Beads are used by people of many faiths as a way to accompany prayer. Buddism, Islam, Hinduism and Christian denominations among others use beads through the fingers as a help to meditation.
Most readers will be familiar with Rosary Beads, and during this month of October I invite you to learn and to re-learn this form of meditating on and contemplating with many of the most central events in the life of Jesus.
For the one picking up Rosary Beads for the first time there is a bit of work involved in learning the prayers, the four sets of mysteries (Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious), and twenty meditations (Decades).
However you will be surprised by how, all of a sudden, you remember the words and the reflections. Children learn especially quickly. Children want to follow grandparents and parents and others they love.
Be honest with your children, perhaps telling them that this was a prayer you used to pray when you were young, but you have forgotten it. Ask the children to learn it anew with you.
Each day of this month, beginning tomorrow, Food For Faith will follow step by step, learning as we go. Following this simple method, at the end of the four weeks, you will be able to pray the Rosary in your sleep….yes. literally!
To begin, the prayer we pray while holding the Crucifix is the Apostles Creed, one of the most ancient Christian prayers, even older (and shorter) than the Nicene Creed we usually use in liturgy.
The heart of all we believe is here in these few sentences. Pray it through a couple of times now.
I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.
Now you will find that you probably already know the next three prayers, the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.
Today, dig out your Rosary Beads, Carry them with you. Feel them in your pocket or with you as you wake in the night. Hold the crucifix pondering the heart of the Christian faith: what feels like death in life is really the pathway. Just hold on and turn to Jesus.
Click on the image below to sign up for daily Rosary reflections for this month of October, or to request Rosary Beads.
Tomorrow, Sunday ,we will begin a four-week journey through the mysteries, decade by decade.
I look forward to your company on this life-giving journey.