As a child I thought that pie crusts only came in preformed aluminum pie plates. It wasn’t until my late teens that I first tasted a true homemade pie. I was immediately smitten. As a young adult I decided to learn the art of pie making myself. I looked up an old fashioned pie crust recipe and was excited to see how simple it was. Just 5 ingredients: flour, salt, butter, shortening, and water. Easy peasy – or so I thought!
I began learning then what I am still learning today. Sometimes the recipes that appear to be the simplest are actually the most complicated. The discretion of using just the right amount of ice water, the finesse of cutting the fat evenly into the flour without overworking it, and of knowing which pie recipes would benefit from sneaking a few pinches of sugar into the dough – all of that can only be learned through experience and repetition. I am a much better pie maker than I was when I first started, but even so, sometimes my pies still don’t turn out just right.
I did not grow up praying the Rosary. Perhaps you did? Maybe your childhood memories of praying the Rosary seem cold and distant – a sort of endless monotony that you were forced to endure. Perhaps you have memories of praying with your family as a young child, wrought with youthful mysticism and warmth that you long to return to as an adult. Regardless of what your childhood Rosary experience was, it seems like the practice of praying the Rosary is something that is often pushed aside or pushed through, not something that is fully embraced.
When I learned to pray the Rosary as an adult, I approached it like a pie crust. Just a few ingredients – easy enough! Now say these prayers, now these, now meditate on this. The only problem was, I was missing all of the finesse – all of the warmth and joy (and sorrow and shared suffering) that comes from repetition and experience.
As Catholics we love to talk about our Rosary devotions. We have Rosaries in the adoration chapel and in the back of our church; we give them as confirmation, first communion, and baptism gifts; we have family rosaries, Rosary groups, and Rosary podcasts. These are all wonderful resources, but often they do not help us get past the “ingredient list” method of praying.
The Ascension Family Life ministry wants to challenge you to enter into praying the Rosary a new way. Hopefully you have already seen the Rosary Encounter on our social media pages or in the bulletin. That is a short, weekly challenge that is meant to be shared/prayed with your family. In this blog, you will find additional Rosary resources that can supplement your journey as you enter into praying the Rosary and meditating on its mysteries in a new way.
Click the link below for additional materials for meditation and discussion. And come back next week for something new!