The Year of the Rosary

Rosary in Morning Light

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.

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Blogger Megan Willome said...

I made myself a rosary last year, because my parents' church (Anglican) held a how-to class. It has been a daily comfort to me, even though it's rather nontraditional. And guess what? I'm now visiting a Catholic church! Oh, the irony!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the donor of this particular rosary (Hence the anonymous login), let me say that I had no sense of whether or not you needed help with prayers. I wouldn't feel it my place to analyze anyone's prayers, even if I thought that such an analysis was possible.

BUT, it was a gift that came from a sense of "rightness." This rosary was dear to me. And I wanted you to have it, hoping it might become dear to you.

The design is my own. A ten bead "decade" followed by a big bead and five beads. If you follow the beads all the way up and back down you will have done 3 decades of praying. Two more and you'll complete the traditional 5.

I'm SO HAPPY that this rosary means something to you. I'll send you a picture of whatever rosary I construct for myself next.

Blogger Melissa Campbell said...

This is beautiful...touches me deep. I was Catholic once too. And Baptist, and Reformed, and Alliance, and Methodist and Presbyterian and Charismatic and...well, now, I am just His. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you always touch my heart LL... prayer beads, beautiful

Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...


Blogger Jerry said...

Thanks for reminding me of my Catholic roots. I really wanted to go to midnight mass this Christmas but it didn't work out.
When I was a wee lad I and my 9 siblings would go to midnight mass.
The ambience was enchanting and now being a protestant I often miss the tradition. the arm of the church I am presently in doesn't incorporate any liturgy or pagentry. Makes me long sometimes for a more orthodox flavor...like it's as easy as picking out a flavor of ice cream...crazy our pluralistic Body of Christ.
Anyway, I too declare with you the year of the rosary...may our prayers be moving through our hands as we engage the people that come by our lives this year.


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