I am very happy to begin sharing reviews for The Catholic Company. They recently sent me The Rosary - Keeping Company with Jesus and Mary by Karen Edmisten to read and review.
The rosary is a special, devotional prayer that I have turned to again and again during my life. I have many memories of a great-grandmother, a grandfather, and another set of grandparents who often prayed the rosary and were open about their rosary beads. As a child and young adult, I knew it as a comforting prayer - and an ordinary one. Ordinary meaning that there was no special reason to pray the rosary, it was just something that was part of a daily routine.
As an adult, I finally learned the "proper" way to say the rosary -- complete with mysteries. I had only known the prayers and wasn't aware (until I read it in a pamphlet) that the mysteries were to be announced before each decade. I have rosaries tucked in places around my house, and often found myself praying a few decades while nursing or holding my children as babies.
I thoroughly enjoyed Karen Edmisten's book about the rosary. I found it almost funny that she only glanced over the mysteries, as that was something that took me many years to fully incorporate into my rosaries. That's not to say that she didn't share the importance of them, and that they are an integral part of the prayer -- it's just that she didn't delve deeply into any of the mysteries.
It wasn't a problem, because her book gave an excellent history and explanation of this most wonderful prayer. She also dispelled some very common myths. And, I especially appreciated her discussion of the repetition of prayers within the rosary, and how that repetition can help deepen the prayer.
What I enjoyed most was her gentle, non-judgmental approach. After reading this book, I want to say the rosary more often. While there are many different variations and prayers that some include in their rosary, the rosary can also be a very simple prayer made up of just a few prayers. If your heart is in the right place, you can't mess up a rosary!
I highly recommend this book to any Catholic who wants to understand more about the rosary. Even as a cradle Catholic, I learned a few things!
This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The Rosary - Keeping Company with Jesus and Mary.