I just found out that the prayer cross I made the other day and shipped to a wonderful mother who is due any day now and was hoping to have Our Lady of Perpetual Help in her hands during the delivery will likely not be receiving it in time. I didn’t realize at the time, but know now that she lives in Houston. This is the closest I’ve gotten to experiencing the impact of this Hurricane. My sadness for her pales in comparison to the devastation that many are experiencing right now and will for many months and years to come. When I’m all the way up here in Indiana it’s easy to forget or feel helpless, but I know better now. I know that we can pray, and I know that prayer makes a difference.
You need prayer, your family needs it, your community, our cities, our nation, and our world…Victims of Hurricane Harvey…we all need prayer. There is no easier way than the rosary, and in some ways there is no harder way. It requires such humility to admit that the best thing for our soul is the simplest of prayers because it is such a supreme act of humility. Going to our Mother instead of directly to her son, Jesus, is tough for many. Consider this a gentle reminder and call to action: Pray the rosary every day. If you aren’t yet doing this, start with 1 Hail Mary or even 1 decade. If you are like me, maybe you are praying the words each day but falling short in your meditation. Regardless of where you are on your journey, make a commitment to yourself and to our Mother that today you will take one step toward a better prayer life. If you don’t know what to pray for, pray for Houston.
I had this idea months ago, and wrote it all down only to have it sit in draft form since. In the last few weeks, especially in light of the hurricane, it seems my awareness of the immense need for prayer has grown significantly. With that has come a greater understanding of the power of prayer, even a single Hail Mary. So I guess today is the day I tell you about my idea, and hope and pray you consider joining me.
I actually don’t remember when I started praying the rosary. I have a prayer journal, but I never wrote about it explicitly. All I have is a picture of a rosary ring I tried to make out of wood dating back to 2012. I’ve been praying it consistently now for about 3 years, but it’s always been a ride to work kind of thing. I said the prayers, but the meditation part was never there. In the last few months it’s been pretty clear that I can’t just recite the words anymore, that I need to truly reflect on the mysteries and allow Mary and her Son to inspire deeper meditation. I’ve slowly begun the process, and what I’m finding is that I don’t know the stories that well!! Some, yes. Others, not at all. For example, what’s the significance of the transfiguration? Which part of Christ’s public ministry specifically is included in “The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God”? What about the birth of Jesus? I know the event, I know the story, but what am I missing and how do I meditate on Christmas?
I don’t know the answers, but I feel strongly I’m supposed to find out. That is why I’m embarking on a journey and I’m calling it The Rosary Project. The mission is simple: explore the mysteries of the rosary in all their beauty and depth as a means to draw into deeper relationship with Christ through our Blessed Mother. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, it’s hard. It’s a lot harder than mindlessly reciting 53 Hail Marys and 6 Our Fathers. What I do know is that this quest for deeper meditation will bring the rosary to life in ways I never thought possible. There is no concrete timetable for this as I suspect it will be a lifelong project. They are mysteries for the simple fact that we will never fully understand the depth and significance of every aspect of these critical events in the life of Christ. Here’s how this will work: I’m going to focus on one mystery at a time, probably coordinated with the liturgical calendar or associated feast day, leaving myself a month to really dig into the mystery. I’ll read scripture, books, articles, watch YouTube videos, and any other media channel that has insights on the current mystery. At the conclusion I plan on writing a short reflection on some of the insights I gained from the exercise and share it with all of you. Then, I’ll move on to the next one. It may take me 3 years, and I’m ok with that. It’s a journey that I must take with the confidence that Mary is my captain and will lead the way. If you would like to join me on this journey, please send me a message. Once I know who’s in, I contact you all separately and we can figure out the best way to communicate and share our findings as we go on this journey together. An even better idea would be to find a local group of friends to do this with.
- The Annunciation – March 25th
- The Visitation – May 31st
- The Nativity – December 25th
- The Presentation – February 2nd
- The Finding in the Temple – No feast day
- Baptism of Jesus – first Sunday following The Epiphany of Our Lord (6 January)
- The Wedding at Cana – No feast day
- Proclamation of the Kingdom of God – No feast day
- The Transfiguration – August 6th
- The Institution of the Eucharist – The Feast of Corpus Christi
- The Agony in the Garden
- The Scourging at the Pillar
- The Crowning of Thorns
- The Carrying of the Cross
- The Crucifixion and Death of our Lord
*note* consider these throughout the lenten season
- The Resurrection – Easter Sunday!
- The Ascension – The 40th day of Easter
- The Descent of the Holy Spirit – Pentecost Sunday
- The Assumption – August 15th
- The Coronation – August 22nd