Why is a rosary in my pocket?

Chemo is the same each time I go (kind of). I sign in, go to my coveted comfy chair, they stick needles in me, drip a bunch of crap into my veins while I throw up, and then send me on my way. Sometimes I sleep, but most of the time I try to read, talk to Jeremy (this guy who has the same schedule as I do), watch some telly, or listen to music. But, today was a bit different. I listened to NIN for a little while (consequently, to Sean’s favourite album, which I didn’t know until he told me this afternoon), but then I curled up in my bed and prayed the rosary.

I used to pray it in middle school when I couldn’t fall asleep. I’m not awesome at it – in fact, I’m awful. I forget where things go, or I’ll fall asleep mid-Hail Mary. I get on myself for not focusing on whatever mysteries are assigned to that day. I carry a rosary with me in my pocket when I go, or I keep one in my purse. It’s a handy thing to have. I wear a rosary bracelet on a semi-regular basis (I hadn’t lately since it broke, but I got it fixed when I went home, so it’s back on my wrist). Why do Catholics covet the rosary so much?

I really can’t answer that question. It’s different for everybody. I’m terrified of chemo, to be honest. It makes me sick, and I never know how I’m going to feel afterwards. Yesterday, I was an absolute disaster – throwing up, couldn’t really move, was too weak to even drink a glass of water on my own. Today, I could sit up, play video games (well, watch Sean play, anyways), engage in conversation, and I even left the house this afternoon to get books at the OSU bookstore on campus. But, the rosary makes me feel safe. It provides me with comfort when I have none. I hate it when people want to go with me to the hospital – I don’t like seeing their faces when I go through what I’m going through, and it’s easier on everyone if I go alone. The pitying looks are hard enough from people who just see me once in awhile, but if my closest friends really experienced what I did, I’d just die. The rosary is there for me, though. I hold it in my hands, next to my iPod, and I just go through the decades. It gives me something to focus on when I need a distraction from my rolling stomach.

So, is the Spirit there with me during chemo? Yes, I think so. I don’t feel absolutely alone. The nurses come check on me, of course, and Jeremy is there if I’m in a chair (I wasn’t today, if you didn’t pick up on that, I was in a room because I got a shot in my arse, and it hurt). But, when I am all by myself, the rosary is there, and it helps me along.

I texted Sean tonight, telling him I couldn’t sleep. He responded with the sentence, “Why don’t you pray the rosary?” I hadn’t thought of that. I usually prayed it when I was afraid – not when I just needed something to think about.

I know this post means absolutely nothing, and that’s okay with me. I’m headed to bed, where I’ll pray, and go to sleep. By the way – thanks, everyone, who said they would pray for me. I really appreciate it đŸ™‚


One thought on “Why is a rosary in my pocket?

  1. There is a custom among some of the Eastern Europeans to inject into each “Hail Mary” in each decade the mystery.

    I do not know the exact translation – I had heard it recited this way in Slovak and translations were offered to me informally by a gentle older lady.

    The premise is, when saying the Hail Mary, you insert, after the name of JESUS a very brief description of the mystery.

    (“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art though among women and Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, JESUS [interjection]! Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death! Amen!)

    Rough translations are as follows:

    (Joyful Mysteries)
    JESUS, annoucned to you by St. Gabriel!
    JESUS, in your womb when recieved by St. Elizabeth!
    JESUS, born in Bethlehem!
    JESUS, presented to Simeon in the temple!
    JESUS, found in the Temple!

    (Sorrowful Mysteries)
    JESUS, Who agonized in the garden!
    JESUS, Who was scourged at the pillar!
    JESUS, Who was crowned with thorns!
    JESUS, Who carried the cross of our salvation!
    JESUS, Who died on the cross for our salvation!

    (Sorrowful Mysteries)
    JESUS, Who was resurrected from the dead!
    JESUS, Who ascended into heaven!
    JESUS, Who sent for the Holy Spirit!
    JESUS, Who assumed you into Heaven!
    JESUS, Who Crowned you Queen of Heaven!

    (Luminous Mystries might include)
    JESUS, baptized in the Jordan!
    JESUS, at the wedding at Cana!
    JESUS, Who proclamed the Kingdom!
    JESUS, transfigured with Moses & Elijah!
    JESUS, Who offers us the Eucharist!

    Using these forms or something like them helps to insert a small mediation into the prayers and helps to focus on the mystery. When I “discovered” this, it totally changed my focus and enriched my mediation. If I wanted to add another mediation or another decade, it was as simple as adding a new interjection such as:

    JESUS, Who came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the first!
    JESUS, Who prayed that all might be one!
    JESUS, Who entered Jerusalem on a donkey!

    (Interesting to note that with Luminous Mysteries, now all but ONE of the major Eastern [Orthodox/Byzantine] feasts are meditated upon. The exception being “The Entrance in Jerusalem” [Palm Sunday] are now included in the Rosary. Could this legacy of JP the Great have a place in the Divine Economy of aiding in reunion?)

    I hope you find this helpful.

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