I have my aunts and grandmother to thank for Mary being a part of my life. Growing up, we went to church weekly and I was enrolled in CCE through high school, but we never prayed together as a family except before dinner. We didn't really talk about Mary and the Saints, and when I think about that it makes me sad. We have this rich tradition in our church that I missed out on as a kid. Then again, it's okay, knowing my personality, I would have rebelled. Plus, I'm happy where I am on this journey of faith and I know my parents helped form my faith.
I did have the seeds planted by another generation. A generation that prayed every morning, offered novenas and had statues and pictures of Jesus and the saints and Our Lady all over the house.
I have a great rosary collection and most people think it started with my friend Sarah. To her credit, Sarah has given me my favorite rosary of all - my wedding rosary. Sarah and her husband Chris were the padrinos of the rosary at my wedding. She had two different rosaries made for me and Lance. She requested the crucifix on my rosary be the same crucifix that John Paul II used to carry. She knew I would love that. Over the years, she has given my several beautiful rosaries, but it all started with my aunts.
My aunts used to give me a rosary each time we visited them, which was a few times a year. I had one aunt who used to be a nun. I was fascinated by her decision to be a nun and would ask her tons of questions about her life. She would always tell me to pray the rosary. My grandmother always had a rosary in her hand, even when she died earlier this year at the age of 98. I didn't really listen to them about praying the rosary very often. In fact, I used to ask my mother why they always gave me rosaries. Did they think I lost the other ones? I'd like to think that now they would be pleased with me and my children. We don't pray the rosary together as often as I would like, but that's okay, we're getting there. Squirt is the proud owner of my glow in the dark rosary. That was a favorite of mine growing up. Recently he told me that he was not passing that one down to the little ones. I'm fine with that. If having a favorite rosary inspires him to pray a little more then I'm happy.
Since we've been focusing on Mary this month, Goose made flowers for Mary to leave at her altar. He was so precious leaving flowers and praying the Memorare. He learned this prayer this month as did the rest of the family. I didn't even know about this prayer until law school when my friend Bob told me about it.
Looking at Goose this morning took me back to my wedding when Lance and I took flowers to Mary's altar. He said the most beautiful prayer for our marriage outloud. I always tease him about this because I assumed that we would each say a prayer to ourselves rather than outloud. I am so glad he did it his way because that is my favorite moment from my wedding.
As Catholics we don't worship Mary, but we do ask for her intercession. I do this daily. I hope my children will do the same throughout their lives. Maybe I need to buy more glow in the dark rosaries.