Maria Johnson ponders how praying the Rosary helps her draw close to Mary as she was by her Son's side.
I hold the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary close to my heart, literally and figuratively. At first I was attracted to the beauty of the beads, from the simple well-worn wooden beads that my father had, or shiny mother of pearl I played with as a child when their owner, my mother, wasn’t looking. I would be an adult before the mysteries came alive for me. Since then, I've said the prayers in Spanish and English, and even entertained the idea of learning to recite them in Latin.
I've prayed the Rosary in bed late at night while falling asleep and early in the morning at first light. I've prayed in the car to and from work and on long road trips.
I've prayed on my fingers, on scraps of paper with tally mark, with stones by an outdoor fire, with shells on a sunny beach, with apps, on phone calls with friends, at my father's tomb, by my mother's side on pilgrimage. On a plane. In a park.
I've prayed the Rosary every day with very few exceptions for almost two decades, and sporadically before that. What is it about this devotion that endures?
At this point, it's the familiarity and ease with which I pick up the beads and launch myself into what has become a daily check-in with the Blessed Mother. It’s a jump-start in my day to align my thoughts, anxieties, and aspirations with Jesus and Mary.
It's the feel of the beads as my fingers slide through the decades mindlessly while mindfully focusing on the events in Christ's life. I feel close to Mary as she was by her Son's side.
I find that praying the Rosary helps me offer my joys and sorrows, not to mention my petitions, to the Lord in a meaningful way by meditating on the mysteries. I am awed by the Annunciation and the birth of our Lord, and relieved by his finding in the Temple in the Joyful Mysteries.
I carry my burdens and weep alongside Mary and Jesus as I pray the Sorrowful Mysteries.
I am thankful for the gifts in my life as I pray the Glorious Mysteries.
I am emboldened to ask for the desires of my heart in the Luminous Mysteries.
Saint Anthony Mary Claret said, “When people love and recite the rosary, they find it makes them better.”
I hope I am better. I have the Blessed Virgin Mary to thank for holding my hand and teaching me so patiently over the years to open my heart in this most beautiful way to pray.
Look for a new Rosary Story each day throughout October, and use the hashtag #myrosarystory to share yours on social media!
Copyright 2020 Maria Morera Johnson
About the Author
Maria Morera Johnson, author of My Badass Book of Saints, Super Girls and Halo, and Our Lady of Charity: How a Cuban Devotion to Mary Helped Me Grow in Faith and Love writes about all the things that she loves. A cradle Catholic, she struggles with living in the world but not being of it, and blogs about those successes and failures, too.