day 2 – the rosary

The rosary is a classic ‘spot the catholic’ devotional item. Catholic bookstores have walls of rosaries of every shape and size, rivalling any flea market jewellery stand. Rosaries are a staple item of pilgrimage site souvenir shops and street hawkers. Faithful travellers to Rome hold up handfuls of rosaries during the weekly Angelus at St. Peter’s in order to get a papal blessing. They are an indelible wardrobe prop for any Hollywood nun or monk. And, they were the go-to child pacifier in this mother’s purse during Sunday mass. (I have a box of broken rosaries to prove that this is not a bright idea.)

I loved saying the rosary as a child. Or, I should say, I loved the idea of saying a rosary. All those saintly images of holy women and men praying the rosary was my inspiration. Unfortunately, I usually fell asleep before I completed all five decades. I blame my Dad for this. When I complained that I couldn’t get to sleep at night, his solution was ‘pray the rosary’! Okay, I admit that I gave my own children the same advice.  I took comfort in the fact that St. Thérèse of Liseux (a favourite saint of my childhood) also struggled with the rosary. Demon sleep overtook her best efforts, too.

I`ve tried many times to get into a regular discipline of praying the rosary. It is a wonderful, meditative prayer. The action of prayer beads is a spiritual aid in many religions. Praying the mysteries help to ground the prayer in scripture. But, I never seem to get to it.

My Babcia prayed the rosary several times a day. I have a strong image in my mind of her sitting in her chair, whispering the prayers in Polish, and fingering the beads one after another. I now have her rosary. The beads are well worn and the crucifix is wafer thin. She died peacefully at 96 years of age, her many prayers answered.

Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

3 thoughts on “day 2 – the rosary

  1. My favorite memories of all the nightly family rosaries we said were the nights we prayed kneeling by the Christmas tree, and subsequently, falling asleep under the twinkling lights. Thanks for the memory this morning!

  2. I loved all the articles but will comment on the Rosary one. It is reassuring to know I am not the only one who sleeps when praying the Rosary in the evening. That I struggle with it and end up not praying the Rosary for long periods of time. Yet, the Rosary has been a large part of my Catholic faith. I became a Catholic (well, was baptized) when I was 14years old and what really attracted me to this faith was the Legion of Mary group that we had at our school. They used to meet every Friday and part of the meeting was saying the Rosary.

    Lately, I have started praying the Rosary on Sunday morning at the adoration chapel. The best times for me when praying the Rosary is with another person or a group of people. All in all, I find the repetitive prayer “Hail Mary, …” soothing and comforting.

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