Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What is a Rosary?

I mean, really.
I know well what it is in terms of a tool for prayer.
But what else is for others?
How do others use the rosary,
Besides prayer.

We put rosaries in our cars.
I do so because as such
It becomes a symbol of my faith.
I also actually pray with it
On days when I find myself
Waiting for my son after football practice.
Any mom who has ever waited for their child. . .
For the school bus to return from a game or fieldtrip,
For them to exit the school after showers after a game. . .
Any mom knows that sometimes we just wait.
What do you do when you wait?
I pray with my rosary.
And I always have a rosary in my car.

Some wear a rosary as a tattoo.
That, perhaps, is also symbol.
Of all the images
That could be permanently painted on your body
I guess a rosary is a good choice.

Some wear the rosary as a piece of jewelry.
I have always had mixed emotions on that one.
I mean,
If my car can wear it,
Why shouldn’t people?
And wouldn’t it make more sense for people to wear it
Than for our cars to wear it?

But it is those who wear the rosary as a talisman
That have always given me concern.
As if, by wearing these magic beads,
They will somehow be protected from all harm.
This is where my mixed emotion
On wearing the rosary comes from.

There are all kinds of vulgar things
That people can wear as a necklace.
To be honest,
I would prefer to see them wearing a rosary
Than some vulgar statement or image.

But more and more
We are hearing stories
Of youth not allowed to wear the rosary as jewelry
Because it is a gang symbol.
A Dallas area student
Was told to remove or hide her rosary
For just such a reason.

But where are we
That schools have metal detectors
And security guards?
Where are we
That the rosary has been co-opted by gangs?

Where are we
When people would rather wear a rosary
Than pray a rosary?
Where are we
When people would rather have a rosary painted on them
Than to pray the rosary?
Where are we
When people would rather have their car wear the rosary
Than pray it?

Where are we
That people would use a rosary
As a talisman?

Maybe if more of us were praying the rosary
I wouldn’t find myself
Asking these questions. . .

. . and for those of us who know and understand,
there is no excuse. . .
. . even “no time” is no excuse. .
. . it’s as a said before,
there is always enough time
to pray three “hail marys”. . . .

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