roamin' catholic: karin rosner

Posts Tagged ‘Mary


Öur Lady of the New Advent”An icon by the House For All Sinners & Saints, an urban liturgical community in Denver, CO

Taste and see that the LORD is good.Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! (Psalm 34:8 New Living Translation)

Today Christians remember and celebrate Mary, Mother of Jesus in many different ways. Some are celebrating her entry into Heaven (many believe that she fell asleep in death and that her body was mysteriously taken up to be with her Lord), others are remembering her in more Protestant ways, focusing on her ultimate “Yes” in reply to the Angel Gabriel’s message to her.

The Feast begins on the eve. I am on vacation in the Pocono Mountains with my friend Andrea. We met and became fast friends on my first Alpha Course Weekend Away. I really needed this break from work and my crazy life, and I came west to the mountains on Andrea’s generous and timely invitation, determined to spend more time reading my Bible (on my Kindle) and pray. This holiday isn’t a retreat as such, but I’m deeply praying (as I look out from a back porch into the woods and relax into the prayerful music of birdsong and cicada chirps) for God’s Spirit and for renewal of my spirit, and my body, and my poor frazzled mind. (I think I am walking around on a fractured toe that I sustained climbing out of the pool, but that’s another story for another time.)


I believe that God speaks to us in many different ways, some of them quite ordinary. I really, really need to hear God speaking into my life right now.


Last night I was cooking dinner in her dacha’s little kitchenputting together a meat sauce to spoon over pasta. I split open a green bell pepper, and it bore a little baby pepper inside. I braced myself for dicing the onion, and once I peeled away the skin, there was a second onion, Siamese or split, growing inside. I had the strangest feeling that I should pay attention to what the vegetables were trying to tell me. The tomatoes came from a can, and there was nothing unusual about them. The garlic was also normal.

This morning, I grabbed my Kindle-Bible, and my devotional with today’s liturgical readings and set them on the porch. I made Marmite Toast, grabbed an orange from the fridge, set my tea to brew… and began to read. Psalm 34, Isaiah 61, Galatians 4:4-7 and of course The Song of Mary in Luke 1:46-55. When I peeled and sectioned my orange, there was an embryonic orange growing inside that one, too.

Father, you have the greatest sense of humor, ever. Of course, you invented funny. I love you. I believe in your promises and give you thanks and praise, not just to your Chosen People of the Old Testament and New, but to me, frazzled yearning for your Hope, me. Thank you for choosing Miriam of the House of David to be the mother of your Son, Jesus, my Lord, my Savior. Thank you for speaking to me through your Word, and through …er… vegetables and fruit. Thank you for Hope in the waiting, and for filling life with pregnant promise! Amen.

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I came home last night from work, and I felt ill. The noise of the day, the heat, the busyness,  and the stress made me feel nauseated and triggered a migraine. I forced some cold leftovers into my stomach, and crawled into bed. I shut off the lights and made my bedroom as silent as possible. I felt chilled (even on a ninety-degree day), so I let the room be sultry, not running the fan. I lay in my bed, stripped down to my underwear.

I reached out to my bedside table, and traded my eyeglasses for another object that I keep there: my olive wood Rosary beads. I don’t always pray the Rosary as part of my daily routine; I move in and out of traditional spiritual practices as the mood strikes me. The beads have their own special little spot, next to my little traveling icons of Christ and Mary, ready for whenever I might need them.

I prayed through the decades of the Joyful Mysteries, flinging my headache and nausea, my pain and disgust, and other problems in my life and the lives I care about, at the feet of my Lord. That’s what praying the Rosary is all about for me. The Joyful Mysteries begin with the message of Gabriel to a young, scared woman in Nazareth, continue her with her journey greeting her cousin Elizabeth when the two pregnant women meet, through the birth of Jesus, the songs of Simeon and Anna in  Jerusalem’s Temple when they behold the Savior of the World for the first time, to the moment of panic where Jesus goes missing to his parents and is found teaching the elders, priests and rabbis. All who pray these mysteries behold Christ; we enter into their epiphany.

I meditate as I move through the different moments in the New Testament in a quiet, orderly way through centuries’-old prayers, from the Apostles Creed,  to the Doxology, to the Lord’s Prayer, to the words of the Angel Gabriel to Mary, “Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you!”

Mary. Ah, yes. She’s there, too. She is not someone I worship, but she is my elder sister in Faith, and my Mother because she was and is Christ’s Mother. I believe she is still doing what she always has done, worshiping at the throne of God and interceding for all of us through prayer.

Prayers complete, I still felt chilled, but the nausea had passed. I was shivering. I pulled up my covers and fell asleep almost as soon as I had replaced my rosary beads on my nightstand. It was only 8:30 PM.

When I awoke several hours later, most of my migraine had left, flung at the manger (and the cross) using my rosary beads like a slingshot, along with the almost crazily dramatic issue I brought into prayer involving people in a mess o’ trouble,  and a mommy’s presence lingering nearby.  I felt peace.

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