>Feast Day: Our Lady of the Rosary


Madonna of the Rosary, by Lorenzo Lotto 1539

Today is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Yup, another Catholic feast day. But this one devoted to our Blessed Mother and a particular and wonderful Catholic devotion and prayer: the rosary.

{I know, more Catholic stuff, I warned you: ’tis the season! And if you are thinking “hey I thought this was an Ethiopian adoption blog! What gives?” Well, it is, but read the header, it’s also about life in this family as a mom of a pile of kids, which means, Catholic, food, family, adoption, travel, Ethiopia, kids, whining, venting, opinions, links, drivel, and cool stuff…..the whole package.}

Now, the rosary can be a really confusing devotion and set of prayers, especially if you’re not Catholic or if you’ve not practiced it. It takes time to learn. It seems all complicated but it’s not.

Basically, it is a serious of meditations on the life of Christ. Yes, you’re saying “Ave Maria’s” (or the “Hail Mary” prayer) for much of it, but at the same time you are saying those words of the prayer you are invited into meditation on a ‘mystery’ of the rosary, or a particular scene or even in Christ’s life. If you make through an entire full rosary, all twenty decades, you have pretty much just walked through the gospel in your mind. How cool is that?

Now, I have to admit, my praying of the rosary is erratic. I get busy, I get tired, I get lazy. Too much so to make myself stop and take the 20 minutes it takes to pray the rosary. Sheesh. But, I love the rosary. I love the prayers, the calm that comes with praying it, the storytelling aspect of it, the results, the feel, the sound – all of it. But, as with anything regular, there is a discipline to doing it daily or regularly. And I’m not always so great at steady discipline (check out my utter lack of running of late: talk about NO discipline!). But all I can say is that when I do pray the rosary regularly and often, I see benefits. I see our family doing better, I feel myself calmer and more capable of coping with the harried life we live, the mundane irritations and feel my teeny weeny well of patience be a slight bit fuller.

The rosary is not mindless babble; it is often accused of this. Now, to someone who doesn’t understand the fullness of the rosary or what it really is or how it’s done, it could seem so. At it’s worst, it is a distracted attempt at turning our mind to Christ, through His mother and her pointing out scenes from His life. And heck, that’s not so bad: A- for even trying, right? At it’s best, it can be a transcendent prayer. It can not only change our hearts, I really believe it can change others and the world, just a bit. But every bit counts.

So, don’t short change this prayer. And of course, NEVER short change or underestimate our Blessed Mother. If she gave this prayer to the world and hears it, and I believe she does…well, great things can happen. I’ve seen them and so have many others. It’s an oldie but one of the very best prayers and devotions. It’s not a requirement as a Catholic, you don’t have to do this. But, oh, always, I am glad I did!

Happy Feast Day!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!