Friday, August 14, 2009

Spinning Those Hail Mary's


Happy Friday everyone.

This will be my last post for awhile. At the end of today, I am on vacation for a week, headed to a quiet cabin in Michigan - a week of relaxation, reading, and rejuvenation. No email access, no internet access, no wi-fi connection; hmm . . . we'll see how it goes.

Thanks to all of you who read this blog regularly.

On this Vigil of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I wanted to share just a little bit about my own devotion to Mary. When I was a child, on Friday evenings during Lent, my parents tried to get us all into our living room, on our knees, to pray the rosary. I remember looking outside our living room window and watching all the other kids playing in the street as the days began to grow longer. If my memory serves me correctly, my parents eventually settled for one decade of the rosary. We were just too rambunctious for this kind of prayer activity. God bless my mom and dad.

The rosary was never really a part of my prayer life after that. At one parish at which I served, there were forty or so people who remained after the 8:30 A.M. daily Mass and prayed the rosary. Often I would need to get to the choir area while they were praying and I always felt the heat of their stares on the back of my neck as I walked up the aisle and into the choir area. I swear that their "Hail Mary's" took on a more intense tone as their eyes followed my every movement. God bless them; and I know this was all in my imagination.

Several years ago, I began an exercise routine. I go to a "spinning" class at the gym. This consists of 50 minutes on a stationary bike in a room filled with about 25 bikes. The music is pumped up and the instructor guides us through the routine of spinning. It is an exhilarating and utterly exhausting workout. Here's what a spin class looks like:

After attending spinning classes for several months, I really got into the rhythm of the whole enterprise. I thought about using my spin time as prayer time and I began to pray the rosary (counting on my fingers, of course) while spinning. The rhythm of the rosary and the rhythm of spinning has become well matched for me. As the "Hail Mary's" spin through my mind, I become aware of those in my life who are most in need of prayer. I ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to intercede on behalf of those I know who are living with cancer. I pray for those struggling with addictions. I pray for friends who are searching for fulfillment in all the wrong places. And sometimes I pray for my own strength and comfort. I will be in my spin class tomorrow morning at 9:00. I'll dedicate my rosary to all of you who follow this blog faithfully. 

Have a wonderful week, and remember: gotta sing; gotta pray.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jerry,

Thanks for the thought-provoking post. On the bright side, one has to acknowledge that spinning saves one from the bicycle vs. car dangers on the streets!

As for the prayer intentions, just a suggestion:
I always try to include
"for those who have no one to pray for them,"
and
"for all who will die alone this day."

-bari colombari (in Portland, OR)