Why My Rosary?

Rosary

“My” Rosary. This is personal. I want to share a reason why my Rosary is such a precious thing to me. And this is, admittedly, a tad different.

When I was little I had a mild form of epilepsy. The doctor said I’d outgrow it and I did. The “attacks” were very odd. No one but me knew they were happening. Sound and movement changed for me. Sounds were very loud and at the same time muted as though they were far away and stuffed with cotton, and movement was very, very fast and in slow motion both at the same time. All this went on inside me with my seeing and hearing. And even though I outgrew it there was and is a certain kind of “residue” left over from it. Certain types of movements make me a certain type of dizzy. If I get that kind of dizzy for very long I get nauseous. And that can last for hours or, at its worst, days. An example would be this: Someone holds up a piece of paper, maybe something they are trying to call my attention to because they want me to read it, “Hey, look at this letter from Ed I just got! You’ll want to read this!”, and my eyes fix on it, follow it, I get dizzy, and the rest is nausea. I have to avert my eyes at a time like that. Other things trigger it to, like looking up and down at a stationary thing through mu bifocals (got sick for three days once because of that), but I’ve learned to look away or down so it doesn’t really happen very often.

After I became a Benedictine Oblate I tried praying the Liturgy of the Hours. Guess what turning the pages back and forth did? Right, it made me dizzy. I tried different books, prayer books, but nothing I found seemed to work for me. The books were fine but they either made me dizzy with page turning, back and forth, or they were over simplified and boring, or … Well, anyway, I couldn’t find a book that I could use. And the books were fine, they just didn’t work for me. So I went to my confessor and explained everything to him that I just shared with you. What could I do? I mean, I don’t have to have a book to pray but I do, personally, need some structure. It helps me focus, it helps me share with God what I need to share. But I need a little creative space too. Remember that some of those books got boring? I need to have structure with leeway. So, what to do?

My Rosary. It gives me the necessary structure, discipline, and room to let my mind explore. The Mysteries are infinite in depth because they deal with our Infinite God. So my Divine Office is a string of blessed beads. And it works well for me. It’s why I write a daily Rosary devotion here on my blog. Bottom line, its kind of all I know.

Centuries ago the simple peasants that lived near monasteries saw the lives the monks lived, their prayer life in particular, and wanted that sort of spirituality for themselves. But they couldn’t read. For them, saying 150 Hail Mary‘s on their Rosary beads took the place of the 150 Psalms that the monks prayed. It was their prayer-book, their liturgy. They lived close to the monastery, close to God’s good earth, close to God. I consider myself to be in blessed company. I am happily satisfied with My Rosary. I figure the epilepsy and its aftermath is a blessing in disguise.

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