I’m a slow learner.
Sometimes it just takes me a long time to “get” some things.
At the tender age of 20, the Rosary and the Consecration to Our Lady (St. Louis de Montfort style) was what set my feet on solid ground in a world that spun around me with all sorts of “answers” to life’s problems. And I wanted answers.
My friends were leaving the Catholic Church that was rocked by liberalism and they were going to greener pastures. It was all beckoning to me. The Catholic Church I attended didn’t seem to hold out any answers. I had attended a Catholic School and went to Mass every Sunday all my growing up years. I was involved in youth groups and church choirs. And yet I didn’t know about the True Presence until I was almost 20 years old! There was an emptiness…. but I didn’t know what the problem was.
Then something happened. I went to a few classes on St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary. I didn’t like them but I stepped out in faith and began by saying a decade of the rosary each day (while my thoughts traveled to those naysayers saying “repetition of words are useless…dumb”….they also said…”IDOLATRY…you can’t pray to Mary”) but I persevered…..And then I consecrated myself to Our Lady…(once again, the horrible doubts and misgivings…) I did it anyway. It was not very comfortable.
I met hubby. We began our courtship and our marriage with the rosary…daily. It was a commitment. It wasn’t wonderful…or beautiful…. It was a commitment.
We had children. Many children. We said the rosary. So often, it seemed fruitless. Life was so distracted, so wrought with the everyday little crosses and duties…but it was a commitment and we stuck to it.
I knew it was a good thing. I knew Our Lady asked for the Family Rosary at Fatima: “I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day.” I believed. I was committed. Hubby was always committed. 🙂
I see now the fruits. I look around at a very crazy world and thank God through tears for what He has given to us…through no merit of our own.
I know that we could have really messed up. We were two people coming from very different backgrounds….both very strong-willed. We made our mistakes…..but we had the rosary. And we stuck with it, day in and day out, year after year.
The Daily Family Rosary. Steady, Constant. Amid the crosses of daily life with many children, the misunderstandings between husband and wife, the financial burdens…we had the rosary.
When the kids got hurt or sick, when I was very ill, when hubby was in the hospital and we had no money to pay, through tragedies, accidents and fires, when I didn’t understand why God was letting things happen to us…. we were saying the rosary.
Steady and constant, we prayed it every day, amid slouching kids, tired husband, cranky, pregnant wife.
Thank God for that rosary. I know my life is not done yet. We still have children at home, children who can….and will….make a lot of mistakes. But for the record, they all (married ones, too) put their faith first, amid their own struggles. They say the daily rosary and it will be what holds them together through thick and thin.
If you have troubles, say the rosary. If, amid your noisy and boisterous family, you are suffering loneliness, say the rosary. Do you have fears and worries? Say the rosary. Are your rosaries dry and distracted?…Keep saying it.
Truly, who knows better than Our Lady, Our Mother, our humanness, our failings, how small we are, how distracted we are. She will help. Persevere. Don’t give up.
It is just now that I am beginning more to understand the beauty, the mystery, the deep, interior, spiritual growth that can take place through the rosary. Like I said, I am a slow learner.
I am glad that God is very, very patient.
He has given us a very special gift. Don’t take it for granted and don’t go a day without saying it!