The Rosary can be your compass Print E-mail
Youth Column
Written by Maria-Pia Negro Chin   

My grandmother's birthday is coming up and she does not live in this country, so my family will not be able to see her. We will call her -- she has not figured out Skype yet -- and we will talk and laugh, talk about her great-grandchildren and her sisters, and wish we could celebrate together. This year, I also want to thank her for everything we have learned from her example -- including her faith in Christ through Mary.

Years ago, when she was visiting us back in Maryland, I caught a glimpse of her with her eyes closed and her hands going through her Rosary beads, praying.

It took me back to her house in Peru and memories of her singing lullabies to my younger sister, her cooking, her checking her notebooks with tricky words for her daily crossword, and her praying the Rosary every morning.

I imagine her reciting all of the intentions people have asked her to pray for and naming every single aunt, uncle and cousin before she starts to pray.

The Rosary is a simple yet deep tool to pray. It allows time to reflect on the mysteries, events in the lives of Jesus and Mary. Because the joyful, luminous, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries are prayed on certain days of the week, a daily Rosary only focuses on one set of mysteries and takes about 20 minutes to complete.

In the book 33 Days to Morning Glory, Marian Father Michael Gaitley writes that "praying the Rosary does something to the soul. It allows Mary to share and form us according to the image of her son." He points out how the church-approved apparitions of Mary often encourage the praying of the Rosary for us to experience peace in our societies, families, and nations.

When I think of people like my grandma who pray the Rosary daily and hear their testimonies, I really feel like I should start praying it consistently.

While searching for gifts for my grandma, I found a book called The Rosary: The Prayer That Saved My Life. In it, Immaculée Ilibagiza talks about how, to save her from rape and murder during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Immaculée's father gave her a Rosary and told her to run to a local pastor for protection.

Immaculée and seven other women hid in a 3-by-4-foot bathroom for 91 days. There she "discovered how to pray the Rosary, find the Blessed Mother and talk to the Lord." Prayers that had seemed repetitive and never made an impact before became her spiritual compass.

She says that in the midst of unbearable sufferings, she discovered the beauty and power of the Rosary and that meditating on its mysteries delivered her from evil and helped her let go of the anger she had toward the men who killed her family. Talk about the power of prayer!

My grandma praying the Rosary was one of those things I just assumed was "nice but not for me" instead of being a great gift. Now that I am older, I am starting to realize otherwise. When I call her later this month, I want to thank her for her example and ask her if I could join her in praying for the family.

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Se acerca el cumpleaños de mi abuela y ella no vive en este país, por lo que mi familia no podrá verla. La llamaremos para saludarla, hablaremos y nos reiremos y añoraremos poder celebrar juntos. Este año, también quisiera agradecerle por todo lo que hemos aprendido de su ejemplo, incluida su fe en Cristo a través de María.

Hace años, cuando ella nos visitaba en Maryland; la vi con los ojos cerrados y su rosario en las manos, rezando.

Me trajo recuerdos de su casa en Perú y los recuerdos de las canciones de cuna que le cantaba a mi hermana, su comida, sus cuadernos con palabras difíciles para su crucigrama diario y su rezo del rosario todas las mañanas.

Me imagino que recita todas las intenciones que la gente le ha pedido que ore y nombra a cada tía, tío y primo antes de comenzar a orar.

El rosario es una herramienta simple pero profunda para orar. Permite tiempo para reflexionar sobre los misterios, eventos en las vidas de Jesús y María. Debido a que los misterios gozosos, luminosos, dolorosos y gloriosos se rezan en ciertos días de la semana, un rosario diario solo se enfoca en un misterio y completarlo toma alrededor de 20 minutos.

En el libro "33 días hacia un Glorioso Amanecer", el padre mariano Michael Gaitley escribe "rezar el rosario hace algo para el alma. Le permite a María compartir y formarnos de acuerdo a la imagen de su hijo". Señala cómo las apariciones de María aprobadas por la iglesia a menudo alientan la oración del rosario para que experimentemos la paz en nuestras sociedades, familias y naciones.

Cuando pienso en personas como mi abuela que rezan el rosario a diario y escucho sus testimonios, realmente siento que debería comenzar a rezar de manera constante.

Mientras buscaba regalos para mi abuela, encontré un libro titulado "El Rosario: La oración que salvó mi vida". En él, Immaculée Ilibagiza habla sobre cómo, para salvarla de la violación y el asesinato durante el genocidio de Ruanda en 1994, el padre de Immaculée le dio un rosario y le dijo que corriera a buscar a un pastor local para su protección.

Immaculée y otras siete mujeres se escondieron en un baño de 3 x 4 pies durante 91 días. Allí "descubrió cómo rezar el rosario, encontrar a la Santísima Madre y hablar con el Señor". Las oraciones que antes parecían repetitivas y que nunca habían tenido un impacto se convirtieron en su brújula espiritual.

Ella dice que en medio de sufrimientos insoportables, descubrió la belleza y el poder del rosario y que meditar en sus misterios la libró del mal y la ayudó a dejar de lado la ira que sentía hacia los hombres que mataron a su familia.

El rezo del rosario de mi abuela era una de esas cosas que asumí que era "bueno pero no para mí" en lugar de ser un gran regalo. Ahora que soy mayor, estoy empezando a darme cuenta de lo contrario. Cuando la llame este mes, quiero agradecerle su ejemplo y preguntarle si puedo unirme a ella para orar por la familia.


Maria-Pia Negro Chin is bilingual associate editor at Maryknoll Magazine.

 
 

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