As a protestant I had difficulty with the whole repetitive prayer thing; “It’s mindless…reminds me of Buddists reciting ‘Om’…it’s a ‘canned’ prayer…it’s very catholic…” And on and on and on. Two years ago when I started this crazy journey that lead to the Catholic Church, it was pointed out to me that Jesus taught the crowd a ‘canned’ prayer, aka The Lord’s Prayer. “O.K.,” I thought.
Have any of you read Anne Rice’s, “Christ The Lord: Out of Egypt?” Rice does a great job portraying the jewish life of the Holy Family. What struck me was the ‘repetitive’ prayer witnessed throughout, “Hear O Israel, the Lord your God is One.” “O.K.,” I thought.
As a new catholic, the rosary was a tough sell and I’ll admit that I don’t recite it often. But I do recite a prayer that even protestants would have no objection:
Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
Have Mercy on Me,
I have chotkis; they look like rosaries but without the crucifix and they have 100 beads (or knots). I count off the number of Jesus prayers using the beads. Chotkis are used among Orthodox Christians but I bought mine at St. Joseph’s Abbey, a Trappist monastery in Spencer, MA. Walking along in the woods, saying the prayer, you get into a rhythm and focusing on the Lord becomes easier. (Much easier for me than extemporaneous prayer – though there is a place for that, too.) Since the angels in Heaven pray without ceasing, I suppose I can do my bit as well.