Sarah Reinhard is a Catholic wife, mom, writer, editor, marketing professional, and coffee drinker. You’re just as likely to find her hiding out back with a book as you are to discover her playing in the yard with a few farm animals (or wait — are those her kids?) She is the author of many books, the most recent of which she co-edited with Lisa Hendey: The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion: A Book of Daily Reflections. She blogs at SnoringScholar.com and writes online regularly at CatholicMom.com and Integrated Catholic Life. Reinhard holds a master’s degree in marketing and communications and has worked for many years in corporate and nonprofit organizations. She lives in central Ohio with her husband and children.
Though I’ve been devoted to the rosary for many years, that doesn’t mean I pray it easily. Most days, it’s a battle for me, between what I think needs done — like work — and what I know needs done — like prayer. Making myself sit still or even integrate prayer into what I’m doing is an ongoing practice, one that’s been made easier thanks to the new Rosary album released from the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.
According to Sr. Joseph Andrew, foundress and vocations director:
The Rosary album came from people who asked and asked if we would do something on the rosary. Every Sunday, we have five o’clock Vespers — Evening Prayer — open to the public, and after we have Vespers, we go into the Rosary. And also, the four retreats we have each year all average 180 people each, so we have many people who come through and know our community well. They’re asking, “Can I pray with you? How can I pray with you? I know I can listen to the music and be contemplative in that musical union, so to speak, but what about the Rosary?”
For us Dominicans, the Rosary is very important, because the tradition is that Mary gave the Rosary to Dominic. Dominicans wear the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary as part of our habit.
So people have asked, “Can I just have a CD? I can put it on and I can pray a Rosary with your sisters going to work? I can pray a Rosary when I’m stuck in the traffic. I can pray a Rosary at home when I have a few minutes.”
It’s a little bit different than listening to music. If you pray a Rosary a day, I just think that’s one of the greatest prayers. There are little meditations and you can flip around and take it with you.
You might remember the Dominican Sisters of Mary from their chart-topping success with their first album, Mater Eucharistiae.
What’s unique about both of these albums is that they take you into the convent in a unique way. Sr. Joseph Andrew told me that the sisters really took people into the chapel, where they were both recorded. The songs and prayers are part of the sisters’ regular experience. They’re giving us a glimpse, an inside look, at part of who they are as religious sisters and Dominicans.
“You have to touch the heart,” Sr. Joseph Andrew told me. “If we touch the heart, and if we bring truth when it touches the heart, we’ve accomplished what we want, because that ultimately is guiding to God, because he is truth. It’s certainly in a beautiful manner, so the heart too can respond, not just the intelligence — the whole person is brought into a deeper dimension and communion with God.”
I’ve long been a fan of using audio to help me, especially in seasons of my life when I have trouble focusing. This new Rosary album is an indispensable part of my devotion already, and it serves as a reminder of just how important vocations to religious life are.
As it turns out, I’m not the only one who struggles. Sr. Joseph Andrew told me,
Being very active by nature, I need something to do during that silent time. [The Rosary is] a prayer that’s becoming more and more important in the world as we become more and more busy about many good things, but yet our internal clocks are set to do something. So to all of a sudden to sit in silence is not easy, which is why music helps, but also, if I have those counters, those ten beads in my hand, it’s tangible.
For their part, the sisters hope that the album draws people closer to Christ. I look forward to continuing in my own journey with them through the Rosary.
You can read my full interview with Sr. Joseph Andrew at Integrated Catholic Life.