Entering Into The Mystery: The Rosary
When I first began discerning religious life in my mid-twenties the Rosary played a huge role in my prayer life in helping me to truly listen to God's whisper in my heart to become a religious sister. And the Rosary has remained a powerful force in my life that has helped me to make it through the many obstacles and challenges that I faced even after I entered religious life.
I remember the first time that I had to e-mail a Vocation Directress with regards to a vocation inquiry; I was so nervous about clicking the button to send the message. I prayed a Rosary while having my cell phone next to me on the floor, and afterwards I felt such a sense of peace that calmed any anxieties that I was feeling at the time, and I was able to send the e-mail.
After I entered religious life and there were many times I would sit on the floor in my room near the statue of the Blessed Mother that I had upon my window sill and pray the Rosary, and I cannot explain the calming effect I experienced as I truly felt Our Lady wrapping her mantle around me and soothing me. Especially, before Vespers when I would come to the Church early in the beautiful silence looking upon the wooden cross hung above the altar this serene feeling captivated my spirit, and such a peace radiated throughout the depth of my soul. I knew the devil was no match for Our Beloved Mother, and that for the rest of my life no matter what he threw in my direction she would always protect me as a child of God.
There was a beautiful moment that I will always remember and hold close to my heart when one of the Sisters was dying and a bunch of us were around her in her hospital bed. This Sister loved the Blessed Mother with all of her heart, and she prayed the Rosary faithfully throughout her religious life, and she led a Rosary group that we had at the monastery. I will never forget that day when the Sisters in her hospital room all pulled out their Rosaries, and we prayed the Rosary together, and although she no longer had an awareness of our presence I know that she knew we were praying together. She must have been smiling at us. I cried that day because I kept thinking about how beautiful it was that so many of us were praying together alongside her, which is what she loved so much after Compline when a group of us would pray with her. Every night she would wait patiently in the sitting room for us to come join her, and I never saw such a happier human being as she just loved praying with all of us for Our Lady's intercession.
I cannot imagine my life without praying the Rosary, and honoring Our Lady. And to think of all of the graces I would not have received if long ago in CCD I had never been taught how to pray the Rosary. I feel truly blessed that although I am no longer at the monastery I can still pray the Rosary and not only for our Mother Mary's intercession in guiding me in becoming a religious Sister, but I can still pray for my former religious community despite no longer being able to pray alongside them. The Rosary connects all of us together as brothers and sisters in Christ.
“Love the Madonna and pray the Rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces given by God pass through the Blessed Mother.”
-St. Padre Pio