Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"Every car should have a rosary"

Maryann posted the following comment about our good friend, Fr. Wells, and the book of his spiritual reflections that was assembled shortly after his tragic death in 2000. I have included an excerpt from the reflection that Maryann cites below her comment. Copies of his book are hard to obtain, so if anyone is interested in purchasing one, please email me.

“I was blessed to be married by Fr. Wells some 20+ years ago while he resided at St. Andrew’s. In the few short hours we interacted with him, (we flew in from Texas for a few days and then flew back), we had more than one good laugh. Some 20+ years later, I still remember the three points he emphasized as the two of us began our life together. I hang on to those concepts when the waters get rough. This alone should speak of his talent as a priest, not to mention his wonderful sense of humor.

I periodically read excerpts from his spiritual reflections in The Pastor’s Desk, and found thoughts from his Oct 11, 1998 entry on prayer curious. He mentions that every car should have a rosary in it. I took his advice, placed a rosary in each of the cars and it came in real handy.

I had to pick up two of my kids in Baltimore, one at the bus stop and one at the airport, both of which are only a few exits apart. As I left home, I was really upset about something and the tears were flowing,at a good clip I might add, not a good mind set to be driving in. So, I thought to myself, grab the rosary Father Wells said to tuck in your car and start praying. With time, the prayers worked. My anxiety, weakness and lack of faith decreased to a point that I drove right by my exit, by not just one, but several. Through prayer, I had better things on my mind. I couldn’t help but laugh at myself and I’m pretty sure he had a good laugh as well. I had a wonderful ride home with my kids. My weakness/concern expressed through fear and tears, all generated from my lack of faith were settled. Thanks FW. Prayer works, sometimes in odd ways, but it works. Just make sure you pay attention to the exits if you’re praying while you’re driving!”

10/11/98 reflection
…“The rosary is such a gift for our day because, while we have the ability to read, and thus use Scripture or other spiritual aids in trying to pray, many feel they have not the time. The rosary solves the problem. I know people who pray the rosary on the subway, who say it while commuting, or while going through the torture of running for exercise. Probably they will never become mystics in their prayer, but at least they give time to the Lord each day and ask the prayers of His Mother on behalf of themselves and those they love.

Every car should have a rosary in it. There should never be a long ride in the car with the family without the family rosary being said. It should become habit that when there is a stretch of free time, at least some of that time should be given to God in this wonderful exercise of prayer. No matter when we say it, whether alone or with others, whether in the quiet of the evening or in the chaos of the Beltway, let us use this month of the Rosary to join countless millions who have gone before us in this prayer with our Lady to the glory of God.”


At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Maryann said...

I was able to obtain three used copies of FW's book on amazon.com, under their used book search, and their price was the same as the original or less, plus s/h. Log onto amazon.com, click on books on the top tabs,then GO, then click on advanced search. Type in the ISBN# 0970614209, then enter. You do not need to fill out any other information for the search. I just checked and there is currently one for sale. Although it is well worth the "low price" of $99.99, I contacted the seller, as I do believe the price listed is incorrect. Happy reading.

At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Maryann said...

Re'd an e-mail back from the book co. listing FW's book on amazon.com and the list price of $99.99 is correct. Due to its' rare ISBN# the lowest price the company will accept is $79.99. I'd check back on amazon from time to time to see if any more books are posted.

At 7:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you go Here on Amazon.com they have copies starting at $3.80

Isbn is listed as 0970614217 at last check they have 8 copies.

It is a good book.

At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I try to pray the rosary, I have an overwhelming (that word is not even strong enough) sense that no one is listening. Like I'm in a vacuum. I try to persist and sometimes I do, motivated by other people's steadfast belief that it has value.

At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, I'm the same way, but I've learned to trust a few people who believe there IS something to it, so I do it anyway. Honestly, I don't pray the rosary often (usually in response to someone's suggestion or as a result of penance), but when I do, and when I'm finally finished with whatever portion I set out to pray in a specific period of time, I'm happy that I did it. It’s a matter of discipline for me- and for, discipline is a good thing.
There's a lot I do in life because I need to, not b/c I want to. I think that's healthy- doing what is needed and not always what we'd prefer.

Maybe this isn't exactly the most appropriate way to come to think of prayer, but the idea of knowing that I don't want to pray (or even pray any specific prayer) is okay (at least I think it’s okay), but I should do it anyway. This way of thinking makes my perceptions about it all irrelevant. I pray because I should pray, and what I experience or think about it doesn’t change that simple fact.

I'm not sure if this makes sense...

At 11:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 10:42

"I have an overwhelming (that word is not even strong enough) sense that no one is listening. Like I'm in a vacuum."

I heard an interesting comment regarding prayer on a local radio station this past weekend and I think the following comment can be applied to almost any form of prayer, including the rosary. Dr. Black's comment made me stop and think, "hmm...I never thought of approaching prayer this way." Barry Black, the speaker being interviewed, is a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, but in my opinion, this doesn't matter. I think almost every religion, along with its' members, has something to offer, if we are welcoming and open to listen to their thoughts.

Dr. Black, author of From the Hood to the Hill, mentioned beginning prayer with the Bible. He went on to say that one should sit and read for how ever long it takes, within reason, until Jesus' begins the conversation. This may take 3 minutes, a few verses of a chapter, or it might take 20 minutes. It may not even happen for sometime. His point was to give Jesus the courtesy to speak first, talking to you, rather than us beginning the conversation with Him. It made me stop and think about my own prayer. Although I really do not have any specific format to prayer, and I'm not sure there really is a correct, right way to pray, his approach was one that made me stop and think, "Wow, I never thought of praying with this approach." I don't always start praying with my own needs, but I never thought to sit, read and let Him begin the conversation. Once again, how selfish and self centered I am.

Although the rosary is a prayer that does follow a specific format in words and approach, and it is not the Bible, a book to be read, I often use it for its' soothing effect. For me, the rosary's rhythmic repetition is calming.I know praying it makes me feel better, I just never sat and thought of why. After listening to Dr. Black speak, I realized that Jesus does not always speak with words. I now believe the calmness the rosary offers are His words. He is talking to me. It is His lack of words that are His words. I never thought of His silence and peace as conversation.

Anon, you say "that no one is listening. Like I'm in a vacuum" when you pray the rosary. Perhaps the question to be asked is not if anyone is listening to you, but that of, are you praying with arms and heart wide open, waiting to listen to Him?

At 7:09 AM, Blogger fran said...

" overwhelming sense that no one is listening."

If, at the end of the day, you reflect upon that for which you are grateful, and if you can think of even only one thing, then your prayer is not in vain. You are being heard and "someone" is indeed listening.
Keep persevering and never despair.

At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Blessed Mother is always listening and always interceding for us.

Sometimes our prayer seems "dry" but our prayer is ultimately a conversation with our creator and in praise of him. "For everything there is a season..." (Genesis). The dry feeling may be something that calls us to pay more attention to prayer and to delve deeper in conversion of our hearts and conversation with God.

At 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary is always at our side, as is God.

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps the question to be asked is not if anyone is listening to you, but that of, are you praying with arms and heart wide open, waiting to listen to Him?

That’s hard to do. I have a hard time shutting out all the things around me not to mention the stuff that runs through my head. However, I thought the idea of reading being a means to listening was great. I can still my thoughts when I have something upon which to completely focus, so the next time I find I’m challenged to quiet myself enough to “hear” anything, I’ll try that. Thanks!


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