Thursday, February 17, 2005

A Bead and a Prayer

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 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.

The Cruciforms
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.

The Weeks
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,

God's raga


grammarwitch said...

LOVE the beads. I've made much use of the peace-inducing (and self-focus-reducing) effects of ritual prayer for several years, but the paucity of my non-high-church Protestant past left me with not much more than the Lord's Prayer, which (even when you switch over to Latin sometimes, using your kid's Latin workbook) can get a bit dry after a few years. Must investigate Divine Hours, prayer book, and beads online. Happy Anniversary!

upwords said...

Okay, let see. I want butt-kicking suede, the sweet savour of sandalwood and soul-wrenching prayer beads. Anything else for my list? LOL

Thanks for praying with me, by the way. I didn't have the beads, but I was touched by the Cross.


Anonymous said...

yes, yes, yes, I want these. I just asked bob c if he knew where I could get some. xo

Heather Diane Tipton said...

I love that.

Paula said...

Sweet Lady,
After a very tiring night, I am spent. I hopped on a couple of blogs to soothe the ache from too much introspection and from allowing my pain to bubble out. Each of those places God had a word for me. Your words are the perfect benediction. I visited Mary just before I came here and her words led me to sing the old song, It Is Well With My Soul. Your prayer beads spoke my heart tonight. Just Him. That's what I need. In His love He orchestrates my days. It is well. All is well. It is well with my soul.

I love you, Claudia

Jaime H. said...


I am so happy for you. Julian of Norwich was an amazing woman, wasn't she?

Much love to you!


Maiken said...

Hi Diva,

I just started praying with beads too. I was blogging about it and Cheryl gave me a hint that you had started on the same journey. Oh btw very nice blog, first time visit today.
Like you, I also come from a tradition (for me brethren/charismatic/pentecostal) that doesn't encourage praying with beads, praying the hours, nor "Our Father". I also recently stared keeping the hours, though I'm not as diligent as some who do it 4 times a day. But I am finding great help and inspiration through that form of prayer. To tell you the truth all of this is totally breathing life into my prayer life - and I'm excited, I can't help it. Is it totally corny to be excited about beads? I know some of my old friends would think me either foolish or half catholic if they knew. Maybe I am a fool, but I'm a hopeful one at least.
Nice to read the thoughts of someone in a similar place. Oh yeah, I ordered mine from - Gaby makes absolutely beautiful rosaries. I've posted a couple of pics on my blog.

Anyhow good luck with the beads - hope they bring you many blessings

lisa said...

found some of my late father's rosaries just yesterday. Will has a copy of The Divine Hours. Man, I miss my Catholic roots so much at times I could cry. Love you, Claudia!