Today’s post is a gift to you from a dear, dear, DEAR blogging buddy of mine, Virginia. I “met” Virginia through her blog, and though I’ve never met her face to face, she has sent me enough kisses and hugs and prayers through email that it doesn’t matter. You’ll find this post in the upcoming Loveliness of Rosaries too.
I did not grow up with Rosaries. But I amazed my very Protestant family when I was six by constructing an altar out of a half-lunette table, a cloth, some yellow Peace roses, and a mother-of-pearl Bible from the Holy Land. No candles. No Rosary.
There was room for one.
However, my Alabama grandmother, the same one who brought me the mother-of-pearl Bible from the Holy Land, also brought back dozens of inexpensive olive wood Rosaries. She, in her pure of heart innocence (she was Presbyterian and that denomination is quite anti-Catholic), found them pretty souvenirs to present to her many friends. Her daughter lived in Miami and a Cuban-Catholic friend became a recipient of one of those Rosaries. My grandmother was pleased in a quiet sort of way to learn that this woman had Masses said for her and her family in thanksgiving for the Rosary. Surely, she had prayed for conversions to the Church.
When I was 18, I started studying Catholicism. I asked to be baptized. But I was not Confirmed. And I never received a Rosary. Or found one on my own. I fell away from the Church in a matter of years.
After many twists and turns over 15 years, I began studying the Bible and theology. I was Episcopalian and took the amazing step of going on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Campostella in 1999. This is a very Catholic thing to do. Episcopalians do not do this. But I came across many Rosary praying people in Spain. I was given a medal of Maria de Pilar, the Virgin Mary of the Pilar, and I came back wearing an enameled Virgin and Child. Still no Rosary. But the mantle was there.
But I have a faithful, Rosary praying godmother. And by 2000, I returned to the Church. This time I got a Rosary because I got a job at EWTN, went to Mass most days, and well, you just had to have one.
I had several. One was given away. It was gold with many faceted, multi-colored crystals. One was lost. It was silver with garnet red beads.
I found it the other day. In the pocket of an old pair of blue jeans. I can’t tell you how many times I asked St. Anthony to find it for me. But in the intervening time, I prayed the Rosary on my fingers. Or a few made from twine. I weaned myself from my love of gorgeous Rosaries. I learned to love the Joyful and Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries more. I saw how my life seemed to follow this turning wheel of the Rosary. Sometimes full of joyous mysteries, many times sorrowful, but more and more with the hope of eternal and glorious mysteries. And now we have the Luminous Mysteries. And I found my Rosary. Lost and then found. Like me.