I can’t think of a better way to begin the new year than by honoring Our Lady. A contradiction to the way the world rings in the new year, we Catholics welcome her in prayer and turn the page of the calendar imploring her blessing and intercession.
She is a role model for us all – male and female alike. I owe so much to her…honestly, without her in my life, I would have been lost.
When I was 27 years old, my husband and I began the struggle of infertility. It was during that time of great sadness and suffering that I started to pray the rosary. Unbeknownst to me, both of my sisters were dealing with their own trials, and at the same time we all began to pray the rosary. I’m not sure exactly how we became aware of this simultaneity, but we all were amazed and thought it was pretty cool. For all three of us, this was a turning point in our lives, the beginning of an amazing journey.
I will tell you what I’ve said many times when I teach: I don’t know what it is or why it is, but something happens when you pray the rosary. If you don’t already pray the rosary daily, I exhort you to make it a commitment for the new year. Get up a little earlier and pray it with your morning coffee. Pray it in the car on your way to work. Download it onto your iPod or phone or computer then play it an pray it while you’re making dinner or doing the dishes or going for a walk. There are so many ways you can pray the rosary. All you have to do is decide to make it a priority. I can tell you from my own experience, you will not regret it.
For those of you who do pray the rosary daily, keep it up. Try to go deeper with it. Center yourself and pray away any distraction. Read (or re-read) St. Louis de Montfort’s Secret of the Rosary. Invite your children or your husband to join you.
By the time she died, my 92-year-old grandmother prayed 27 rosaries a day. “Well, I can’t do much, but I can pray!” And pray she did! I called her my prayer warrior. She once lamented to me that one day she was apologizing to Our Lady for the quality of her rosary – so full of distraction and inattention. My grandmother, however, felt reassured by what she believed was Our Lady’s reply, “I use every crumb.”
Won’t you offer her your crumbs, too?
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray to us who have recourse to thee! Anne