Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Walking Rosary

There is a wonderful tradition at Franciscan University - the walking rosary. On different nights of the week you will see groups of students praying the rosary together as they walk around campus. It doesn't matter what the weather may be - rain, snow, or just plain hot - the walking rosary still marches on.

It's a wonderful way to pray.

I don't know why, but it seems easier for me to meditate on the prayers of the rosary while walking. I think it might have to do with the chaos of every day life. Walking is calming, repetitive, and it involves my entire body. At my job, I sit in a chair for a good portion of my day. Walking for 20-30 minutes feels like freedom, a shrugging off of the work at the end of the day. I am able to walk slowly and leisurely, with no really destination in mind. I can usually find excuses not to pray the rosary if it will be sit-down event (you know, other work must be done). But when the rosary is combined with walking, I feel like I am getting twice as much out of my time, and therefore, it's a good use of my time.

Isn't it odd that when I pray a walking rosary I will move slowly and savor the moment, but when I try to sit down and pray all the unfinished tasks distract me?

Perhaps the walking rosary is a good type of prayer for me because it draws me out of my home (aka: another work environment) and away from distractions. There is a huge temptation to make every minute of my day "productive" because I work for 8 hours at my job and then I have a home to take care of in the evenings. I react to this temptation by either working like a crazy person to "catch up" until I fall into bed or (the more usual route) I just do nothing at all and ignore the work piling up around me. Obviously the best reaction lies in the middle somewhere. Taking time to remove myself from the situation and pray helps bring the middle ground into perspective.


Monday night my neighbor and friend, May, and I decided to bring a little Franciscan spirit to Notre Dame. We instituted the first official ND walking rosary. It started out as a small group (just the 2 of us), but I have a feeling it will grow. We can guarantee to double in size when we enlist the hubbies to join us!

I just have a feeling that we are on the verge of something big. I can hardly describe it, but as we trod the first rosary path on Monday night I had an intimation that this was only the beginning. It really felt as though a piece of FUS was being planted in the ND soil, ready to grow and ripen into spiritual fruit. After one walking rosary I could sense a difference in myself. And I take hope in the notion that even if our walking rosary remains a group of two, "where two or three are gathered in [His] name" there is Christ in our midst.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Yay, bring some Steubie life to that big, beautiful campus. Your posts are fantastic, Ashley, keep it up!