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 | By Teri Sage

Full of Grace

On Oct. 7, we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary. For Teri Sage, however, the Rosary is more than just a prayer—it’s a daily touchstone

As a convert from Pentecostalism to Catholicism some 25 years ago, I initially considered the Rosary to be a kind of repetitive prayer of little value. But as I grew in faith and in my love for the Blessed Virgin Mary and studied the Rosary more deeply, the more I came to appreciate the richness of this beloved devotion.

Someone observed that the mysteries of the Rosary are like snapshots in the life of Jesus and His Blessed Mother. When we pray them, it is like flipping through a photo album. This invites us, with an Ignatian sensibility, to imagine the event and, from that, to meditate on how it might apply to our lives. We relate to these moments on a human level, sharing joys and sorrows, glory and enlightenment. From there, we broaden our reflections and consider those in our sphere, our Church, and even around the world, and the Rosary becomes a springboard for intercession.

So we pause. We remember. We contemplate. And we join our hearts to that experience. Perhaps we simply reflect and give thanks for the historical event. Perhaps we apply it to our own circumstances and remind ourselves of God’s presence and purposes. Perhaps we think of others close to us and far away experiencing this.

And so we pray:  Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for those in agony today. Pray for our loved ones to realize Jesus is missing from their lives and to search for him. Pray for us to treasure the Eucharist more. Pray for us in our visitations, hospitality, gatherings, births and deaths. Pray for us to fix our hearts on things above, where Christ has ascended and is seated at God’s right hand. Pray for us to say YES to God.

And so on. Sometimes I’ll sit with a book of Rosary meditations or with my open Bible or paintings of the scenes I’m thinking about. These, too, can enrich our thoughts on the mysteries, keeping them fresh, and taking us further day by day, year after year. Like little children, we can begin with the simplest chant of Hail Mary, holding her hand as we say one or 10 or 50. But we can grow! We can expand as she gently turns our eyes and hearts to consider the broader world that is living these mysteries today. We can enter her maternal concern for God’s children and lift them to his attention.

Now I try to pray the Rosary every day — and it is rarely dull, routine, or rushed. I start with my intention for this recitation. Then each mystery named leads me outside myself, to remember the Body of Christ as well as those who still scorn and reject the faith, to be drawn into the commonality of being human walking through this complicated life on earth, with God who became flesh like us.

We witness to the unseen world that here a simple soul still believes and daily proclaims: glory be, I believe, our Father, and hail Mary.