Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Rosary Meditation (by a Guest Blogger!)

No potluck post today; instead I wanted to share with you a lovely rosary meditation that Freddy sent to me this week. I've been encouraging her to write more often; Freddy is a talented writer, a veteran homeschooling mom whose seven boys range from high school age all the way down to adorable pumpkin, and she has lots of homeschooling mom wisdom to share. Maybe one of these days she'll let me help her start a blog of her own! But for now, I'm pleased to be able to share some of her writing with all of you.

Falling Into the Rosary

--by Freddy

I can confess that I haven’t always been a big fan of the Rosary. This is a big deal, because I’m a cradle Catholic. For a convert, I can imagine that the Rosary might be a difficult devotion with which to come to terms – all those repetitive prayers and all, although I’ve known converts who were actually attracted to the Church because of the Rosary. But for the average cradle Catholic, actually admitting that you’re not crazy about the Rosary is almost heresy, or at least it seemed so to me. I mean, it’s the Rosary, you’re Catholic, it’s what you do, right? And it’s what I did. Doing dishes, folding laundry, riding in the car, in the dorm at college, rocking babies, listening to thunder, and before Mass we said the Rosary. And while I can’t say I hated it, I often felt guilty because I found it impossible to pray – really pray, instead of just say – the Rosary. It was kind of like driving stick shift; there were just too many things to concentrate on at once, and too many distractions. First there are the words of the prayer – you’ve got to think about what you are saying, then you’ve got to remember which mystery you’re praying and meditate on that, and then the intentions – are you offering up each decade separately or is the whole rosary for one biggie? Then there are the distractions – the inevitable toddlers, the whispered arguments, the one who loses his place. I’ll bet even a group of identical quintuplets couldn’t say the Rosary at the same pace!

Then I actually pledged to say the Rosary every day. There were mitigating circumstances. Someone very dear needed prayers, and a good friend made a card and asked everyone to give prayers as gifts, writing what we’d do on the card. Faced with so many beautiful devotions, I chose the old Catholic stand-by, the Rosary. And a strange thing happened. It took time, but what was nearly a grind and almost an onerous chore became by imperceptible degrees a draw, a comfort, even a need. I began to fall into the pattern of the mysteries, the cadence of the prayer. I began to see how the Rosary “worked,” for lack of a better term, and to understand what draws so many, saints and ordinary Catholics to this humble yet profound prayer. Part of this success came from taking time to pray alone, quietly. Too often as a Mom I tend more closely to my children’s spiritual gardens and let weeds grow in my own. I forgot that Mommy-prayer-time should be just more than begging our family’s Guardian Angels for help! Another factor was – let’s face it – a certain spiritual maturity. I needed to know more than just my “Hail Marys” I needed to grow in my faith, study the Bible, and learn from the saints in order to make the kind of prayer my heart longed for. (Not that children can’t derive great benefit from their rosaries, just that many children are wiser than I am!) Finally, I needed to learn to love the Rosary for its own sake, instead of just using it as a spiritual begging bowl. As our dear one’s health improved, my prayers became those of thanksgiving, then turned to other matters, and even turned back only to God, for His own.

I may never learn to drive stick shift, but by God’s grace, and His mother’s many prayers, maybe someday I will learn how to pray.


Fly to Jesus said...

I'm so glad I found your blog...I simply entered into the internet search, "learn to love the rosary" & your blog was one of the sites on the page. I, too am a cradle Catholic & am a mother of 3, with another on the way. All my kids are very close in age so I've needed to have some kind of spiritual stregnth to help me deal with the vocation of motherhood. By the advise of my spiritual director, he told me to say the Rosary everyday. I've never completed more than a week's worth simply because I can't stand it. It like something is twisting inside me, holding me back. After reading your blog, I am encouraged to start it up again, even though it's so hard for me. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that I need something more than what I am doing now to bring my family & I back to the arms of Christ & His Mother. So, as you seem to enjoy praying the Rosary now, please add me to your list of intentions. For my stregnth to be a good wife & mother but that I may also love the Rosary as it seems to be the thing that rocks at the door of my heart.

Thanks so much =)

freddy said...

God bless you! My prayers for you, especially the next Joyful Mysteries -- so close to a mom's heart. Thank you so much for your kind comments!

Micki said...

Loved your topic of the rosary. I also had troubles until someone told me that the main thing is to concentrate on the mystery of each decade and the "Hail Mary's" were to be like "background music" to your thoughts about the mystery. It sure helped me to love the rosary more.