The Year of the Rosary
When I was a little girl, I had a rosary. I don't remember what it looked like. I just know I had one, because I was Catholic and somebody gave me a rosary.
It probably burned in one of the house fires that ensured I have no childhood homes to take my children back to. No place to say, "Here I grew. There was the little petunia garden. That is the window to my old room. There was the floor I sat on and played with my rosary and said a few Hail Mary's when I'd been bad to my sister. (Whenever I went to the priest it was usually to confess that I'd been bad to my sister, you know.)"
Maybe it was pink glass beads. Or blue. I've always loved blue, and I would like it if the rosary had been blue glass. But I was a girl, and it was probably pink. It probably had a silver Jesus on a silver cross, hanging on the end. And I probably did my share of looking into his face and feeling sorry that people did such a thing to him.
That rosary is gone and I never replaced it. Because one day I wasn't Catholic anymore and rosaries were for people who didn't know how to *really* pray. So I was counseled.
I am glad that I went on Retreat this past Fall, and someone recognized that I needed a new rosary. I think maybe he suspected that I don't really know how to pray.
It is a beautiful rosary, though it has no Jesus. Only a cross. I cannot look at his face, because there is no face to look at. As a grown up, I feel a small sense of grace in this. Now that I know it was not just people who put him there. It was me. And it IS me still. Growing up reveals this to a person.
So the empty cross is a solace, in its way.
It has been a long time since I've gone to a priest, confessed that I was bad to my sister. Said a few Hail Mary's along glass beads and knelt at the altar.
And this is why I'm thinking to make this the year of the rosary. Not to say any Hail Marys, (though surely she has much to teach me). But because I still have sisters, so to speak.
The rosary may just help me remember that, bead by bead.
The Gifted Rosary photo, by L.L. Barkat.