Issue Date: September 15, 2006
By ED HORVAT
Before the casket was closed, I asked my family if I could have the rosary beads that were placed on Aunt Lous hands, and my request was granted.
A lot of spiritual energy was poured into those beads. It would have been a double loss if they had been buried with her body. Now they are mailed around the country to whichever family member requests them. Our fingers travel over the same beads that hers did, kissing the same life-giving cross and blessing ourselves with it. The guest registry from her funeral accompanies the beads, and we continue to write in the book, noting the intention of our prayers. Its a great opportunity to remain close to both her and our family.
Aunt Lou and I worked for an area agency on aging, making home visits. Sometimes we would meet for lunch. Thats when I discovered that she prayed the rosary traveling between clients. Aunt Lou was a prayer warrior for our family and those she worked with. She was the matriarch who knew what was going on with all of us as we spread throughout the country. Beyond our family, I was impressed with how she cared about and prayed for all those she came into contact with. Her example inspired me to use my rosary, so I could do the same thing.
Marcene, my wife, made a rosary and gave it to me as a gift. I accompanied her to select the beads, choosing materials made out of bone, as a reminder that I am perishable. Marcene created a primal design that keeps me from becoming discouraged, for even though our physical being is gradually decaying, yet our spiritual being is renewed day after day (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Our son, Micah, requested dibs on my rosary beads, and I feel blessed. Like Aunt Lou, Im pouring myself out over those beads, so he will have a rich and valuable inheritance from his parents. Holy Mary, pray for us now and at the hour.
Ed Horvat, a secular Franciscan, writes from Morgantown, W.Va.
National Catholic Reporter, September 15, 2006
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