Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Random Decades

Yesterday was the feast of St. Therese of Liseux. Today is the feast of the Guardian Angels. Thursday we honor St. Francis; Friday, St. Faustina.

[Note to self: continue yesterday's innovation of celebrating feast days in ways that do not necessarily involve a dessert.]

Isn't October wonderful? So many beautiful saints are celebrated this month; there is so much joy and richness in their lives, so many graces to ponder, admire, and be thankful for. With such holy friends as these, no enemy ought ever to cause us a moment's worry.

And lest any enemy still does, there is the feast that, this year, falls on Sunday: the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. It is because of this feast day that we consider October to be the month of the Rosary.

I find the Rosary to be a great source of comfort to me, even though I pray it badly.

Let me clarify. I do pray the Rosary daily; I do say the prayers correctly, and think about the mysteries. Or I try to. It can be difficult sometimes, since I've formed the habit, not an entirely good one, of praying the Rosary whether or not I'm technically doing something else at the moment.

Folding the laundry. Reading a list of prayer requests online as I let the beads slip through my fingers. Getting ready for bed. Sometimes I slip a decade or two in before Sunday Mass; sometimes I say a decade while waiting for choir practice to begin. Sometimes I say it when I'm awake late at night, or during an unusually quiet afternoon. Sometimes I pray it while I'm riding my exercise bike (I always manage to ride for a longer time when I'm holding my little one-decade rosary while I ride--concentrating on the mysteries is much nicer than concentrating on the fact that I feel like I've been riding the bike for half an hour, somewhere around the third minute.)

I know there are better ways to say the Rosary. I should, perhaps, pray it along with my family; but for some reason I've always much preferred to pray the Rosary in silence to praying it out loud. My girls are beginning to pick up the habit of praying random decades from me, though, and will often take a Rosary to bed with them.

I could try to set aside a specific time for praying the Rosary, a time of peace and silent contemplation, a time when I'm not busy at all. Right. And I could run for President, while I'm at it.

Somehow, I think that Mary, our Mother, doesn't mind decades offered by mothers who are in the middle of being mothers, of living that vocation to its fullest. I think she hears our heartfelt prayers, whether we actually have that time for peace and silent contemplation, or whether that time comes at three o'clock in the morning as we sit on the edge of the bathtub to make our presence felt by the child who got a little carried away somewhere between dinner and dessert, and is now in the throes of regret (among other things). I think she smiles when we count out our decades on our fingers, on the tiny hand of the sweet nursing infant in our arms, or on the pile of folded socks emerging from the tangled chaos of a freshly-cleaned load of laundry. I think she may even laugh, a little, as we remind ourselves sleepily for the third time that the Third Luminous Mystery is not The Birth of Our Lord, just because we're such a creature of habit and still slip back into the "Thursday-Joyful Mysteries" frame of mind in the middle of a set of mysteries.

She is, after all, our Mother. She loves us even more dearly than we love our own children; since we accept gifts of crooked Valentines and sticky paintings as if they were priceless works of art, how much more does Mary accept our random decades, offered with love, if not with perfection.

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!


Opal said...

Somehow, I think that Mary, our Mother, doesn't mind decades offered by mothers who are in the middle of being mothers, of living that vocation to its fullest.

I totally agree and do the same thing! Except, I don't have a rosary in my hand; I do it on my fingers. Have you read any St. Francis De Sales? He has great reflections for us, busy moms and families.
October is a great month.

teachinmom said...

That was beautiful. I so often get caught up in praying correctly, forgetting that the prayers are accepted where they're coming from. That the perfection is something to work towards and that all too soon I'll have that silence and peace to be able to sit down and say a whole rosary at one time.
Thank you.

nicole said...

I often remind myself that the prayers have meaning beyond what I give them. What I mean to say is that it is not only our mindset or attitude that give the prayers weight, but the fact that they are said in faith and addressed to those who can help us. Lovely post, Red.