March 30 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

xmary mcginty

Why you should say a prayer with me now

Mary McGinty discovers a shared rosary has the power to make the current crisis seem almost manageable.

MY MUM was a great one for a wee sartorial pick-me-up if ever she felt a bit down. True to self, after my dad died suddenly on a cold and snowy feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, and with him the ever-available lifts to the UCM, friends’ houses or running errands, she took herself up the High Street and bought two new coats—a warm winter coat and a heavy duty raincoat.

If I’m going to be walking everywhere, I might as well be dressed for it, she told us.

Late winter and early spring, she would say, is a good time for a new coat. There are still bargains to be had in the sales if you’re lucky and, let’s not beat about the bush, despite the lengthening of the days it’s still mighty cold out there. You’ll still get plenty use out of it.

Bargain

That was my reasoning a few short weeks ago when, after a tough day at the coalface, or rather, the laptop, I spied an incredible bargain in the shape of a very stylish coat. Smart enough for going out, yet serviceable enough for nipping to the corner shop.

It’s hanging in the wardrobe, yet to see the light of day. The coffee gigs are in abeyance and the early evening soirees have been ditched. We are all either in self-isolation or are practising social distancing. (By the time you read this, who knows what the situation will be.)

For now, my go-to outdoor attire is a heavy duty parka, which is never off my back. Where once an outfit would have been completed by a pashmina or a statement piece of jewellery, my only accessory now is my rosary.

Unforeseeable

In the afternoons, which of late have been wet and chilly, I zip up my parka, slip on a pair of boots and head out the door to meet one of my bosom buddies. We’ve been through a lot together. Bringing up our children, the ups and downs of family life and the death of her beloved husband. Like everyone else, we didn’t foresee any of this.

At 2.30pm, we meet in our communal gardens and pray a Mystery of the Rosary. One of us walks on the path and the other at a safe distance on the grass. Before and after our Rosary, we have a chat and catch up with each other. From day-to-day so much is changing. We can be sure that the world we will return to after the coronavirus won’t be the one we have just left.

We are in uncharted waters and we each have to navigate them as best we can. We are all living in fear of coming into contact with a super-spreader of the virus.

Positivity

To keep my mood positive, I have re-framed my thinking. Whenever I hear or read of a super-spreader, I think of Deacon Dr Michael Ross, the permanent deacon in Our Lady of Lourdes, East Kilbride, and his wife, Mary.

When coronavirus hit our shores, Deacon Michael and Mary started a Rosary chain, and word is spreading fast. It began with a simple invitation to join them in praying the Rosary at 6 o’clock every evening.

They’re great friends of ours, so I know this is the time they pray the Rosary daily. Anyone participating can choose to pray at another time if it’s more suitable to their own circumstances.

Building an army

Deacon Michael posted a quote from Blessed Pope Pius IX: “If I had an army to say the rosary, I would conquer the world.”

Immediately one of the group replied with: “We’re building one.”

If you would like to join, call or text Deacon Michael by Whatsapp on 07565634888. He’ll be delighted to add your name and I promise you it will give you strength and consolation, and a tremendous sense of purpose in these trying times.

Support

One evening we offered our rosary for all NHS staff and care workers. We’re all in awe of their commitment and dedication. This is our way of supporting them.

Keep safe, and if you are living alone, please be assured that you are remembered.

I’ve had to self-isolate but if you need a wee chat, just call me on 07711849234. I’m still working away so if I don’t answer, leave a message with your number and I’ll call you back.

Together, with the help of God and intervention of Our Blessed Lady, we’ll get through this.

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