Today as the Church commemorates the Feast of Our Holy Father Francis, whose piety inspired two of the Church’s greatest devotions–the stations of the cross and the nativity scene–I’d like to take a moment to reflect on another devotion that has given strength and solace to Christians for more than half a millennium: the rosary.
October is the month of the rosary. This upcoming Friday, October 7, we will be celebrating the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Our Order is deeply connected to the history of the rosary and its coming into popular devotion as it is known around the world today, but that story will have to wait for another time.
Nearly every Catholic has heard of the rosary, and most probably learned its prayers in CCD. But often our engagement with it ends there, either from a lack of interest or, perhaps more commonly, for lack of time to say it. But particularly in the next few weeks, it might be worth our while to search out a moment in our day that we could devote to this great prayer.
Many of us have commutes to work or school that are long and take up years of our lives. Before I entered the Order I drove my car for a living as a courier in and out of New York City and New Jersey. It was within the four doors of my car that I would come to fall in love with (and develop the habit of) praying the rosary.
My first exposure to the rosary came from my father’s love for it, God rest his soul. I remember him saying once, “I wish I could take all the rosaries off of those rear view mirrors and tell people to pray them!” Those dangling rosaries are beautiful signs of personal piety, but think about what that rosary, which is the prayer of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, could do to those long stretches of stop-and-go traffic. Amid the hustle and frustration of our fellow commuters, we might actually begin to find the commute one of the most peaceful times of the day. I remember how it took no time at all for me to begin looking forward to those rosaries prayed in my daily commute. Try it this month and it will change your prayer life!