The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary will be here in nine short days’ time. This feast has had recurring significance for me, so to do something special to mark the occasion I’ve decided to write a novena of blog posts. Over the next nine days, by the grace of God, I intend to write nine posts about the Rosary or Our Lady. I figure a good place to start is how the rosary has impacted my own life.
When I was a new Catholic, the Rosary seemed weird, repetitive, and overwhelming. But, I figured that, if I was going to be a Catholic, I was going to have to at least give it a shot. Thus, with the aid of a pamphlet that I had been given during RCIA, I tried praying it a few times, and was shocked to find that the prayer was nowhere near as difficult, time consuming, or boring as I’d expected .
In fact, I actually rather enjoyed it.
I never really got into the habit of praying the Rosary, though, until a few years later. I was pregnant, in chronic pain, tired, my hormones were raging, my feelings were hurt, and I was angry. I knew that I had to face a situation with a family member, but I felt that the solution rested with her. She should admit how wrong and horrible she had been, and beg for my forgiveness.
One of the many beautiful things about the Rosary is that, whatever problems we’re facing, we can place those troubles in the hands of our Mother in Heaven, and say:
Here, Mom. Here’s what’s bothering me. Here’s what I think I need. I know that no amount of worrying about it will help. I know that no advice from an earthly friend will offer a magical solution. And I also know that, if my request is in keeping with God’s Will, you will take it and lay it at your son’s feet, adding your beautiful prayers to my own humble ones.
And then we can just leave our worries in her sweet hands – hands so much more capable than ours– and proceed to meditate, not on our own trials, tribulations, wants and needs (though inevitably those will creep into our meditation,) but instead on Christ, his great gift, his trials and tribulations, and those of his mother. As we meditate on these things, our problems are put into perspective, and we know that God will provide, as he always does.
That day, feeling hurt, angry, and confused, I instinctively turned to the Rosary. When I finished praying, having meditated on Christ’s humility and mercy, I knew what I needed to do. I realized that, while my family member’s actions may not have been perfect, neither were my own. I needed to forgive her, and, moreover, I needed to swallow my pride, apologize, and seek her forgiveness.
It wasn’t easy, but my prayer had helped me to see my shortcomings, and encouraged me to follow Christ and his example.
With my Rosary love affair thus begun, I would begin to pray this beautiful prayer every day. Through this prayer, I would find healing, guidance, comfort, and so much more.
I’ll share more of the story of my love affair tomorrow.