A Complicated, Simple Prayer


I mentioned that reminders of the beauty and efficacy of the Rosary have been coming to my attention lately. First, learning that my wife, more or less out of the blue, had ordered a little book just published on the Rosary, then that I had discovered a blog by Fr Marc, a Trappist monk living in Rome – Vultus Christi.

I’m a firm believer in heeding such signs. I’m not superstitious about it, but I believe the Spirit can and does send us messages now and then when deemed necessary. I am thinking this might be such a sign.

I have not prayed the Rosary in a year or more, not that I made a conscious choice about it, but just lost focus. I was praying the Rosary regularly at lunch time while taking a walk on a nearby trail, but my attention was so divided by the things going on around me that I lost concentration on the prayer. I felt uncomfortable about that and decided to put the Rosary off to a better time of day. Of course, I never found the time and just got out of the habit both of praying and walking. I shouldn’t have done either, and view these recent reminders as little notes from the Spirit that I have strayed a bit from the path.

This point was made especially clear in the little book delivered in the mail the other day. It is called The Rosary, A Journey to the Beloved and written by Gary Jansen.
One point Jensen makes about the benefits of the repetitive form of prayer that is the Rosary, is that it tends to ground us in the moment. I know I have a strong tendency to worry about events in two timeframes, one the past, the other, the future. It should be obvious, even to me, that these are two sets of events I have absolutely no control over. Yet, I find it almost impossible to avoid this kind of useless worry. The Rosary focuses our attention on the meditations on the Gospel story, we tend to slow down and focus on what we are doing. I found this thought especially helpful.

But there are other good things as well. Fr. Marc emphasizes that the Rosary is a power against evil. He takes literally the Scriptural truth that the woman will “bruise” the head of the evil one; in fact, he points out that devotion to our Blessed Mother causes the great liar a good deal of torment. The devil rejoices that so few people bother to pray in union with Mary and meditate on the life of her son. I think it good to heed his words here.

The Rosary seems such a simple prayer, yet the effects of praying it, both on the lives of the saints and the great sinner, are beyond our understanding.

There has been much written in the local paper about the outstanding high school graduates this year. These stories carry the obligatory write ups about hopes and dreams, including great ambitions to achievements that will change the world. It is all charmingly naïve to those of us who are older and, I hope, wiser and not more jaded. Yet, it is easy to remember a graduating class many years ago with the same dreams and ambitions and feel disappointed and I look around and see the results. But, there is a way to change, not just the world, but worlds; it’s simple, really, just pull out your beads and start praying.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Ron Moffat published on May 7, 2007 8:00 AM.

Travel Plans was the previous entry in this blog.

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