My New Friend: A Rugged Rosary

Rugged RosaryI’ve got a new friend; he lives in my car.  That’s him, over there to the right.

I often pray the Rosary on the way to work in the morning.  In my old car, which had an automatic transmission, I used a little teeny finger rosary that I would hang on one of the vent knobs between uses.  I had to be careful doing that, because if I dropped it, it was gone: under the seat or into a crevice or into another dimension or somewhere; at least, I very seldom found them again.  But it was functional.

But my new car, which I’ve been driving for almost two years now, has no convenient place to hang that finger rosary, which in any event went missing about the time I got it.  What to do?  The new car has a manual transmission, so a normal full-size rosary wouldn’t be a replacement; it would dangle and get caught on things and just generally make me crazy, plus there’s no where to hang one except the rear-view mirror, and that already has a hang-tag on it.

For the past two years, then, I’ve been making do with my fingers.  Easy, right?  Ten Hail Mary’s, ten fingers, no problem.  Except that for some reason I can’t seem to get in the habit of always starting on one hand and then moving to the other.  I end up reusing the fingers on one hand; and then I lose track.  I’m confident that over the past two years I’ve said any number of five- and fifteen- Hail Mary decades.  I don’t think I’ve ever said a twenty-Hail Mary decade…but I wouldn’t know, would I?

So a couple of weeks ago I remembered having run into “Rugged Rosaries” once upon a time while on-line, and went looking, and ended up with the little guy pictured above.  It isn’t a rosary bracelet; it’s simply a one decade rosary made of a military-grade paracord instead of wire.  It’s just big enough to slide over the gear shift knob and rest on the base of the shifter when I’m not using it.  The Hail Mary beads are nice and big, and the Our Father beads are big thick knots that feel nice under my fingers.

Now, when you drive a manual transmission you often drive with your left hand on the wheel and your right on the shifter; this is a posture that becomes second nature, and I often maintain it even if I’m simply cruising on the freeway.  And this little rosary lends itself to that: because it isn’t made of wire, it isn’t limp.  I put my four fingers through the loop and hold the current bead between thumb and forefinger, and the loop remains there on top of my hand, out of the way.  If I get into a situation where I need to stop praying and maneuver I can easily grip the shift knob firmly in the hollow of my palm with no fear that the rosary is going to get in the way.  And then when I’m cruising again I can go back to praying without missing a beat.

Plus, I like the way it looks.

CordBands.com makes a full range of rosaries, both “pocket” rosaries like this one and full-size rosaries, all sized for men’s hands and designed to last under hard use.  If that floats your boat, check them out.

For the record, I have no relationship at all with CordBands; I’m simply a happy customer.

____

photo credit: William H. Duquette

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