Thursday, October 7, 2010

Feast of the Rosary

October 7th, is the Feast of the Rosary – a special day for Dominicans, and for our congregation at Sinsinawa. As someone who did not grow up in a Catholic household, I didn’t have an experience of praying the Rosary individually or as a family. And I certainly did not have an experience of processions, so I felt like the outsider I was when introduced to these rituals. All these years later, I remember that time and smile.

Many others before me have pointed out the similarity between this practice and the practice of praying with beads that is common to persons who are Muslim or Hindu. There is something utterly mesmerizing in the repetition of words that are central to one’s faith. When all else fails, it is good to be able to entrust one’s life to what is familiar.

Grace is familiar. At times of uncertainty or fear, birth or death, it can be comforting to remember the lifelong companionship of grace and to give thanks for it.

As a hospital chaplain I have accompanied many individuals at times when they felt uncertain and fearful. Catholic patients often have a Rosary in hand or under their pillow, to comfort them, to pass long hours in an unfamiliar setting, and to rely on what is familiar. They remember and give thanks.

What do you rely on that helps you when you are feeling uncertain or fearful?
Ruth Poochigian, O.P.
Madison WI

1 comment:

  1. When I'm fearful or uncertain, I repeat my prayer petitions in a conversational manner rather than in established prayer form. It seems to personalize the prayer time. I may utter the same doubts, fears, and requests dozens of times throughout the day and night, knowing they are heard and trusting there will be an answer. It's similar to talking over problems with a close friend, with two notable differences. There is a sense of constant and full presence to my particular needs at the moment that cannot always be experienced with human interactions. There is also the belief that whatever answer may come, it stems from full understanding of my being, not just someone's interpretation of what was said.

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