Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary
“Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.’” -Luke 11:1
This growing up business seems to be a lifetime process. Today, I wonder what it’s all about, and what do I want to be when I grow up? Just when I think I’ve got this living business down, along comes COVID-19. Today I wonder and ask my God, what do you want of me?
Pulling from my past experience and remembering today’s feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, I recall all the times the rosary has pulled me through. My first experience was as a child. After dinner we would gather in the living room, and all take a chair to kneel in front of, as my father led us through the mysteries of life: the joyful mysteries; the sorrowful mysteries; and finally, the glorious mysteries. I remember thinking that Jesus and Mary lived really strange and different lives back then.
In Warrenton, Missouri, as Passionist high school seminarians, we would gather in the chapel after dinner and repeat the same process above. I still thought, Jesus and Mary lived really strange and different lives back then. Through most of my life since then, I’ve let go of thinking of these mysteries. After all they don’t really apply to my life.
Today, I’m beginning to think maybe they do. Just like Jesus and Mary, I am challenged. While I see no angel appearing to prepare me for the new life I will help bring into the world, I do realize that COVID-19, while not an angel, challenges me, and I believe all of us to do the same thing: “You will share in the experience of new ways of learning and they will call it online. That child will be the cause of much suffering and growth for you and for many, but it will rise and take its rightful place in the creation of my world filled with joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries.”
Dear God, I pray with the apostles today: “Teach me to pray!” I say: “Thank You, God!” Thank you for the good times, the challenging ones, but especially thank you for the crosses You’ve given me to bear. Finally, I pray with Mary: “My soul magnifies the lord and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”
Dan O’Donnell is a Passionist Partner and a longtime friend of the Passionists. He lives in Chicago.