Today the Church celebrates Our Lady of the Rosary in honor of some long ago battle that was won after much 'spinning of the beads'. No matter why the feast began, I like the idea of celebrating this prayer within the Church. In my own family, the rosary was a regular part of our prayer with both my parents and grandparents.
I remember visiting my maternal grandparents and the evening always ended with a rosary. They would sit in their recliners, but we kiddos knelt with the support of our own comfy chair as we prayed. Grandpa & Grandma are still one of the fastest rosary pray-ers that I have experienced; however, I can look back now and see that it was the absolute familiarity and surety of the prayer that allowed for the speed of the beads. It was with my grandparents that I memorized the little prayers that our family added on to the recitation of the rosary...the Fatima prayer, the act of contrition, a short litany, and a couple extra prayers for Mary's guidance and intercession. I still think of their devotion whenever I pray the rosary and I hope their prayers are still supplementing mine.
The rosary was also a fixture at home. I remember hearing my parents praying, switching off who lead various mysteries, as I fell asleep at night. It was also a handy form of behavior control when we became less than cooperative on longer car rides. Mom & Dad would lead the rosary and we three girls were response from the back seat of the car...until we fell asleep or quieted down. Not a problem, Mom assured us that our guardian angels finished those prayers we didn't complete; I still like to think my angel finishes up those prayers when my Lectio Laxios after a long day.
Today, I shared this devotion with my freshmen boys. Each of my classes met by the chapel to deposit the overloaded book bags and armfuls before going to the back of the chapel where the monks have a side shrine to Mary. I even made a little 'liturgy aid' for the Catholics and Protestants alike...a reminder of the prayers and a short scripture reading to connect to the mysteries of light that we prayed today. Things went fairly well, as freshmen go. Only one or two fell asleep (sitting on a tile floor!) and needed to be poked by a helpful neighbor. All joined in on the prayers, but the volume did fluctuate as they quieted down and grew used to the rhythm of the prayer. There were also a few eager folk who seemed happy to join with a prayer that was familar to them. Overall...a successful day of prayer with the boys.
PS...The image is a painting at Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome. There a many side chapels and one of them is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary. It was a wonderful place to stop and pray.