About a week ago, over at Waltzing Matilda, I read her lovely post about the Rosary. She got me thinking and reflecting on all my failed attempts in the past to make the daily Rosary a habit. I want to make it more than a habit, though. I want it to become a devotion that I can't live without. Something I look forward to doing. I want to relish that sweet, quiet time with Our Lady. I want to know the true treasures of saying the Rosary. So I've been thinking and planning and working and praying.
One thing I decided was to make better use of the Rosary CDs we have. Play them more often in the car and around the house. I would also like to work on incorporating a decade of the Rosary into our bedtime prayers (that's in the works). But I also needed the Rosary to be mine. A personal time with Mary. My own time with Mary and her Son.
Around the same time, I read something somewhere on the Internet (maybe someone out there can enlighten me) about saying the Rosary throughout the day. At the beginning of each hour you were to begin the next mystery (out of the 20) and then reflect on it the whole hour. I like this idea. It certainly does make the Rosary prayers a thread interwoven throughout your day, but I wasn't quite sure I could keep up with that. I needed to spend more time thinking about how I could make the Rosary weave throughout my day. I felt I needed to start simple. And so I began. I began to pray the Rosary.
Yes. Yes. I had tried that before and failed. But this time I began with the hope that while I prayed, I could receive some inspiration as to how I could grow in this devotion. I realized that the time I spend nursing Michael had changed. We have more regularity to our feeding times now and I was feeding him more often upstairs in the rocker in his room. So I located the little wooden finger Rosary in my bedside drawer and put it in my pocket. I made a decision to say some of the Rosary each time I sat down to feed Michael. It has been a joy and a blessing. This quiet feeding time (well, most of the time it is quiet) has been a time of quiet prayer instead of a "think fest". You know all those wild and crazy, busy and nagging thoughts that plague you when you have a few free quiet minutes. I realized I could spend this time thinking aimless thoughts or I could spend it in prayer. Hmmmmmm. Tough choice. The time is never perfect. I don't finish a whole Rosary in one sitting - I wasn't aiming for that anyway. Often times little people waltz in or decide to start fights in another room. Despite the interruptions and the ability to only say a few mysteries at a time, I noticed I was saying a whole lot more of the Rosary than I ever have. It has been lovely.
And I have received lots of inspiration. Just yesterday, I taped this little Rosary pamphlet on the wall next to the rocker. I can remember all the Mysteries, but was having a hard time remembering the fruit of each mystery. I really wanted to incorporate these fruits into my prayer. That has been great!
Over these last days, I have been inspired by another idea to aid me in this devotion. The Rosary ring was working well. It was light and fit in my pocket (I pretty much always have a pocket here at home) so I could pull it out when I sat down in the chair. Plus the small ring is small enough to hold and manipulate while nursing a baby. The only difficulty was remembering where in the Mysteries I had left off at the end of my "time in the chair". In my head, I designed my own new Rosary ring or single decade Rosary. I was inspired by other beautiful Rosary products out there, but also by Weight Watchers (???) Now I know there are other single decade Rosaries out there. And I do not know if there is another single decade Rosary out there just like mine. But I did think this up in my own little head. WOW! ((I just did a quick search to see what was available and at first glance I did not see one like this.))
I made it last night, so this is my first day using it. The test run. So far so good. Despite the slight difference in weight because of the beads and the metal, I still do not notice it in my pocket. It is still small enough to hold easily. When I said I was "divinely" inspired by Weight Watchers, I meant it. The unique feature of my new Rosary is copied from the a point counting bracelet I had bought at a meeting last summer. I used it on vacation. The ideas was to move the charm clasp around the beaded bracelet as you used your daily points allowance. Thus, my Rosary. The five larger beads are for marking the five Mysteries as you say them. The smaller beads are, of course, for a series of 10 Hail Mary prayers. The charm on the clasp can be used to mark the bead for the Mystery you finished before stopping your prayer time. So far today I am really enjoying it. I have another version in mind that I may pilot in the next week. I will write about it if I do.
I hope that my reflections inspire others to get back on the Rosary "wagon". I so want to say the Rosary and love it. We are told countless times how important it is to say the Rosary. I do not want to be lazy anymore and exclude it from my prayer life. I pray others will join me on this journey.
I would be interested to hear from you all - your thoughts, reflections and ideas.
To Jesus through Mary!
On a side note: For anyone not familiar with the Rosary, here is a bit of good reading from a favorite faithful source.
P.S. With some of the extra beads and a few extra I bought, I also made myself a stunning bracelet, if I do say so myself.