My Rosary by My Pillow
As one grows older one tends to develop certain ‘tics’; a kind of a ‘prop’ for the journey ahead! These ‘tics’ are sometimes really good: a habit which one has been nurturing over the years -and at one stage one realizes that one can really not do without it!
Since I was a little child, my mother taught me and my siblings that one should never go to bed without saying the Rosary. Come what may however late one was, or tired or sleepy – the family Rosary had to be said! It was another matter that sometimes we rattled it out with a speed that would put a ‘Rajdhani’ to shame. It was a duty, a discipline which became part of one’s life; but without realizing it also helped nurture, enrich and deepen one’s faith! The Rosary had come to stay!
Over the years, my Rosary became ‘essential’ in my ‘carry-ons’ I have found it difficult to go anywhere without the Rosary in my pocket! I have oftentimes wondered if it is just a ‘superstition’ like the charms or amulets that people wear for ‘good luck’ or to ward off evil. No, for me, it is much deeper: a sign of my faith! The fact that Mary my mother accompanies me in this journey of life; in the very same way she accompanied her son Jesus in the joyous, luminous, sorrowful and glorious stages of his life on earth.
Of late, together with my little crucifix, I need to have my Rosary by my pillow. It has become another absolute necessity for me. It is my WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter account all rolled in one! Completely synced! As I touch the beads I remember the people I encountered during the day: my colleagues, my collaborators, my companions; the refugees and the displaced; my family, my close friends, my other near and dear ones; those with whom I communicated with during the day; the many who have asked for my prayers: those sick with cancer, the lonely, the old; those gone before me….
Yes, the list is endless! The beads are not enough They never will be! As I touch the beads I realize that I am not just saying the ‘Our Father’ or the’ Hail Mary ‘ – but I am taking the persons I remember to Jesus through Mary and at the same time asking Jesus through Mary to accompany those for whom I pray.
My last act before I gently fall into a deep sleep is my hand on my rosary by my pillow – just like a little child who would need a rattle to hold or a teddy bear to cuddle; when I awake in the morning I realize that during my ‘snooze time’ my hand has automatically gone to feel the rosary by my pillow.
No, it’s not a ‘tic’ or a ‘prop’ or a ‘superstition’. It is, in fact, a perfect way to start my day and I cannot help but sing to Mary my Mother,” Be with us Mary along the way, guide every step we take, lead us to Jesus your loving Son; Come with us Mary, come!”
(A Personal Reflection: the FEAST OF OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY October 7th, 2016)
The Author- Fr Cedric Prakash SJ is an Indian Jesuit priest and a human rights activist. He is currently based in Lebanon and engaged with the Jesuit Refugee Service(JRS) in the Middle East on advocacy and communications.