Thursday, April 21, 2011

Would You Have Picked Up the Rosary?

As I was getting ready to leave for Holy Thursday Mass tonight, I saw my rosary and had an impulse to bring it with. 

At this point, a lot of thoughts are going through my head. Is this an impulse from God? Am I going to need the rosary for some reason tonight? I can't think of any possible reason why I would want a rosary at Mass. I'm definitely not going to use it *during* Mass. So why would God want me to bring my rosary? Could this instead be an impulse from the devil? Could it be a distraction to slow me down and make me late? I'm already later than I'd like to be. Could the rosary end up being stolen or lost if I brought it? That seems extremely unlikely. And so on.

I was like the proverbial cow, placed exactly between two bales of hay, unable to pick which side to move towards. Fortunately, I've been there enough times that I've learned to just pick a choice and go with it. Getting it wrong in such cases is usually a lot less painful than dithering over it indefinitely, imagining worse and worse potential consequences for each choice as time goes by.

I picked up the rosary and stuck it in my pocket.

Holy Thursday Mass is the one time of year when my parish brings together its very large Spanish-speaking community and its relatively small English-speaking community into one bilingual Mass. Kyrie had been picked to be one of the people getting their feet washed (they had been looking for volunteers at her First Communion class), so it was an especially exciting time. (The more so for me, because I had left the other kids at home with Ken, taking only Kyrie and the baby, so that we weren't taking up extra space in the very crowded church). Listening to the priest speak in Spanish and seeing all the Hispanics around me, I was renewed in my desire to learn Spanish. And, as I often have, I wondered if I could be an effective force for renewal among the Hispanics, helping them to see Jesus more personally, if only I learned their language. I have no idea if God wants me in a role like that or not. (And, to be sure, the ones who are coming to Mass may be the least likely to need it). 

At the end of Mass, the priest put the Eucharist in the monstrance and we had a little procession with it across the courtyard to the parish center, where it would be on display for Adoration until midnight. This happens every single year on Holy Thursday, and yet, somehow, every single year I forget that it's going to happen.

Kyrie wanted to go see what Adoration was about, so we went. Once there, I suddenly remembered the rosary in my pocket. I wanted to pray the rosary myself, but I doubted Kyrie could last that long without getting bored. After another brief interlude of mental dithering, I pulled the rosary out and handed it to Kyrie, telling her she could use it to pray the rosary if she wanted. I prayed the rosary myself, keeping track on my fingers.*

This worked out phenomenally well. Kyrie and I actually finished our rosaries at about the same time; having something to handle kept her focused and going the whole time, even when most of the room started up a Spanish group prayer out loud. In the meantime, I prayed my rosary for all the people around me, that each and every one of them would have a phenomenal relationship with Jesus. After all my concern for my fellow parishioners, it gave me some peace to pray a rosary for them.

*Apparently my counting skills need some work. I prayed the Glory Be at the end of the first decade, only to realize that I had forgotten my other hand, and had only prayed 5 Hail Mary's instead of 10.  :) (I ended up adding another decade on the end to compensate.) 

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