If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would ever pray the rosary, I would have surely told you that would never happen. I wasn’t Catholic. I wasn’t even Christian and I knew very little about what praying the rosary was all about. Fast forward five years, I converted to Catholicism and prayed a few rosaries begrudgingly and without feeling. I didn’t understand it and it certainly didn’t have whiz-bang-pizzazz that my generation often looks for in exchange for our interest.
I had no idea how this small practice would become such a big part of my life. I’d love to say that there was a moment where it turned around for me in an instant but I can’t remember any such moment. Instead, Mary spoke gently into my heart and beckoned me to her every time I prayed my rosary. She allowed me to take baby steps. I think of her watching me as I watch my own children stumbling around and learning to walk. I imagine her smiling at me as I prayed my first decade without my mind wandering; cheering me on as began praying for the intentions of others instead of ones just for myself.
But what I love the most about the rosary is its ability to be both hard and soft like Mary herself who wears the sweetest of smiles while crushing the head of a snake. I turn to the rosary when I need to fight; when I want to war with the world over abortion or child trafficking or the Syrian refugee situation. I pray that rosary as if it were the sharpest and keenest of weapons because it is. We have seen time and time again in history that this simple string of beads married with the heart of our Blessed Mother can conquer the impossible.
I also turn to the rosary when I need the softest of hugs. When I need Mary to wrap her arms around me and tell me that she’s got me. I feel her lay a sweet kiss on my head after each bead letting me know that I am her daughter and she will care for my heart. I entrust my own daughters to her and I feel safe knowing that she’s watching over them too.
The more the rosary wins my heart, the more I’m surprised that more Catholics don’t pray the rosary often or at all. Of all the practices, this has been one of the easiest for me to tackle. Maybe it’s because I don’t expect perfection from myself. Sometimes the best I can do is listen to an audio version while I’m driving in the car and have no beads to hold at all. Or maybe it’s because I’ve read of the many miraculous things that have happened to those who pray the rosary that I truly believe in its power.
With so much pain in the world and so much need for the Catholic faith to reach out and heal our broken lands, sometimes I feel the only thing I can do is pray the rosary. So I pray it faithfully and hope that Mary hears my tiny voice and my small prayers and gives them to Jesus on a gold platter. That is the power our great Mother has and that is how we Catholic moms can change the world from our living rooms.
So what is really keeping you from praying your rosary? Have you never been taught how to do it? Perhaps if you’ve never read some of the amazing miracles that have come about because of the rosary, you should Google it. Does it feel impossible to find 20 minutes in your day to set aside for this? Really examine your excuses and challenge yourself to overcome your objections.
You CAN pray the rosary. It’s one of the best ways we Catholic moms can make a difference. Start today. It’s really much easier than we build it up to be in our minds. After all, Mary will be there to guide you and hold your spiritual hand.
Copyright 2015 Sterling Jaquith
Image Credit: Rosary by Liz West (2007) Flicker, CC