It’s a bit of a long ramble tonight. Sorry, I didn’t have time to make it shorter. (Hiya, Pascal!) ;)

I don’t know how many of my readers are Catholic and how many aren’t. I assume most are but I wonder. I don’t even know how many actual readers I have. Probably a fraction of those who “follow” me ever get around to reading anything I’ve written. Well, I’m going to do what I’ve been doing, and write as if I’m addressing fellow Catholics or someone who is at least interested in Catholicism. And since this is supposed to be a post about the Blessed Virgin Mary (in the Something About Mary Every Day In May series), tonight I will write about one of my favorite Marian topics: the Rosary. Eventually. ;) Here goes.

When I was a young woman, fresh out of high school and no longer expected to accompany (I used to like that word) my family to church on Sundays, I began to search. I didn’t know what I was searching for, but I knew there had to be something. There had to be some way to know more. More about the reality, truth, the universe, more about how Christianity was supposed to work. No one could ever answer when I asked these things at home or at Sunday School or anywhere else. But I knew that someone somewhere had answers, to my questions, to my deepest longings, and I was determined to find that someone and get my answers, once and for all.

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A post in the Something About Mary Every Day In May series.

In the good old days when I could still walk easily and without assistance, like a normal healthy person, and wasn’t tethered to an oxygen machine, and both of my beloved dawgs were still with me—man, I miss those days—back in those days of youth and health I would take our small pack to the park every day, and while the dawgs sniffed every blade of grass and chased each other and all the squirrels, I would pray the Rosary. I usually took them to the back of the park where we could be alone and they could enjoy some measure of freedom.

One day as I walked along praying the Rosary, I was watching the birds or squirrels or something in the trees overhead. A man passed us going in the other direction and of course, he spied my Rosary beads. And he couldn’t resist saying something about them. 

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Something About Mary Every Day In May
This post does double duty as part of the Did I ever tell you series and the Something About Mary Every Day In May series, too. The image in the banner is by Sassoferrato.

Did I ever tell you how the Blessed Virgin Mary helped me through one of the worst times in my entire life? After I had what doctors think may have been a heart attack, I was stuck in hospital with a breathing tube in my throat and a feeding tube in my nose for three weeks in an ICU. Normal people are unconscious while intubated. I don’t mean just during the process of having the tubes put in place. I mean, the whole time they have those things in there. Do you know why? Because a normal person cannot stand to have tubes in places where tubes ought not be! 

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Began a new page for the Rosary Project today. Was going to start uploading it, but changing the blog theme and layout meant re-doing more than I had planned, what with site navigation and all.* If you’re curious about what the Rosary threads are, here’s the one from last night (Tuesday, April 16).

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The Rosary Project will have its own section here at Catholic Heart & Mind. I’m still pondering how to post it but the first part of it will be going up over the next few days. My pooor little blog won’t know what’s happened. I’ve ignored it for so long, I’m sure it thought I’d forgotten all about it. I’m slowly recovering from the heart attack and all of that and it’s good to be back in front of the keyboard to do something besides Tweet and scribble.**

*But that’s alright. I haven’t changed the blog look for years other than to add a new banner now and then. It was time for a new look and to clean out some under-used pages, or at least move them around.

**Scribbling is what I do when I want to work on a story but all I can do is scribble a few disjointed impressions of a scene here and there with no idea how it will fit into the larger picture of whatever story I’m working on. My goal is to eventually put a few of these stories up on the blog. And maybe one day even put them into an eBook.

An unusual rosary

(Update, Mar 2 2012: Here’s the link to the bishop’s decree concerning Holy Love Ministries on the website of the Diocese of Cleveland. The diocesan site was down when I originally wrote this article and I had forgotten to go back later and link directly to their page. I wrote a new post about HLM tonight, too.

After discussing this with a new friend, I’d like to pass along her request that all of us pray for the alleged visionary, that she may be reconciled with the bishop, that she may be faithful, that she may be humble, that she may be patient and accept the will of God, even if that will is not what she would like. These would be signs of the validity and veracity of her alleged visions, or locutions, whichever type of revelations they are alleged to be. But those are not the signs that she has exhibited. In any case, I accept the bishop’s word and am not promoting Holy Love Ministries or anything associated with it unless and until the Church approves it. And that means when the bishop of the diocese where HLM is, in Cleveland, approves it.)

(Update, Dec 1 2011: The title of my post now seems misleading to me. I do not want to imply that determining the validity of “Holy Love Ministries” — or of the private revelations associated with it — is the responsibility of the Catholic laity. As you will see further on in the post, their bishop spoke out about this a long time ago and gave his ruling on it. Which was No, it is not authentic and the faithful are to have nothing to do with it. Period. The people at “Holy Love Ministries” refuse to obey. That certain other people insist on spreading the “messages” and the rosary is itself disobedient and I am disgusted to see advertisements for this group prominently displayed on the right hand side of each and every page of a well-known pro-life site. I have written to them about it and have mentioned it to them several times but have never received a reply or even an acknowledgement of my concerns.)

A friend gave me a rosary a few months ago. It’s an unusual rosary: the “Hail, Mary” beads are the shape of tears and inside each one is a tiny figure of an unborn baby. The booklet that accompanies the beads contains special pro-life meditations and prayers. I’ve enjoyed using the beads while praying the rosary, but I haven’t ever used the actual book. And I’ll tell you why. Because the text is based upon “messages” that were allegedly received by someone in Ohio who claims that the Virgin Mary has appeared to her for more than 25 years. Continue reading

Picture this: a car pulls into the abortion mill parking lot, a young woman at the wheel. A group of people standing around talking outside run to intercept her, calling out as they scamper toward her. How do you think this makes the woman in the car feel? Now picture this: two groups of people standing around talking outside the clinic notice the woman’s car pulling in and both groups high tail it over to her, both groups intent on intercepting her before the other group can have their say. True, one group cannot step onto the abortion mill property, and that group is actually acting out of love, wanting to offer hope and help to the woman, but if you were her sitting inside the car, watching all these people scampering toward you, how would you feel? Do you think you would find the whole experience disturbing? I know would. I found it disturbing when I witnessed it. Continue reading

I was walking down the sidewalk outside the abortion mill today, rosary in my hands, praying and meditating on the scenes of our Lord’s life called the Glorious Mysteries. I had just turned down the alley and had gone a few feet when I heard a car behind me, pulling, so I thought, into the alley. But he hadn’t turned down the alley. He pulled into the clinic parking lot, then across the alley in front of me to block my path. Continue reading