Joyful Scenes Inspired by the Joyful Mysteries

Brother Thomas Koller, SJ, at the Jesuit Retreat Center in Los Altos, California, has been praying the rosary with Ignatian-style visualization, a method of prayer used in the Spiritual Exercises. His meditations on the mysteries help people put themselves into the gospel setting as participant-onlookers.  Fifteen of Brother Koller’s meditations can be found here.  (H/T to my friend Jim Campbell.)

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Loretta Pehanich is a Catholic freelance writer and author of Fleeting Moments: Praying When You Are Too Busy. Loretta has six years experience as a spiritual director and was trained in giving the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. She is also a workshop presenter and retreat leader on Ignatian spirituality and prayer. Loretta is a founder of Women’s Ministry at St. Francis in Sacramento, CA. With more than 20 years in ministry, including Christian Life Community (CLC) and small group leadership, Loretta is an expert in being busy. She and her husband Steve have four children and 10 grandchildren.


  1. I’m 81 years old and don’t enjoy surprises as much as I once did. So, what a beautiful wake up call this reading was—and hopefully will continue to be. Surprise gifts from God are all around me if I but really look and really see. My recently adopted cat is whipping her tail against my leg telling me to wake up, feel her soft fur, look at that sunset, get out her favorite can of cat food—now! And, by the way, telling me to call my spiritual director for an overdue meeting. Perhaps everything in my life is a surprise to savor and enjoy?
    Blessings, Louise

  2. The “added” joyful mysteries are so thoughtful – and clever. They make the Holy Family seem more real and relatable in the modern world. Thank you for these insights.

    • Thank you for your kind comments, everyone. We meet the holy family often in disguise: like when I hear a wailing coming from somewhere in the back of church. Jesus was like us in every way–human with parents who did their best but most likely made a few mistakes on the way, too.


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