For our final post in the month of the Rosary we are very pleased to welcome a guest writer. Mtr Tracey Carroll has followed our posts on the rosary with interest and we invited her to contribute a post too. We are very grateful for her contribution. Mother Tracey is a priest in the Diocese of Oklahoma, USA, a mom of a special needs child, a lupus patient and a Third Order Franciscan, she writes:
I remember my first rosary fondly. I was 13, and I went to the local Catholic school bazaar with a friend. It was a faceted, clear glass bead rosary and I paid one dollar for it. The priest who was there blessed it for me. A friend’s mother lovingly wrote the prayers out for me in longhand. I loved the prayers. My connection to my own mother was difficult, and having the ability to speak to a Mother and have her hear me became a way for me to know that I was loved. I eventually gave that rosary to a friend who was diagnosed with cancer, letting go of a friend for a friend…
Over the years, saying the rosary has brought me joy and comfort. Saying it is part of my rule of life as a Third Order Franciscan. The prayers and the mysteries being me closer to Mother Mary and also bring me closer to the life of Jesus. I am invited into the mystery of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection in these ancient prayers. As a mother myself, I have been comforted by these prayers as I hope for the best for my children.
Now, as I face a life with chronic pain, these prayers and holy mysteries are part of a journey of spiritual healing, as well as helping me to offer up pain as prayers for others who suffer. The rhythm of the prayers help me to reach out to Jesus, where all healing is found. This is a work in progress, but I am aware that my pain is lessened as I meditate on these prayers. I have started carrying beads in my pocket so that I may touch them for strength and centering, when I find myself in pain or feeling helpless. I am grateful for the comfort they bring even when I cannot say the prayers. I know someone is somewhere… and it is enough.