Category Archives: The Rosary

The Ted Bundy Rosary Miracle

Today, October 7, marks the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. In its honor, I’d like to share a miracle of the Rosary which I recently read in the book, Champions of the Rosary, by Fr. Donald Calloway. I call it the “Ted Bundy Rosary Miracle.”

Huh?

Yep. There’s a Rosary miracle associated with Ted Bundy, the notorious serial rapist and murderer of the 1970’s.

rosary-1244875-1598x1062One night in January, 1978, Ted Bundy broke into a sorority house at Florida State University. After brutally raping and killing two sorority sisters, and seriously injuring two others, Bundy opened the door to another room. The young woman saw him open the door, and was sure he was going to kill her. Oddly, though, Bundy stopped, dropped his weapon, and fled.

When police arrived on the scene, they found this young woman in a near catatonic state. She refused to speak to anyone but a priest, so local priest Monsignor William Kerr was called to the scene. Upon his arrival, she recounted what had happened, and informed Monsignor Kerr that, when she went away to college, she had promised her mother that she would pray the Rosary every night before bed for protection. That night, she had fallen asleep while praying, and still held her rosary in her hand when Bundy opened the door to her room.

Years later, Bundy asked for spiritual guidance from the same priest who had met with that young woman, Monsignor Kerr. When asked about that incident in that Florida State sorority house, Bundy said that, when he’d opened the door to that young woman’s room, he had every intention of killing her. However, when he tried to step through the doorway, a mysterious force prevented him from doing so.  He dropped his weapon and ran away!

Through the intercession of Our Lady, the Rosary saved this young woman’s life. Imagine what it can do for our families, our country, and our world!

If you aren’t praying the Rosary regularly, what’s holding you back?

Are you afraid you’re not doing it right? Here’s a website to teach you how.

Is it hard to find the time? Here is a blog post I wrote, sharing how Iscreen-shot-2016-10-07-at-2-15-02-pm
find time.

Do you find it boring? Give it an honest chance. This is one devotion that I believe gets better the more you do it!

The Rosary is “the gospel on a string,” “the weapon that wins all battles” (St. Pio of Pietrelcina), and a prayer that “can bring families through all dangers and evils” (Servant of God Patrick Peyton).

May we as lovers of Christ and His Mother, Mary, pray this prayer
faithfully, with reverence and devotion, and may it bring peace to our families, our country, and our world.

 

 

 

Weaving the Crown of Thorns

When I think of the crown of thorns, I often think of the man who wove that crown. I think of how those thorns must have pierced his own flesh. His wounds would still have been healing on that third day when Christ rose.

When I think of the man who wove the crown of thorns, I think of gossip. The thorns of gossip pierce the hearts and souls of those who whisper, in addition to those of whom they speak.

Something to think about, next time.

Feeling a bit poetic tonight, I wanted to share this…

Hands.
Calloused, filthy.
Weaving a crown.
A crown to mock and ridicule.
 crown_of_thorns
Hands.
Bloodied and torn.
Placing the crown.
The crown of the King of Kings.
 crown_of_thorns
Hands.
Bloodied, pierced.
Folded, lifeless.
Entombed, the King of Kings.
crown_of_thorns
Hands.
Wounded, pierced.
Raised, outspread.
Ascending, setting free.
crown_of_thorns
Hands.
Calloused, filthy.
bloodied, torn.
Wreathed in mockery and ridicule.

 

Princessified

Well, I knew this blog post novena was not going to be a cakewalk, and that the weekend would be especially difficult. Alas, I missed yesterday, but I’m back on it today.

First, since it’s Sunday, a day when we typically meditate on the Glorious Mysteries, I thought I’d share a post from a fellow member of the Catholic Writer’s Guild, Dennis P. McGeehan. I’ll be honest and tell you that I had never even considered the idea that Saint Joseph might have been assumed into Heaven, but Dennis presents a very interesting case in his post, The Assumption of Saint Joseph. Check it out – I’d be interested to hear your thoughts!

Next, I’ve reached into the archives of my old blog, marthasheart.com, and found the following post which I thought was a lovely way to end the weekend – celebrating God’s great love for us, his sons and daughters. 

crown-1484427-1279x1705

Princessified
Originally posted on Marthasheart.com, Nov. 5, 2008

Today, my two year old daughter waved her magic wand at me and informed me that I was Princess Aurora.  She then said that I had been “princessified.”

Thinking tonight of the Coronation of Our Lady, it occurred to me that, while there may be only one Queen of Heaven, each and every one of us is a prince or princess in God’s eyes.  I was actually nearly giggling during my meditation,  imagining all of us running around heaven with little crowns on our heads.

Why not smile and giggle, yes, giggle, knowing how very much God loves us?  That we are His children, and He loves us so much!

Throw back your shoulders and hold your head up high.  Wear that crown with pride.  You are God’s child, His Princess (or Prince)!

 

 

Seven Quick Takes: 7 Ways to Fit the Rosary In Your Day

seven-quick-takes-friday-2In keeping with my blog post novena, I thought I’d use my seven quick takes this week to answer the age-old question: How do you find the time to pray the Rosary everyday? As you’ll see below, I often pray the Rosary while performing other tasks, which may not be the perfect way to do it, but I find that I am able to focus surprisingly well, perhaps because multi-tasking silences that little voice inside my head that says, “You should be mopping the floors,” or, “The toilets are filthy,” or “Did you forget the mountain of laundry you need to fold?” These little “tricks” enable me to pray a daily Rosary, and many days I pray a full fifteen decade Rosary. I do believe that it’s quality – not quantity – that counts. But, “nature loves a vacuum,” and I’d much rather fill the empty moments of my brain with thoughts of Christ and his Mother than whatever “nature” might choose to put in there instead.

— 1 —

While I’m driving… Okay, no surprise there. I think that’s when a lot of people pray it.rosary-2-1499851

— 2 —

At the computer… in those moments when I’m ready to throw my antediluvian laptop in the trashcan because it’s so slow, I use the interminable wait times to say a few Hail Mary’s and meditate. Not ideal, but it does greatly decrease frustration.

— 3 —

While walking the dog, or going for a run… sometimes my motivation to get off my bum and go get some exercise lies purely in knowing that I haven’t prayed the Rosary yet that day and this gets me out of the house so that I can better focus.

— 4 —

While doing the laundry… I’ve actually had some of my best Rosary moments while folding socks and t-shirts. It occupies my hands and allows my mind to run free. I use a set of sacrifice beads, like these, to keep track of the Hail Mary’s.

— 5 —

Tucking the kids into bed… if it’s late, and my first response is, “no,” my kids will actually beg me to pray a decade with each of them. It’s our special time together, just me and that one child. Plus, they get to stay up a few minutes longer.

— 6 —

At my little makeshift alter… I have a beautiful framed Our Lady of Guadalupe in the entry of our home. On my better days, I pull up a padded stool, kneel, and pray before that image. Since Our Lady is expecting in the Guadalupe image, it helps me to focus on both Our Blessed Mother and her infant son, the humility into which he chose to be born, the value of human life, and much more.

— 7 —

In Adoration… well, of course this would be the very best of all options. While having an infant prevents me from having a regularly scheduled hour in the Adoration Chapel, it does not prevent me from going to Adoration as often as possible. There is simply no comparison to time spent contemplating the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, while also contemplating his life, and his mother’s.

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!

 

The Wedding at Cana

The wedding at Cana

The Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-12) is one of my favorite mysteries of the Rosary. It seems to have endless depths to explore, and I am frequently startled by the realization of some new, previously hidden element.

I love to think about Mary’s concern for the bride and groom, and of her intercession on their behalf. As she interceded for them, I know that she will intercede for us.

I meditate on Jesus’ use of the word, “woman,” drawing our minds to the first woman, Eve, who brought sin into the world. Mary is called “the New Eve,” because she is the woman – the one in all of history – who never knew sin, who stepped on the head of the serpent as was foretold in Genesis, who, rather than trying to be like God, as the first Eve did, humbled herself before God, making herself his handmaid and saying “Let it be done unto me…”

Then there’s Mary’s confidence that Jesus will respond to her request, and her words, “Do whatever he tells you.” Simple, yet perfect. If only we each could follow this command.

There’s the fact that, with Mary’s gentle push, Christ chose a wedding as the place where his first public miracle should occur, thereby revealing the awesome importance of the sacrament of marriage.

Of course, there’s the miracle of turning water into wine. And not just any wine, but the very best, most splendid of wines.

Untitled design

I love to think on his order to fill the jars with water. If we are Christ’s servants, what is this “water” that we should be filling our jars with? On the one hand, surely it’s love of God, and love of neighbor. On the other hand, it’s the spiritual drink of life – the Holy Spirit. Those who drink of it will never thirst. And there’s the refilling of ourselves, as we pour ourselves out caring for others, and then must fill ourselves back up through prayer, scripture, and the sacraments.

Though seemingly insignificant, I love the words that follow Christ’s command. “They filled them to the brim.” If those jars are my offering to Christ, am I filling it to the brim? Am I giving him my everything, my all?

Ultimately, like the water that was transformed at Cana, whatever we offer to him – however ordinary – will become extraordinary.

May we hold nothing back.

 

 

 

 

My Rosary Love Affair – Part II

Okay, this is gonna be quick because I get to go to the Celebrate Life dinner tonight and I need to leave in 10 9 minutes.

I realized yesterday that calling this my Rosary “love affair” is probably not accurate, because the term “love affair” sounds like something torrid and fleeting. Obviously, this particular love affair is neither of those!

Instead, it’s long term, and firmly committed. Oh, there are days of my life where I manage to pray a full Rosary, and there have been seasons in the last seven years where I haven’t come anywhere near a daily Rosary. But I keep coming back to it, and I miss it in the days and seasons where I don’t pray it as much.

rosary-1244875-1598x1062Once, when Bear was an infant, I was very concerned about a surgery that he had scheduled the following morning. I went to our parish’s Blessed Sacrament chapel and prayed a Rosary. Once I was done, as I knew I would, I felt a calm reassurance.

But, honestly, that reassurance wasn’t rooted in a knowledge that the surgery would go well and Bear was going to be fine. Instead, it was nestled in the knowledge that, whatever happened, God would bring us through.

I’ve heard of many Rosary miracles. There were priests who prayed the Rosary daily whose home was unscathed after the Hiroshima bombing (I’ll double check that and add a link later!), there was a girl I heard of on the radio who was skyjumping and her parachute didn’t deploy. There happened to be a group of men in a nearby field who saw her falling. They immediately started praying the Rosary, and miraculously, she landed in trees or on some soft surface that left her with only minor cuts and bruises (I’ll see if I can find that one too!)

I heard a woman on the weather channel one time who was hiding with her husband in their basement shower during a tornado. She got her rosary beads out just as she felt the wind beginning to suck them out of the basement. She began praying and the force of the wind instantly let them both go. Their house was destroyed, but they were completely fine.

I’ve never experienced a miracle like any of those, but I don’t need one. I’m perfectly the-heart-of-jesus-1442437content with the changes I can recognize in myself, as my responses to the events of life become a little more Christ- and Mary-like as a result of spending so much time thinking about how they handled situations. I’m content with the peace I feel in the midst of turbulence.

I’m content with knowing that, one day, when I before Christ, he will say, “Yes, I know you,” and I will smile and say, “Oh, my Love, I know you too. Please welcome me in so I may know more.”

I’m sure this post is riddled with typos. Forgive me! But I’m off to celebrate some life!!

My Rosary Love Affair – Part I

The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary will be here in nine short days’ time. This feast has had recurring significance for me, so to do something special to mark the occasion I’ve decided to write a novena of blog posts. Over the next nine days, by the grace of God, I intend to write nine posts about the Rosary or Our Lady. I figure a good place to start is how the rosary has impacted my own life.

 

When I was a new Catholic, the Rosary seemed weird, repetitive, and overwhelming. But, I figured that, if I was going to be a Catholic, I was going to have to at least give it a shot. Thus, with the aid of a pamphlet that I had been given during RCIA, I tried praying it a few times, and was shocked to find that the prayer was nowhere near as difficult, time consuming, or boring as I’d expected .rosary-1244875-1598x1062

In fact, I actually rather enjoyed it.

I never really got into the habit of praying the Rosary, though, until a few years later. I was pregnant, in chronic pain, tired, my hormones were raging, my feelings were hurt, and I was angry. I knew that I had to face a situation with a family member, but I felt that the solution rested with her. She should admit how wrong and horrible she had been, and beg for my forgiveness.

One of the many beautiful things about the Rosary is that, whatever problems we’re facing, we can place those troubles in the hands of our Mother in Heaven, and say:

Here, Mom. Here’s what’s bothering me. Here’s what I think I need. I know that no amount of worrying about it will help. I know that no advice from an earthly friend will offer a magical solution. And I also know that, if my request is in keeping with God’s Will, you will take it and lay it at your son’s feet, adding your beautiful prayers to my own humble ones.

And then we can just leave our worries in her sweet hands – hands so much more capable than ours– and proceed to meditate, not on our own trials, tribulations, wants and needs (though inevitably those will creep into our meditation,) but instead on Christ, his great gift, his trials and tribulations, and those of his mother. As we meditate on these things, our problems are put into perspective, and we know that God will provide, as he always does.

IMG_0124.JPGThat day, feeling hurt, angry, and confused, I instinctively turned to the Rosary. When I finished praying, having meditated on Christ’s humility and mercy, I knew what I needed to do. I realized that, while my family member’s actions may not have been perfect, neither were my own. I needed to forgive her, and, moreover, I needed to swallow my pride, apologize, and seek her forgiveness.

It wasn’t easy, but my prayer had helped me to see my shortcomings, and encouraged me to follow Christ and his example.

With my Rosary love affair thus begun, I would begin to pray this beautiful prayer every day. Through this prayer, I would find healing, guidance, comfort, and so much more.

I’ll share more of the story of my love affair tomorrow.