Monday, March 9, 2015

The Best Thing I Ever Did for Lent (Part 3/4)

For the last couple of weeks, I have been writing about the year that I decided to square myself with church teaching on the Blessed Mother. Here is a link to the first post, If you would like to begin there.

I have to admit, things were a little rocky at first. I really was starting out from the place of a skeptic who needed convincing.

Among the first things I learned was that I didn’t actually know most of the Mysteries of the Rosary.  I decided to start out saying the Sorrowful Mysteries, because I knew I didn’t have any objections there… and when I got home, I definitely discovered that I had a few Stations of the Cross mixed in. (oops…)

I was reading one(ish) numbered section from each of my books every night. Sometimes I read a little more, and sometimes I had to spend a couple of days chewing on one section.

Secret of the Rosary, as I think I mentioned, is a devotional book, so getting through that amount was pretty easy.

Redemptoris Mater is theology, though, so the reading was dense and difficult. I frequently had to stop to try to mentally diagram a sentence to figure out what it said or to back up and reread several numbered sections to figure out how their contents worked together.

It was a lot of hard work. I had a high level of trust for the material therein, though, (The encyclical was written, as I mentioned before, by Pope St. John Paul II, and the edition I read also had an introduction, by Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger)) so effort, was a bargain of a price, as far as I was concerned.

I did allow myself about a week’s worth of sporadic “exceptions” in my Rosaries (or maybe a little more) to listen to Catholic Radio, because during that particular Lent, we got a new Pope, and I was curious about him like everybody else. (Go figure, something really, truly, important happened in the life of the Church.)

I think it’s important to say that I didn’t get all the answers I was looking for during those 40 days. I even got “seriously stuck” on a section in Redemptoris Mater, about a week before Easter, and my reading came to a screeching halt while I struggled with it.

However, I did experience very good fruit.
  1. I became a lot more at ease with The Rosary. There are devotions I prefer, but I no longer resist the Rosary as anything approaching a matter of principle. I even know all of the mysteries, now.
  2. I was able to explain a lot more about the teachings of the Church on the subject of the Blessed Mother.
  3. Pitter-Patter, with whom I was pregnant at the time, has been the world’s easiest baby since the time she was born. (Pretty sure there’s a direct relationship here!)
And these are just what I’ve been made aware of so far.

That year, I never did get good and comfortable with the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. In fact, I may not have said them at all that year, even on Wednesdays.

Since I was thoroughly enjoying my reading, I resolved to continue it, but somewhere along the way, both of my books got lost…

And I think that’s enough for today. (Yeah, I know. Huge cliffhanger, right?)

Part 1   |   Part 2   |   Part 3   |   Part 4

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