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.
- 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.
- I was able to explain a lot more about the teachings of the Church on the subject of the Blessed Mother.
- 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!)
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?)