54 day rosary novena. And in fact October is the month of the rosary, very lovely, yes? What I love about the rosary is the way it helps me to focus on specific events from our faith as I pray. I also love the use of a physical aid in prayer. As a person who likes structure and crossing off items on a to-do list, there is something incredibly satisfying about moving the beads through my fingers toward a definite goal.
This morning, I was thinking about the fact that it's the feast of the Guardian Angels, and Magnificat had a lovely little tidbit to introduce the memorial:
"Popular piety encompasses many forms of devotion to the Guardian Angels. St. Basil the Great taught that 'each and every member of the faithful has a Guardian Angel to protect, guard, and guide them through life.' This ancient teaching was consolidated by biblical and patristic sources and lies behind many forms of piety. St. Bernard of Clairvaux was a great master and a notable promoter of devotion to the Guardian Angels. For him, they were proof 'that heaven denies us nothing that assists us,' and hence, 'these celestial spirits have been placed at our sides to protect us, instruct us, and to guide us.'"
Very comforting, especially as I woke up in a state of some anxiety. I'll spare you the details, but I have a few things on my week this week, and I didn't sleep well because I was thinking about them. Don't you hate that? At 2 am, even the simplest things take on an insurmountable quality that will quickly overwhelm the mind of your resident Nervous Nelly. Mike didn't sleep well either:
"I'm worried about getting all the grading and prep work done between now and Columbus Day."
So I'm not alone, I married a kindred worrying spirit (and a super cute one, at that). :) And praying the rosary helps when I'm trying to figure out ways of coping with larger concerns, you know? The familiar and the repetitive bring so much solace in such situations.
On the other hand, short, quick prayers are best when faced with these situations:
"MOMMY. What you doing?!"
"Just coming to check on you, Honey."
"Don't look in here!!" *closes toilet lid with a bang*
I own so many rosaries at this point, that I have one tucked into every coat pocket and conceivably useful spot to grab when the urge to pray occurs. I keep several in the car, that's a favorite prayer spot of mine. I keep one on my bedside table, one in the kitchen. One in Henry's room, to pray with him if we say a decade together. Pockets are also popular, and many a rosary has gotten an unexpected and rigorous washing when I've forgotten to take it out before the item went into the laundry. It's soothing to have them always so available, as a reminder that we are never alone.
One day at a time, you know? God never gives us more than we can handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much, as said by a very wise Blessed who adorns my current favorite rosary. :0