"Confessions of a Rosary Rattler"


That’s the title of this fine piece by Pat Gohn that looks at how she came to appreciate the rosary — and the woman behind it:

My white-haired grandmother, Henrietta, owned a beautiful rosary with tiny delicate pearlescent beads. She kept it on her bedroom bureau in a small metal. Whenever I’d visit her apartment, I’d wander in and play with those beads. I had no real concept about prayer or its value at the time. But I dearly remember when those beads came into my possession. Nana’s legacy of prayer was handed on to me at my First Holy Communion. Sadly, I ignored the magnitude of the true gift of that rosary for many years.

I came to the Rosary, and really, to Mary, during the white-knuckled medical stresses of my first pregnancy. Prior to that, I always went to Jesus in prayer for help. My small mind reminded me that Jesus never had a baby. What I needed was some “girl talk”; I longed for a strong feminine connection.

I’m only guessing, but I think Jesus used that opportunity to introduce me to his mother.

A woman who was a little older than me, and about ten years into parenting, befriended me, and spoke to my angst about motherhood. As a mother of three, she gently encouraged me to look to Mary for help and example. I was so low, and so sick from all-day “morning” sickness, that I couldn’t muster a reason to argue.

So, I daily opened Nana’s pretty metal box and desperately prayed those Rosary prayers. They became a lifeline thrown to me in a drowning sea. I asked Mary to pray for me and with me. Very slowly, over those nine months, I began to see what was missing. I had kept Mary on a distant shelf, like a statue, or like my forgotten beads in their box. In time she became no longer an icon, but a living, holy presence.

Do read it all.  You can thank me later.  I’m planning to preach on the rosary this weekend, and this piece offered me inspiration.

Comments

  1. Deacon Greg, I’m looking forward to reading your next homily. I just finished your article on Pray, Prepare, and Practice: How I Put Together My Homilies, in the November Deacon Digest. I always love your homilies and now I can picture you preparing them throughout the week! Thanks for sharing them with us.
    Kathy

  2. When reading this, it brought back memories of my mother and her rosary which I now hold each day in prayer. When she was going to make her first communion, there was no money even for a rosary. She prayed to Our Lady each day asking to help her in some way to have a rosary for her first communion. The week before, as she walked through a vacant lot on her way home, she saw something shining on the ground and found a rosary. She picked it up and saw no one nearby. When she got home with it believing her prayers were answered, he dad told her to go to the local store and ask if they would put it on display to see if anyone had lost it. If after a week, no one claimed it, she would be allowed to keep it providing that she never missed a day saying the rosary. In the small town, this was the only store and so everyone in town was soon talking about the rosary and the week long wait to see if it was claimed. After a week, no one claimed it and she had her rosary. She always claimed it to be her first miracle of many. While I do not know about that, I was pleased to receive the rosary from her on my first communion with my pledge never to miss a day. I did not. When my daughter made her first communion, she also received the rosary and she kept the pledge as well until she passed it on to my granddaughter on her first communion day. She had the rosary in her purse when she was picked up at the abortion mill after she was murdered there. We brought it home along with her body and that of my great grandchild. I planned on burying that rosary with her, but decided to keep it and say it for her every day until I passed it on to my other great granchild who will be making her first communion this year. The rosary was designed to be used. It irks me to see them used as jewelry or hanging from mirrors unless they are there as a reminder to say them each and every day. We travel the holy land with our Lord and His Mother each day we use them in prayer and the are also the vehicle She gave us to help stay on the pathway toward her Son.

  3. I think my last comment submitted before I finished.

    I keep a rosary in my car, and sometimes pray it on the way to work, but wish the devotion meant more to me, like it did to my grandma…

  4. Well, I guess my first comment just disappeared, so here is the first part I wrote.

    I have my grandma’s rosary, left to me by my mother. I remember well my grandma praying it when she stayed with me on those occasions when my parents were out late. She died when I was young, but her praying is something I well remember. Sometimes, when I’ve really been in a hard place, I’ve used her rosary to pray, and asked her to join her prayers to mine.

  5. Barbara Peters says:

    My Italian grandmother used to pray the Rosary constantly sitting in her favorite chair by the window. That memory brought me back to the Rosary when my daughter was diagnosed last year with a tumor in her pancreas. I clung to those prayers during that difficult time. Now I have come to love praying the Rosary and I pray it often for both my children. I feel my grandmother praying with me.

  6. Rosary rattler! I love it!!!

    How I remember those days. It’s still hard, sometimes, to really focus on the words and mysteries we’re praying, though, huh?

    I’ve found this very helpful: http://www.mybrokenfiat.com/1/post/2011/08/rosary-part-ii-photo-album-of-christ.html

    This line of thinking has completely altered how I pray the Rosary. It actually makes me look forward to the prayers. :)

    I hope it helps some other “rattlers” out there.
    :)

  7. The Rosary has become my ‘go to’ prayer to help center my thoughts following three devastating deaths of young people in my parish in two months, and on hearing news of cancer in the family this week. It helps me focus on Christ’s life, on His suffering, on His triumphs and on his message – and keeps me from the pleading type of prayer that I all to often find myself doing. I do ask our Blessed Mother for her intercessions in healing of spirit and body though.

    I also find The Rosary connects me to famil,y those far a way, and those long gone.

    My almost seven year old eagerly prays it with me – long may this continue!

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