Heirloom quality hand made rosaries dedicated to Mary of the Magnificat, made with gemstones and sterling silver or pewter fixtures and strikingly beautiful "Our Father" beads. Gay-friendly owner will custom design a special rosary to your specifications. Designer consultation by e-mail.
Since this idea came to me fully conceived, I can only assume that it is by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I do not claim to be any kind of visionary, but if it is useful, accept it as an offering to those who may benefit by such reflection. Any theological errors are purely my own. Please feel free to critique them.
The Rosary is the life story of Jesus and His Blessed Mother. It tells of times of joy, times of suffering, times of uncertainty, and times of glorious triumph. It is a story that we can relate to our own lives, our own struggles, our own joys, sorrows and triumphs.
We begin by reciting the Apostle's Creed, which summarizes Christian belief
We begin each mystery with the Our Father, or Lord's Prayer: that Jesus himself taught as a model of how to pray. We reflect on the meaning of those words in our conversation with God, first acknowledging God as our Father, who created us all in his own image and who loves each of us for the unique individuals that He created us to be, and praying for God's will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. This doesn't mean somebody's idea of God's will, but what you discover in your own conversation with God to be what his will is for you as His precious child whom He loves and understands. It is certainly God's will that people on Earth will treat each other with the love that awaits us in Heaven. We ask God to give us what we need to get through the day. Our daily bread is not just food, but whatever sustenance we need. We ask God to forgive our imperfections and ask Him to help us to forgive others for theirs. All of us fall short of perfection in some way, and God knows and understands that. We ask God not to let us fall under the power of the Evil One, but even in the struggles and imperfections that each of us have, that we might keep our faith in God: for He is all powerful, all knowing and all loving, now and always present in each of our lives. We say "Amen" which means be it so, and with that assurance we can continue to pray.
Some people wonder why we say so many Hail Mary's in the Rosary, and think that perhaps we are putting more focus on Mary than on God. The opposite is true. We say so many Hail Mary's because we are asking the Mother of Jesus to pray for us and with us to the glory of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That is summed up in the Doxology that follows each groups of ten Hail Mary's for each Mystery.
Now let's look at the Mysteries and how they relate to your own life. Because the Rosary is a living prayer. We can link those mysteries to all the events in our lives. For each person the mystery may trigger a different reflection. The following are just some suggestions as to how a Rosary might reflect the Faith and struggles, Joys, Sorrows and Glories of being a Gay or Lesbian Catholic.
God has a purpose for each of us. You may think back to when you first began to discover your sexual orientation. What did that mean? How could that be? Would your family be scandalized or reject you? Eventually you accepted that God had made you that way and that God doesn't make junk. You are the child of God, created in his own image and that He loves you just as you are.
You might think about someone who recognized in you what you were afraid to tell anyone about, and how they loved and embraced you for coming to them.
You may reflect on your own difficult journey over bumpy roads, and the people who you feared would reject you who stayed by your side. When you don't get treated as a human being, remember that Jesus also was born in unfit accommodations but that lowly stable has been immortalized as the birthplace of the Saviour of the world, and your Saviour. You are the brothers and sisters of Jesus, loved by God the Father as His own.
You, too, were probably taken to a "temple" as a baby and were offered up by your parents to God. By your Baptism, you became a member of God's family. That is something that no one has the right to take away from you. By virtue of your Baptism, you belong to the Church and the Church belongs to you.
Sometimes you may feel lost in the crowd. You may panic that all that is important to you has been lost. People who you counted on didn't bother to take care of what was precious to you. But you may be amazed to find it again in a visit to an adoration chapel, where Jesus is always present. He may challenge you as He did his parents: "Why were you looking for me elsewhere? Didn't you know that I would be in my Father's House?" Remember also, that you have much to teach those who do not understand and may think that they know everything.
Think about the decisions that you have had to make in your life, the "cup" that you may have asked God to take away from you. When you have an important decision to make, especially one that you know will be difficult: first take time to discern what is God's will. Perhaps you are debating whether to enter into a particular relationship. Perhaps you are being called to a vocation in the priesthood or religious life. Perhaps you are being called to take a public roll in ministry with other gay and lesbian Catholics. It may be a calling that you are hesitant to respond to. Perhaps in some troubled time in your own life, the people who you counted on to be there for you just were not there, or maybe betrayed you or denied knowing you. Yet Jesus later chose Peter as the keeper of the kingdom in spite of his denial, and John was at the foot of the cross even though he could not stay awake. People who seem not to be there for you may come through in the end.
There may be people who do not want to judge you, but are swayed by the crowd. Maybe you have suffered violence or been beaten up just for who you are. People can be vicious sometimes to those who they perceive as a threat to their way of life, just as they perceived Jesus to be. God does not want this to happen, but sometimes He must allow it to happen in order for people's hard hearts to be softened. Think of the attention that has been drawn by some of the horrific violence that has made the news and that has been a rallying point to move people to action who otherwise would not have given taunting and discrimination against lesbian and gay people any thought.
People may call you names or spit on you for who you are. It is they who are ignorant. Jesus could have put an end to this for himself, but he chose to endure it, to suffer this humiliation. There are times that we suffer humiliation also, whether we choose it or it is forced on us. Remember in those times that God loves you, even when the world hates you.
Sometimes being gay and Catholic may seem to be a very heavy cross indeed. Sometimes a kind person will stop to help, or a secret friend may help to carry that cross. Just as Jesus did, allow those who would do so to help you carry your cross.
Perhaps you have been unjustly condemned, lumped in with pedophiles and perverts, just as Jesus was considered a subversive undesirable element by people who didn't know any better. Perhaps you have been taunted that if you didn't let people know who you were, you wouldn't be reviled for it. Jewish people have also been told that if they would take off that Star of David, no one would know who they were. You may have had to watch someone who you love die, and your own family was not there for you. Then as the disciple John and Mary the Mother of Jesus, you take refuge in those who have become family to you. And you can always know that Mary the Mother of God is Mother to all of us and waits with outstretched arms to take us into her embrace. It may be hard, but sometimes when we cannot forgive people their cruelty, we can at least ask God to "forgive them, for they know not what they do."
You may have had to convince people that you are still the same person that they always knew. They may weep that their son, daughter, sister, brother, friend, is no longer recognizable to them. It may take a while for them to recognize you for who you are.
People who have been your friends and family may not understand what they perceive to be an abandonment of all that your relationship with them has been. They may think it is a "phase" and that they can talk you out of it, if they cling to you. You may have to go away from them for a while to become who you were meant to be, but that doesn't mean you abandon them, for a part of you will always be with them and will return in a different form.
Holy Spirit may illuminate those who you love, may move their hearts and give them the words and the courage to support you in the face of all adversity. The first Christians were afraid of persecution. They were afraid of confronting the Pharisees, of being denied access to the temple, but they were challenged to go forth and proclaim the truth. You, and those who love you may face a similar challenge and similar fears.
You are part of God's kingdom. Jesus has called you and you are His own. Do not be afraid to claim your place as one of His followers. In the end, all will be made clear that now is only seen dimly. God's understanding surpasses that of mere mortals.
She is our advocate, our intercessor with Her Divine Son. As brothers
and sisters of Jesus, Mary is your Mother, too. Call upon Her often. Greet
her as the Angel did: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee". Ask
your Mother in Heaven to pray with you and for you, now and always, even
unto the time that you are called home to be with her and her Son forever,
where is no despair, no hatred and everyone is part of the same family.
That is God's gift to you for persevering in the struggles of this world,
and never giving up on God's mercy.
Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy.
Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope!
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy towards us,
and after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb,
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.