Monday, October 30, 2006

Rosary Runner Readers' Response

As so many of you have responded to my "Running the Rosary" article, I've included a few posts (from Catholic Exchange's Message Boards) on today's blog.

jcw01 writes: "For rosary runners: 1. Do you run with your rosary beads? If so, are there some special, highly durable beads you can get? 2. Do you listen to the rosary on your MP3 player? ..."

Loretta posts: "I don't run, but in terms of using a rosary that won't jingle or fall apart or get in the way, I know you can get simple "rosary rings" that are small (would fit around your middle finger) and have a cross and 10 beads. Then you just keep going around that ring (using your thumb to move it along) ..."

Eileen Breen states: "I listen to my Rosary on tape with small headphones while walking. I have seen plenty of runners with headphones so guess you can hear just as well even if you're going at a faster pace. I also listen to my taped Rosary when I first get out of bed in the morning when I take the dog out, clean up the kitchen, make coffee and straighten out the 2 living rooms. Guess I'm Martha-ing while Mary-ing all at the same time (: ..."

HomeschoolNfpDad says: "I run the Rosary almost every day. No beads -- just 10 fingers to count the decades. As far as remembering the mysteries is concerned, you get used to it. I used to track the mysteries with the fingers of one hand while counting the decades with the fingers of the other hand (twice through to get to ten). But as it becomes more ingrained, you simply don't lose track any more. This is partly due to the habit of keeping track of the mysteries and partly (I think) because as you pray and run, you begin to remember where you should be along one or another of your courses.

Also, remember that the Rosary is generally a private prayer ...That means that although the prescribed devotion is very beautiful, there is no such thing as unauthorized innovation (as is the case with the Mass) ... Thus, if you mix up the mysteries or even adjust the prayer to your needs as you run (or walk or whatever), there is nothing wrong with doing so ... Sometimes, I get so deep in meditation as I run that I do forget -- occasionally I repeat the Our Father ... I've run marathons without counting the Hail Mary's -- I figure there's plenty of time in three-and-a-half hours even if I say twenty or forty per mystery ..."

It was heartening to see such great posts for Our Lady, and I would like to add that I, myself, prefer using a finger Rosary (due to the pace), but since I lose them a lot in the wash, I often recite the Rosary in my head (and, yes, they count if said this way) and often do a few too many or too few Hail Marys, but I also agree "'s all good." I'm not a headphone fan. I prefer to hear what's going on around me -- it helps me to appreciate God's creation better. There's nothing better than saying the Glorious Mysteries to a magnificent sunrise (or sunset) or nothing more intense than saying the Sorrowful Mysteries when running through a thunderstorm. I usually say the prayers silently to myself, but I just know that a Blue Army of elite athletes Running the Rosary together and praying out loud would have a monumental impact on those around them as well as those for whom they pray.

To close, I'm "running" CatholicArmyColonel's comment unedited for all those in the military, and all those who pray for our valiant servicewomen and men:

"I've been running the rosary for many years now. 10 fingers work great, especially in an army PT formation. When my sons or other friends join me we pray it together by saying the first few words of each prayer out loud and then each saying "amen" as we finish that prayer, keying the start of the next prayer.

I began this habit when a good friend of mine was gunned down during a unit formation at Ft Bragg by a very disturbed fellow soldier. My friend maneuvered against and stopped the shooter but suffered multiple gunshot wounds and almost died several times over the next weeks. He is (miraculously) fully recovered. And I am in a habit that serves me well here in Iraq and wherever else I am sent. The Divine Mercy Chaplet and others easily fit into the longer runs, too."

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