Our Lady of the Rosary

Blog, Reflections

To be honest, as much as I love Mary, I don’t love praying the rosary.

I get distracted midway through, and feel guilty when I lose my place. I like the idea of the prayer, and I ask Mary to pray for me, but the rosary has never really been my thing.

I wrote the Rosary Companion Journal for these very reasons: to help me pray better, with more intentionality.

This journal has a variety of sections, to pray the rosary in different ways:

  • Write your own Intercessions: sections to write tailored meditations on each mystery. Use these spaces to reflect on scripture, creative interpretations, or modern issues that parallel the mysteries.
  • Write your own petitions. For each mystery (or even for each bead!), plan your intentions. I think this method is especially helpful way to keep me focused, when I’m praying for things I care for most.
  • Write your own interjections. In each Hail, Mary, add a specific Marian trait: “Holy Mary, Mother of God and Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.” “Holy Mary, Mother of God and Virgin most pure, pray for us.” This can also be done with Jesus’s name: “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, King of the Universe.”

Mary’s “Fiat” is an example to all of us: we are called to say “yes” to God, to be open to his plan for our lives.

On this the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, let’s thank Mary for her selflessness and her commitment to Our Lord.

Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

Who owns the extra clothing in your closet?

Reflections

The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry; the coat unused in your closet belongs to the one who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the one who has no shoes; the money which you hoard up belongs to the poor.” (source)

I’ve been thinking about this quote from St. Basil the Great lately… specifically in the clothing area. I have a surprising amount of clothes that I don’t like or don’t fit properly; why don’t I give them away?

This quote, paired with a minimalist-style desire for less “stuff” in my life, led to the ultimate overhaul of my entire wardrobe.

As I was sorting things, I was having a philosophical discussion with myself (as often happens when I’m home alone; the cat is not much of a conversationalist). Here’s the question:

Why do we give less fortunate people our junk?

The initial answer seems obvious: they don’t have much, so they’ll be grateful for whatever we give them. But what kind of attitude is that? Do I think the invisible “they” don’t know any better and don’t realize they’re getting my junk?

Now, let me add that I come from a very secondhand and thirdhand family… we love Goodwill and thrift stores, and about 90% of my clothing is already secondhand. I’m not a spendy gal. But! We as a community of privileged need to change our attitude.

There were several times I caught myself holding back on donating a dress or pair of shoes… “I paid a lot of money for that! I should hang on to it!” …even though it doesn’t fit and I haven’t worn it in 3 years.

Why should I keep that dress from those who are less fortunate? They are humans just like me and deserve nice things for nice occasions- maybe a wedding or funeral dress? …Does it even matter?

A second excuse I used for keeping clothing was this: “Second-Cousin-Once-Removed-Euphronia-Fitzherbert gave me that top. I should hang on to it.”

The real question I should ask is this: would sweet little Mrs. Fitzherbert be offended if that shirt was given away and worn by someone who needs it multiple times a month (or week!), or would she prefer that it hangs in the closet for another 2 years until I decide that a lime green turtleneck just isn’t going to come back in style?

I had to break the hearts of a few distant relatives today, but they are no worse off for not knowing and I can clear my conscience. It’s something I plan to focus on as I get the rest of the house in order: how can I give from my surplus, instead of just my excess?

 

What are you holding on to that a neighbor needs? Food? A pair of shoes? Spending money? In what areas of your life are you being challenged to surrender your “wants” in order to help the needs of another?

(Author’s note: this post was originally published on one of my other blogs. I’m bringing my best work here, to showcase it and share it a little further).