The Holy Spirit has placed a desire deep within my heart to pray the Rosary over the years. I can still remember the initial stirrings of that call to prayer over a decade ago – sitting on my Nana’s couch, when she gave me a wooden rosary that had been brought back from Fatima, Portugal. I didn’t know it at the time but those rosary beads and all they symbolize would be such comfort to me in the coming trials of life: my husband’s deployment, a long battle with infertility, surgeries, two high risk pregnancies, multiple cross country moves and many new beginnings.
Over the years I would come back to my practice of saying the Rosary, feeling its comfort wash over me – but to be honest I had a difficult time making it a daily habit despite the fruit of peace I could see in my life. I understood its inherent goodness, but hadn’t yet begun to understand the beauty and the depth of truth contained within the mysteries.
After the birth of my second child I felt a renewed spiritual push to pray the Rosary daily. I wasn’t sure how I could begin this habit with two children under the age of three needing me at all hours of the day and night – but as I prayed to the Holy Spirit to show me the way, I discovered On a Mission to Love by Debbie Staresinic.
On a Mission to Love meditations transformed the way I have been able to pray the Rosary. I finally understand the concept of meditating on the mysteries, and letting Mary guide me toward the truths they contain. Each mystery is presented alongside a beautiful image by artist Bradi Barth and is also accompanied by a virtue that is revealed through the mystery. For example, the virtue highlighted for The Visitation is love of neighbor. Debbie has beautifully paired line by line meditations focused on the Theology of the Body teachings of St. John Paul II with each Hail Mary. These meditations have focused my thoughts, and made me think more deeply about how I might apply what I’ve learned to my own life. I found the option to follow along one decade a day to be just what I needed to make the Rosary a daily part of my life…and now the life of my family.
Two years have passed since I first encountered On A Mission to Love. My children, Gianna and Roland, are now almost five and three years old. We began homeschooling this past year.
On a Mission to Love has been such a blessing in helping to create a daily rhythm centered around the truth, goodness and beauty revealed in the most holy Rosary.
I find it especially powerful that together we learn what the incarnation of Jesus means for us as children created in the image of God through the meditations focused on the Theology of the Body teachings. Each weekday we gather together on the couch for Morning Time and pray a decade of the Rosary along with this treasured resource. My children see the beautiful images. They hear truth being spoken as I read the meditations. They feel the weight and smoothness of the rosary beads in their hands. Most importantly, together, we experience the wonder of a life lived for His purpose in the world.
As I write this, my family and I are currently confined in our home due to the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic. I’m sure many of you find yourselves in a similar situation. It’s a time of uncertainty, but as followers of Christ we can choose to live by faith – using this as a time for spiritual growth. With Mary’s help, I hope to surround my children with the truth, goodness and beauty of God’s love for them. My prayer is that they be as Mary, who “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Luke 2:19 NAB) and that they will take the knowledge of God’s love and truth into the world on their own personal missions of love for His Kingdom.
Click HERE to learn more about On a Mission to Love.
Written by Kate St. Marie.
Kate currently lives in Washington state with her husband John and their two children, Gianna and Roland. Kate has a degree in psychology and a M.Ed. in elementary education. In the past she has served as an early childhood interventionist, elementary/preschool teacher and a catechist. She is currently homeschooling her children and hoping to share a love for the true, the good and the beautiful.