A reflection on Rosary making.

Prayer, the conversation between God and humanity, is the source and reason for the existence of the Rosary. It is the context in which the Rosary maker works. The making of a Rosary is an act of love. It is making a tool of prayer and it is in the prayer, not the tool, that love is most perfectly expressed. The difference between having a Rosary and praying it is like the difference between having the telephone number of a loved one and making a phone call to them.

Having the telephone number gives a sense of connectedness, a security that you can contact the loved one, even if you don't. This is what the Rosary maker creates in physically joining beads. Every bead that is physically connected represents and creates a possibility of a deeper spiritual connection. A connection we carry around in our pockets with loose change.

The work of the Rosary maker does not create the prayer that is the gateway of the spiritual life. The Rosary maker simply creates potential.

We nudge a pebble on the mountain side. It can roll for a few feet and settle into a new position, unseen by anyone, disregarded, or , that pebble, could be the first tentative movement of an avalanche of prayer that alters an entire landscape and changes the course of rivers. A new spiritual landscape might just emerge, one that endures long after the Rosary maker has left the earth.

Hundreds of years from now, when I am dust, someone may pick up a Rosary I have made and say .Ave. Perhaps, in the breeze, they may hear my Amen.

The prayer the Rosary calls us to, may be as beautiful as the series of meditations it both guides us through and represents. Or it may be a simple remembering. Putting a hand in a pocket and touching the Rosary you forgot was there, pausing, and whispering a gentle Hi, I know you're with me. I love you. Very often, we Rosary makers will not know the person who will own the Rosary in the future, or the role it will have in their lives. It may never be blest or used as a focus for prayer. When a rosary leaves our hands and goes into the world we are very much casting our bread upon the waters. There is enormous beauty in this, and great symbolism. The rosaries carry Our Lady's love of her son and our prayers into the world and into the hands of someone we know nothing of and will never meet. It may be someone of great holiness or someone who has little or no knowledge of the spirituality represented by the Rosary. I am very much aware that when I pray upon a rosary I make, my prayers may be the only ones ever prayed on the beads and that the one who carries these beads may well be in great need of God and His blessing in their lives. I don't know and never will. I am as hidden from them as they are from me (they may even think I am a machine somewhere). In this regard I cease to be me and become a tool. That I might be a hidden tool of grace in someone's life seems to me to be the essence of the Rosary making apostolate.


August 2014