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Comforting prayer

I still pray the rosary (or most of it) nightly.

I still pray the rosary (or most of it) nightly.

I’ve been a devoteé of the prayer of the rosary since I was a grade-schooler. I still pray the rosary (or most of it) nightly. I have even learned the Luminous mysteries introduced by Pope Benedict XV.

How I pray the rosary has changed over all these years – more than once. Some weeks I pray the mysteries in the recommended order – joyful, sorrowful, glorious, joyful, sorrowful, glorious, luminous.

Some weeks I pray the mysteries depending on what life is dishing out at the particular time; so I may pray joyful mysteries for days – or sorrowful or glorious or luminous.

Some weeks I pray each decade for someone for whom I’ve promised to pray – or for someone I’m worried about or happy for. Sometimes I choose a family I love and pray for each member by name.

One night, shortly after the General Council learned that the bell tower of our church is in very poor condition and would require almost one million dollars to repair, I just kept saying at the beginning of each decade “bell tower.”

Every once in awhile, I just hold the rosary.

No matter how I pray the rosary, it is always comforting for me. Repetitive prayer has that affect on us. I also know that for me, Mary remains a significant model and friend for me. Over the years, I’ve read quite a lot of Mariology – the study of her life and her spirituality. So, over the years, I’ve come to know her in a way that makes her seem a real, a multidimensional and vibrant saint of God, part of that communion of saints who surround and protect us.

“Blessed are you among women” indeed. I believe that two words in that descriptive sentence are equally true of Mary – blessed and among. May we continue to call on her, to be present with her.

St. Mary of the Woods, pray for us.
Our Lady of Providence, pray for us.
Friend and mother, pray for us.

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Sister Denise Wilkinson

Sister Denise was the general superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods from 2006-2016. She previously served as a high school teacher, college administrator, postulant/novice director and director of advancement and communications for the Congregation. Currently, Sister Denise serves the Congregation in various volunteer positions.

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