I have prayed more Hail Marys in the last two days than in the last two years. Just sayin’.
Okay…I usually write neutrally about the practices of my faith. This is not going to be neutral. I am Catholic, and we have a lot, and I am talking A LOT of formal prayers. I mean, think about it. Catholics, and some really, really prominent Catholics have been writing prayers for two thousand years. Think Jesus, himself, as well as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Oh, yeah, and the Fathers of the Church.
I am visiting my step-dad in California. When he was married to my mom, he was a fallen-away Catholic, but I used to go to Mass with his sisters, when I was a little girl. I was an early getter-upper, and I remember them throwing their coats on over their nightclothes, and taking me to the earliest Sunday Mass celebrated. In those days, fasting before Communion was expected for twelve hours. We couldn’t eat breakfast until we’d been to Mass.
Later in life, he came back to the faith, big time, and now he is a Benedictine Oblate. They take vows to pray seven times a day. I’m not all that clear on how this works, but the Oblates’ prayers support the monks’ prayers. However it is thought to be, there are a whole bunch of prayers going up, for which I personally, am grateful. When a person is retired, they have time for this, but it is still quite the process to work it all in.
Charlie has a bunch of friends, all very special. One of them, who makes frequent trips to Rome, gifted me with a rosary made of rose petals, blessed by Pope Francis, himself. When I pray with this sacramental in the future, I will smell the roses of Our Lady. I teared up when I received this holy gift.
Yesterday and today, we prayed over 600 Hail Marys. Charlie prayed more, but I sort of copped out on two rosaries, so he wins. Being here with him is like being on a big retreat. My intentions for several rosaries and chaplets are in gratitude for the example and the practice. Sometimes, God gives me what I need, even before I ask. Amazing how that happens.