The Power of the Rosary: A Personal Testimony
I had recently converted to Catholicism. Often I would pray the Rosary, but this time was different. Before starting to pray, I could feel a special "burning, prompting, pulsing" in my heart. Words can't really describe it. The closest I can come to explaining it would be that anticipatory excitement you get... like a kid before Christmas morning, or when my husband got back from a six month deployment.
So, I crawled into bed, closed my eyes, and holding the beads, began to pray. It was either a Tuesday or a Friday as I began the sorrowful mysteries. I started with the first mystery, Jesus' Agony in the Garden. For those unfamiliar with the Rosary, the idea is to be praying Hail Mary's as you meditate on each mystery. Usually, when I did this, my mind would struggle to stay focused. I'd start thinking about Jesus' Agony and then all of a sudden my mind would be on work or what I was going to eat for dinner. This day was different. All I could see in my mind and my sole focus was of Jesus in that garden. It was unlike anything I've ever experienced. The pulsing in my heart continued from bead to bead as I prayed. Typical depictions of Jesus' agony are of his head down, looking at the ground. The image in my mind was Jesus staring directly at me. His hair was dark black. There was a light about him.
As I moved onto the next mystery, I couldn't stop seeing THIS image. Mind you, my eyes were closed. I just kept meditating on it, the entire time. The next day, it was all I could think about. I got out my bible and started reading passages about Jesus' agony. I looked it up online and read that this passage was often connected to suffering in some way and, I knew then, it was Jesus telling me that no matter what I was going through, no matter the anxieties or the fears, He was with me. Jesus knew suffering well and wasn't just telling me it would be okay with empty promises. He had lived it.
I'd like to say every time I pray the Rosary is like this, but it's not. That's where faith comes in. Knowing that this is all very real, even when it doesn't FEEL that way. It is one of the most beautiful consolations I have received from the Lord and I reflect on it often.
It is part of the reason I designed A Painted Rosary and A Stained Glass Rosary. These books are filled with beautiful sacred art to help you focus and meditate more deeply on the mysteries of the Rosary. They are also perfect for anyone new to praying the Rosary since they have all the prayers written out.
My challenge to you this week: pray the Rosary once. Maybe its been awhile, you've never done it, or got out of the habit. Give it a try. Don't worry if you don't say it perfectly or know all the prayers. Give Jesus your heart and He will do the rest.
Kate Frantz is the owner and founder of Thy Olive Tree and the Fiat Self-Publishing Academy. She lives in Michigan with her husband and children. Thy Olive Tree gets its name from the Garden of Gethsemane. Gethsemane is known for its ancient olive trees. Some researchers estimate the dating of these trees back to the time Jesus would have been walking in the garden.