosary to image deep mysteries of the Divine Plan. Sound crazy? I realize it, but simply, come and see! Let us commence the probe of these Scriptures.

The first question we might ask is, where do we begin? That is, how would we even start to argue that the full narrative of the pregnancies of St. Elizabeth and Mother Mary image, from beginning to end, the whole divine plan, from the Fall all the way to the New Creation, inclusive? Well, for starters, the very end of the sequence does symbolize the end of history, namely, that by our very Advent Tradition, the birth of Our Savior, that is, his First Coming, is a type, or foreshadowing, of his Second Coming! That, then, seals the final endpoint of the pregnancies with the corresponding end of history. From there, we have only to conclude that the beginning of the sequence—that is, the time of St. Elizabeth’s conception—is the beginning of history (possibly more specifically, the very beginning is the angel’s visitation to St. Zachariah, where he doubts the message.)

Particularly, then, the great intermediate event of the pregnancies is clearly the birth of St. John the Baptist, and that, dare we say, can be appropriate for the greatest intermediate event of actual history, the First Coming of Christ. Indeed, this will be the case, but we need to examine it. Also, lesser aspects include, what does the developing babe St John the Baptist symbolize? What does Zachariah’s situation of being struck dumb and being restored to speech at the birth of St John symbolize? What does St Elizabeth’s seclusion symbolize? Mary and Elizabeth’s visitiation? [We already have that the birth of Jesus is the end of history, the Second Coming].

In addition but on the other hand, a major problem looms, at least at first glance, namely, that the numbers just don’t compare well at all. Without going into detail for now, we note that our creation and beast numbers are mainly 5, 3, and 8, whereas some example numbers in the Joyful case are 6 [Mary conceives in the sixth month of St Elizabeth], and 9 [St Elizabeth gives birth after nine months, obviously] For now, let us not get distracted by the numbers and rather focus on the situational analogies that will be shown to be supremely appropriate even without the numerical issues solved.

The Birth of St. John the Baptist

St. John the Baptist culminates the Old Testament activity and bridges the gap between Old and New. He is that voice crying in the wilderness, preparing the way of the Lord, the Christ. St. Elizabeth carries this climactic child in her womb for nine months. What else can we say, except that St John images the very developing Old Testament himself. Indeed, this is entirely appropriate, for if we can view St. John in this way, how much more incredible sense does it make for his progresssion in his holy mother’s womb to image the very self-same evolution of the Old Testament history, so that his birth images the entry of the God-Man into history, heralded literally as it was by the adult St. John the Baptist. Amen, the entire Old Testament itself, in salvific wonder and epic advancement, hearlds the coming of Messiah. Every age and Biblical figure and event is part of a glorious and profound apocalyptic foretelling and trumpet proclamation of the Christ! Wondrous, also, is it to correlate this analogy with Apocalypse 12, the woman who wails aloud in travail to give birth; for, could this not be a sign, most assuredly, not only of the Virgin giving birth to Jesus, but also of the Old People themselves passing through the great trials of the Old Testament to give birth to that same child that is destined to rule the nations with a rod of iron? (Rv 12:1–5) In this way, pregnancy becomes, epically, a type of the Old Testament ages.

St Zachariah, Struck Dumb

As space is scarce, we can quickly cover three other aspects and leave further details for an outer source of the author. The next element can be St. Zachariah. In the beginning of this sequence, he doubts the message of the angel and is struck dumb through discipline until the birth of St. John, at which time he speaks and proclaims the name of John for the child. Long story short, St. Zachariah can image the Gentiles, or fallen humanity, until the time of Christ: in the beginning of the human drama, God gave the message to man of His benevolence and the fecundity to which he called his apocalyptic spouse. Man, by falling, disbelieved in God’s benevolence and so merited great disciplinary punishment, beginning with suffering and death, and then expressed through the two epic chastisements we have seen above, the first two great ages of man: anti-Baptism, or the Flood, and anti-Marital disposition toward God, or Babel and the confounding. Indeed, at Babel, humanity’s “tongue is tied,”, so as to render each nation dumb unto the others, unable to communicate, in much the same way in which St. Zachariah cannot speak to those around him. Indeed also, this is reflected in the CCC:

This state of division into many nations is at once cosmic, social and religious. It is intended to limit the pride of fallen humanity united only in its perverse ambition to forge its own unity as at Babel. But, because of sin, both polytheism and the idolatry of the nation and of its rulers constantly threaten this provisional economy with the perversion of paganism.viii

But at the Coming of Christ, the Gentiles are loosed from the prison of paganism, nationalism, and confounded tongue at Pentecost and enter the kingdom of God, the Catholic Church, proclaiming, “Jesus is Lord!”, just as Zachariah proclaims “His name is John,” recalling, again, that the birth of St. John is an image of the First Coming of Christ in our theology.

St Elizabeth’s Seclusion and He Who Acts on Behalf of Her

Moving on, might there be meaning in the first parts of human history [six “months”]? There certainly can be. Let us examine this element. In particular, St. Elizabeth, upon miraculous conception, withdraws into seclusion for the first segment of our drama [until Mary conceives within month six] and says, “Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he hath had regard to take away my reproach among men.” (Lk 1:25) The connotation lends itself to the notion that the Lord is acting “on behalf” of St. Elizabeth. This would seem to imply in analogy that God will act mightily on behalf of the just for the first parts of human history. Bingo! It does! Just look at the first beginning phases of darkness and light in our model:

Old Testament

  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

The first six parts of history by the creation days’ model, using alternating darkness and light, have three lights, parts two, four, and six. And what do we see in these lights but supreme divine intervention by God on behalf of the just, who are effectively a reproach to the world! Just follow it:

The first great light is the Flood, and it doesn’t get any more supreme than that: God acts on behalf of Noah—who is the reproach of the world, mocked incessantly for building an ark in the middle of nowhere, the laughing stock of humanity—with one of the greatest forces of his discipline in human history: the Baptism of the world of its wickedness and the formation of a new world, a world that is beginning to be redeemed.

The second great light is the confounding of the tongues at Babel and the calling of Abraham. Again, Babel is supreme divine intervention to restrain man’s selfish and perverse pursuit of materialistic union apart from God. It is also a preemptive act on behalf of Abraham, who will be glorified in all the world as the father of many nations. Too, the extensive direct communication of God with Abraham is substantial involvement.

Finally, the third light, or sixth part overall—like the sixth month that ends St Elizabeth’s seclusion—is the Exodus, the wandering in the desert, and the establishment of the Old Testament kingdom. Need we say more about the supreme miracles wrought by God upon Pharaoh and his Egyptian people, the epic parting of the Red Sea, and the great miracles in the desert—including the manna from heaven, the healing from the snake bites by looking upon the serpent upon the staff, the striking of the rock to bring forth water, the pillar of fire, and so forth. All these mighty deeds of intervention, as with Noah and the Flood, were done “on behalf” of Moses and the Israelites, who were the reproach of the Egyptians, a humiliated and enslaved People.

Now, note, again, that St. Elizabeth’s seclusion and God acting on her behalf effectively ends with Mary’s visit. The scenery now changes to dialogue, love, and help between St. Elizabeth and Mary, a time of waiting and watching. Too, after the sixth part of history, and in particular with David, major divine miracles and intervention on behalf of the just taper off, and Jewish history now becomes largely a time of the prophets, a time of waiting and watching for the Messiah; that is, after David and before Jesus, the history of the Jews simply doesn’t contain mega-miracles like the Flood, Babel, or the Exodus. Miracles are mainly small, and the age of the prophets sets in.

David, Seed of Christ’s Kingdom

Finally, this sixth month has another dimension. More specifically, just as we have that the sixth part is light three of Augustine’s five ages of the Old Law, so we note that that same third light happens to be David by the same testimony of Augustine:

Five ages of the world, accordingly, having been now completed...the first is from,,,Adam, ... down to Noah...Then the second extends from that period on to Abraham .... the third age extends from Abraham on to David the king.ix

So David is light three and in the midst of part six, just as Mary conceives Jesus in the sixth month. And what did the angel Gabriel say to Mary at the time of this conception that relates to David?

Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Lk. 1:31-33)

Yes! Amen! David, in the sixth part of history, is the seed of the ultimate reign of Jesus Christ, who brings his lineage to complete fulfillment at, first, His First Coming, secondly, in His reign through the Church, and finally, at His Second Coming, just as Mary conceives the seed of Her Son in the sixth month of St. Elizabeth.
A supplemental observation can be made: St. Elizabeth is much older than Mary. This mirrors some Fathers’ treatment of the prodigal son: the older son is the Jews and the prodigal [younger] son is the Gentiles. That is, the Jews are born into God’s family first through Abraham, then the Gentiles much later through Christ, hence, why they are younger. So also, Elizabeth carries the Old Law in her being, whereas Mary carries the New Law; hence Mary is younger.

What About Those Pesky Numbers?

Ok, if you don’t like somewhat complicated math, you can leave. But if you can persevere for a few moments, you just might find that some astounding agreement with the numerical nature of the creation and beast ages that puts the icing on our cake. Let us dig in. Recall that our numbers are way off, as in, nothing matches: More specfically, our days of creation and beast heads have main numbers 5, 3, and 8: 5 ages for the Old Law, 3 ages for the New, and a total of 8. The severe issue is, for these Joyful Mysteries—noting that the unit of measurement is the month [of which we cannot be sure at this time what it symbolizes]--the numbers of months in various partitions are nowhere close to our 5, 3, and 8. More specifically, there are 6 months within which Mary conceives. Then, clearly, St Elizabeth gives birth after 9 months, like any other woman. Following from this, since Mary conceives in the sixth month after St Elizabeth does, she gives birth in the sixth month after St Elizabeth does, or, that is, in 9 + 6 = 15th month. Therefore, unfortunately, 9, 6, and 15 don’t help us. Well, here is the solution, and it is pretty simple: There are eight days of creation, yes, or eight “ages,” BUT,each “day” has two parts, “evening” and “morning.” Aha! More specifically, each age of human history has two parts, first darkness, or sin, and then light, or redemption. Hence 8 total ages of history makes 8 * 2 total parts = 16 parts. Moreover, 5 ages of the old law is 5 * 2 = 10 total parts. Now we are on to something, and an immediate correlation seems evident: in the Joyful Mysteries, let a month be a part of history, that is, either a phase of darkness or light! One more observation: let us note that in the ages of creation, the light is the second moment of the apocalyptic day, and so, as it turns out, a rule exists:

Rule: If we have the nth day, then the nth light of history is the 2nth part. That is:

light n = part 2n

We had actually hinted at this in our treatment of the six months above. Consequently, with the six months out the way, we can deal with St John the Baptist’s birth.

Pregnancy and Gestation: 9 Phases of OT Activity Precede Messiah

St John is born after 9 months, and it symbolizes the First Coming of Jesus. By the ages of the Old Law of Augustine, Jesus is the 5th age of the Old law. This meant that he is the fifth light. Now, by our rule above, thie 5th light is the 5*2 = 10th part. Moreover, this 10th part is a New Testament event. This means that all other parts of history before the tenth are the complete OT parts of history. But that means that 9 parts of history comprise the OT. Bingo. St John is born right after nine complete phases of gestation!

Here is a more visual represtation of our numerics:

Old Testament

Day 1:
Light: Flood

Day 2:
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

New Testament

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

Day 7:
Darkness:Intermediate Gentile Secular Apostasy [today]
Light: Sabbath Rest, Our Lady's Age of Peace [future]

Day 8:
Darkness:Great Apostasy, NT Antichrist [future]
Light: Eternal Sabbath, Second Coming of Christ [future]

And now with the phases of darkness and light numbered like the months:

Old Testament

  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

New Testament

  1. Light: First Coming of Christ
  2. Darkness: Pagan Rome Persecutes
  3. Light: Catholic Christendom, Doctrinal Development
  4. Darkness: Intermediate Gentile Secular Apostasy [today]
  5. Light: Minor Chastisement, Gentile Renewal, Our Lady's Age of Peace [future]
  6. Darkness: Great Apostasy, NT Antichrist [future to now]
  7. Light: Second Coming of Christ [future to now]

One may say, so what? Well, we need to point out that this provides strong evidence that woman’s gestation images the OT ages and is not arbitrary numerology or wild association. To the contrary, these phases of Old Testament activity have been drawn in this discourse from Sacred Tradition, and while admittedly built upon, have been so also built upon with straightforward spirituality and theology, even appropriate theology. (for greater depth, see this same external work by the author mentiond above)x In this vein, to say that the nine lesser ages of Old Testament history are mirrored in woman’s nine month beauty of carrying and developing a child is not far-fetched but sensible and, dare we say, profound.

For the final element, we have the end of hsitory. If you look at the model numbering above for the days of creation, the Christ returns in part 16, which is the Second Coming and New Creation. Consequently, to mirror the First Coming, we should expect Jesus to be born right after month 15 and the immediate start of month 16, just as St john was born after month nine and very beginning of month 10. Unfortunately, the Joyful Mysteries narrative falls short by an unknown portion of a month. How? Well, recall that Mary conceives within month 6 of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. That actually means before the end of month six, at an unknown time before that end. Consequently, Mary gives birth before the end of the sixth month after Elizabeth gives birth. That is therefore before the end of month 9 + 6 = 15. Now what?

The anwer is, Jesus comes early to save humanity from self-destruction and to save His Father’s children from being killed off! “For there shall be then great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be. And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved: but for the sake of the elect those days shall be shortened.” (Mt 24:21–22) Again: “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” That is, the end of a world that has not peace with God, and in an incurable such condition, is a world in which man has not peace with himself. And the end of that is death. Hence, if God does not come early to end the world, humanity will do it themselves through self-destruction.

Godless empires that are decadent, materialistic, and blasphemous (the harlot, man fornicating figuratively with the world, instead of marrying God) almost always have a “fornicating partnership” with the negation of the Ten Commandments (the ten horns of the beast). That is, they care neither for God (no true religion, no care for God), nor for their fellow man, and the human-to-human moral law (disrespect of authority, drunkenness, abortion, gossip, sexual immorality of all kinds, greed, dishonesty, and the like …). Too, for a time, the fraternity lasts, just like the fornicating and drunken teenager enjoys his illusory lifestyle. But lo and behold, eventually, the corruption (the negation of the Ten Commandments, the ten horns of the beast.) starts to catch up with the materialism and decadence (the harlot), just as the teenager begins to suffer the consequences of immorality (addiction, failed relationships, selfishness, and so forth). Then, it slowly burns her up and eats her, as Apocalypse (The Book of Revelation) 17 reads.xi

In other words, now we see why Jesus comes early. If Jesus lets the era of the great apostasy and tribulation run its full course, he would return to an empty world, no life as we know it. This then would explain the fifteenth month of our discussion above. Jesus does not “wait” until the “fifteenth month” is complete, noting here that the fifteenth month images the great apostasy from the list above. He returns “early” so as to save the world from total destruction and that some remnant of his Church might survive for the real “rapture.” This also enhances our earlier discussion of the parallel between day one, or king one of the beast, Noah’s day and the Flood, and the end of the world, or day eight. Here, just as Christ must step into history early to prevent self-extinction of man at the very end of the world, so, in the beginning, man’s stubborn resistance to repentance prior to the Flood would create a similar situation: humanity in Noah’s day also faced extinction; subsequently, the Flood, far from being divine wrath in the proper sense, is rather mercy, mercy to prevent humanity from annihilating itself in this early ignorance and selfishness.

In conclusion, we have just shown, flawlessly, that the entire series of events in the Joyful Mysteries’ narratives of the pregnancies of Mary and Elizabeth provide a perfect analogy for the entire plan of God, from the fall to the Second Coming, inclusive. At least objectively, then, barring whether He intended all these analogies we have perused in this work, God has graced us with a threefold image of the historical Divine Plan in the Scriptures: the days of creation in the beginning, the beast kings at the end, and the Joyful Mysteries in the middle! Our God is truly a great God any way you cut it! Let us all be blessed abundandtly this Advent season and beyond!

i Scott Pauline, "Armageddon and the 'Kings from the Strife,' Probing Deeper into the Meaning of Strife", Homiletic Pastoral Review, Nov 6, 2017

ii St. Augustine, On the Catechising of the Uninstructed, ch. 22:39,

iii St. Augustine, On the Catechising

iv Ibid.

v New Catholic Encyclopedia, McGraw-Hill Pub., NY, 1967, Vol. IX, 742

vi Scott Pauline, "Parallel Theology of the Days of Creation and the Beast of the Apocalypse", An Analysis of the Perpetual Cycle of Darkness and Light in Salvation History,, Nov 16, 2018

vii Colin Donovan, "End Times, Millennium, Rapture," EWTN Global Cathoilc Network, Faith > FAQ,

viii CCC 57

ix St. Augustine, On the Catechising

x Scott Pauline, "Parallel Theology of the Days of Creation and the Beast of the Apocalypse", An Analysis of the Perpetual Cycle of Darkness and Light in Salvation History,

xi Scott Pauline, "Armageddon and the 'Kings from the Strife,' Probing Deeper into the Meaning of Strife"