As I prayed the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary today, I realized that they are all about what the Holy Mother experienced and that hardship accompanied her joy each time. (1) Annunciation ~ with the joy of learning that she had been chosen to bear the Savior came the great responsibility of nurturing and rearing him. (2) Visitation ~ visiting her cousin Elizabeth involved arduous long-distance traveling. (3) Nativity ~ with no room at the inn, Mother Mary had to give birth to Jesus in a manger. (4) Presentation ~ Simon foretold that a sword would pierce her soul. (5) Finding Jesus in Temple ~ the temporary missing child must have caused distress in the mother's heart.
After reflecting upon the above mysteries, I saw that the our Christian life is basically bittersweet. The bitterness are the hardships that are either necessary or brought about by sin, and the sweetness, the ever presence of Christ in our lives.