My anniversary was Valentine's Day. This is what I gave Ken: a kick butt suede jacket, his favorite color, that left him standing at the mirror admiring what I already admired. He was happy. But me, I was in the clouds.
This is what he gave me: Anglican prayer beads. They came from Full Circle Beads www.fullcirclebeads.com. I'm so happy. They are made of rose quartz, pretty, pink and delicate, with a sterling silver clover tip cross.
I haven't prayed with beads since I chanted with the Hare Krishna's. Fortunately, most of that unfortunate period is blocked from my consciousness. I only remember that the food was good and free. Want to win souls, feed them every Sunday. And my prayer beads, or mala, was made of sandalwood.
I don't know what I prayed. I don't know how I prayed. I do remember that the beads smelled good and that for a long time after, everytime I smelled sandalwood I thought of spiritual things. I've wanted to pray with beads again, but we didn't do that in the churches that I went to, and so I squashed this desire that I was so drawn to.
Until recently. Praying the Divine Hours gave me the courage to claim traditions in my Christian Heritage that may not have been part of what I've practiced so far. I'm moved by the classics, and have dabbled with the sign of the cross, the stations of the cross, centering prayer, and of course, contemplative prayer with beads. This just makes me so happy.
So today, while talking on the phone with Mary, my beads came in the mail, and I didn't even wait to get off the phone before we were praying with Julian of Norwich. After our call, I sat there, and prayed with the beads alone. There are 33 beads in all, and a cross. The beads are divided like this: Four cruciform beads that form a cross (kinda like the four directions.) Seven beads in between; the weeks (seven for spiritual perfection, completion). A cycle of four weeks in the circle. Many pray around the circle 3 times--one for Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is what I did:
Holding the cross (here you invoke God's presence):
In the name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.
The Invitatory (this is the first bead after the cross. The one before the first cruciform bead.
O God make speed to save me
O Lord make haste to help me
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever, Amen.
God of your goodness, give me yourself,
for you are enough to me.
And I can ask for nothing less that is to your glory,
And if I ask for anything less, I shall still be in want,
for only in you have I all.
All shall be well, and all shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well,
In His love He has done His works, and in His love,
He has made all things beneficial to us.
Try praying that several times and see what happens. You may find yourself flying on a wing, (and a bead) and a prayer.
Try it. You'll like it.
Thanking God for His myriad ways of meeting us,