Monday, October 11, 2010

Show us your rosaries!

Thus saith The Crescat: "October is traditionally the month of the Holy Rosary. The rosary is one of the most obvious outward signs of our Catholic identity. I've also noticed that every rosary has a story and holds a special place in the heart of the owner. All you have to do is comment on someone's rosary, remarking about it's beauty or uniqueness. What usually follows is a brief story of how and where they acquired it. Some used to belong to a special person, some were purchased on a pilgrimage, while others may have been blessed by a priest who is a good friend."

The one above I keep in my bedroom, and take with me to church, especially for Perpetual Adoration (which, at my parish, is not quite "perpetual" in the classic sense). I bought it precisely because the crucifix recalls the processional crucifix carried by our late Holy Father, Ven. John Paul II of blessed memory, who was himself a great devoté of the Blessed Virgin Mother and the rosary:

But the one on the bottom—yeah, that's right, the cheap multi-colored one with the plastic crucifix—was a gift. A gift I treasure.

Earlier this year, in March, I went on an ACTS (Adoration, Community, Theology, Service) retreat, the first retreat I had made since my freshman year at Creighton Prep. My roommate, a wonderful older gentleman named Ron, is part of a group in Lewisville that makes these rosaries for our armed forces on rotation overseas, especially in Afghanistan. In one of our activities, we learned to pray—and I learned to love—the Divine Mercy Chaplet of St. Faustina Kowalska. Ron provided the rosaries, and was pleased and enthusiastic when I asked if I could keep mine.

Besides the obvious emotional attachment, the string is much more flexible and durable than the metal-wire links of the more ornamental rosary ... which is itself an object lesson in appearances and humility. For all its dime-store, kindergarten appearance, it's as much a sacramental and a spiritual weapon as is the more-expensive John Paul II rosary. It goes with me wherever I go.

And when I pass on, they may very well wrap the John Paul II rosary around my hands ... but I hope they stick the plastic one in my left front pants pocket.