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.