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New way to connect to the faith.
BY Joseph PronechenRegister Staff Writer
You want to pray a Rosary for your family or our Blessed Mother’s intentions, so you reach into your pocket or purse — only to find your rosary’s not there. You know you have trouble concentrating if you count the decades on your fingers.
But you do happen to have your Kindle — so you can still pray that Rosary, following along each “bead” if you download Pray the Rosary Bead by Bead: Formatted to Mimic Rosary Beads by Michael Hart (available through Amazon.com for $2.49 in the United States and United Kingdom).
Hart, who hails from the Little Rock suburb of Benton, Ark., explained how he got the idea in May.
“[In May] the month of Mary,” he said, “Pope Benedict had a special request for us to increase use of the Rosary.”
He wanted to act on that request and help others, but didn’t want to create a Rosary book, since those are readily available.
Instead, with God’s inspiration, his own experience teaching both RCIA and Sunday school to high-school students at his parish of Our Lady of Fatima, and based on Kindle’s popularity, Hart decided the way to go was “doing something more modern.”
So he came up with his own Kindle book.
“I don’t see it as replacing rosary beads,” Hart explained, “but another way to pray the Rosary if you don’t have your beads with you.”
He described how, just as rosary beads enable you to develop a rhythm as they pass through your fingers with each prayer during the mysteries, the page-turning characteristic of the Kindle can in some way imitate the rhythm going from prayer to prayer with each click of the button.
Each “bead” page has both the prayer — for example, one Hail Mary — and the mystery of that decade.
The decades also open with the Scripture verses associated with each mystery. Hart says that adds “another level of depth to really be able to embrace that mystery [by] reading those actual mysteries from the Bible.”
Additionally, the Joyful, Sorrowful, Luminous and Glorious Mysteries are introduced with a quote from a saint, such as St. Josemaría Escrivá, well-known Catholics like the Fatima visionary Sister Lucia, or acclaimed priests, including Archbishop Fulton Sheen.
Promoting Our Lady’s Rosary came naturally for Hart, a “revert.”
A lifelong Catholic, he left the Church for a short period 15 years ago after he had some doubts about teachings of the Church. But he missed the Eucharist. God led him back, he says, and he started earnestly studying the faith and the saints.
After that, he and his wife Karmen’s relationship with Mary began to grow.
“We had been married 11 years; my wife was 39, and we prayed to Mary specifically for us to have a child,” Hart recalled.
After two years, their prayers were answered. Their daughter Maegan is now 10.
“That really kicked off our relationship with Mary — to appreciate the value and power of prayer looking to her as an instrument of God,” he said.
Now he hopes others will have similar spiritual graces through praying the Rosary.
Hart has heard from users, who find “it is a wonderful way to reach out to people who are more electronically-oriented.”
Joseph Pronechen writes from Trumbull, Connecticut.