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Thankful for the Scars

That’s who you were, it’s not who you are;
not in His Eyes

Handcrafted; Heirloom, Keepsake and Remembrance Rosaries

“Duc in Altum; into the deep” Luke 5:4

And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” (Luke 5:4, RSV-CE)

I understand that through the eyes of the world, and to many that will either quickly or inadvertently, only “see” with their eyes; this Rosary will appear to be a complete mess. A haphazard arrangement of “seemingly” unmatched or “leftover” beads, carelessly strung together; in a somewhat disorganized pattern.

However, if one; truly “seeks” to find, yearns to comprehend a deeper understanding; and looks and listens with, “the eyes and the ears of their heart”; the unspoken mysteries contained within this Rosary posses an abyss of Contemplative treasures.

This Rosary represents the deepest and purest cries of love, thankfulness and gratitude that are unceasingly bursting forth from my heart to our Triune God. It has been my honor and privilege to lovingly and humbly create it for Our Lord.

As a Lay (non-ordained) Dominican, I am called to respond to Christ’s Commission to, Duc in altum, “Put out into/go into the deep”, evangelizing and sharing the Love and Mercy of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with others. It is from this calling, that my personal Apostolate, “Thankful for the Scars” was created.

And it is by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that this Rosary was lovingly created and brought to fruition.

True, on the “surface”; this Rosary does “look” like a haphazard arrangement of unmatched and leftover beads that have been carelessly strung together in a completely disorganized pattern.

But I humbly ask that you allow my heart to explain the story that this Rosary seeks to tell.

This Rosary tells of a God and Savior who will never give up on you, no matter how many times you’ve given up on Him. It tells the story of my life and how He (The Triune God) and His infinite and immeasurable Love, His unfathomable Mercy and His endless Grace have; and with every breath and every heartbeat; are continuing to make me, “a new creation in Christ.”

And this Rosary tells of one very simple but timeless Truth about Our God, Who is Truth itself;

That no matter what you’ve done, or what’s been done to you; “That’s who you were, it’s not who you are; not in His Eyes.”

Every single bead of this Rosary speaks to “that” Truth.

On the Pendant, the part which hangs down from the Rosary centerpiece, the three Crystal beads are Black, Red and Clear in color. The colors of these beads contained within the Pendant and the remainder of the Rosary; Black, Red and Clear; were intentionally chosen to lead the prayer to reflect upon the following.

The Black colored, Crystal beads, as well as the Black Onyx, Pater Noster (Our Father) beads; are representative of sin and the darkness which it causes to the soul. The Red colored, Crystal beads; are representative of Christ’s Love for each of us and His Precious Blood which He willingly shed for each and every person during His Sorrow-filled Passion of Love; to redeem us from sin and reunite us with God the Father. The Clear colored, Crystal beads; are representative of our “purity and spotlessness” once we are washed and cleansed in the Precious Blood of Christ.

The Silver and Gold accent beads before and after the Pater Noster (Our Father) beads throughout the Rosary are intended to lead the prayer to reflect upon one’s “refinement.” Refinement that is brought about by the purifying fires of our struggles and crosses; which we are asked to virtuously bear in this lifetime. These are not the fires of punishment and condemnation, but instead the refining fires of love which are Lovingly given to us by Our Good Papa (God the Father) so that we, as Jesus stated, may be “perfect, therefore, as our Heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

The spotted, Dalmatian Jasper, Ave Maria (Hail Mary) beads of the first and second decades are lovingly intended to lead the prayer to reflect upon the Truth that there is no such thing as a “little sin.” Each venial sin (spot on the beads) further adding to the stains upon the “garments of salvation and our robes of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10). But even in our broken humanity, we are once again reminded that Jesus’ love for each of us is greater than our sins; for, “he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5)

The Agate gemstones alternating with the Dalmatian Jasper gemstones in the second decade are meant to be reflective of our struggles as we battle to break free from sin. The “unspotted” Agate beads are representative of our victories, by God’s Grace, over vice and sin; however, the “spotted” Dalmatian Jasper beads remind us once again of our need for God’s Grace and without it, we fall back into sin.

The Agate beads at the start of the third decade, which then “transition” into the lighter Jasper beads; were intended to lead the prayer to reflect upon our own “transfiguration” (a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state) as we move farther and farther away from sin; mortal and venial, and closer to the “creation” we were meant to be when we were, “breathed into existence (Genesis 2:7)” within our Mother’s womb. However, the immeasurable and easily overlooked “event” which causes this transformation to take place; is found in the “tiny” Red Crystals between each of the beads, each one representative of the Drops of His Precious Blood which He poured out for our salvation, during His Sorrow-filled Passion of Love.

The Earth-tone Jasper, and White Jade gemstones; used for the Ave Maria (Hail Mary) beads in the fourth decade of this Rosary; continues to show the transformation which occurs to each of us as we continue to, “ask, seek and knock.” For, “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened (Matthew 7:7-8). The alternating pattern is meant to lead the prayer to reflect upon our continual battle between the the things of Heaven; and our war against the things of the devil, the flesh and this world. The Golden Topaz, Crystal beads between the Ave Maria beads are symbolic of Papa’s (God the Father) Love and Affection for each of us, His children.

The White Jade, Ave Maria (Hail Mary) and the Clear Crystal, spacer beads of the fifth decade; were chosen to provide the prayer with an overwhelming and unending sense of Peace and Hope in God’s Love for each of us. A sense of Joy, that regardless of the trials and struggles which we may face in this life; that if we but Love the Lord our God, “with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might (Deuteronomy 6:5)’; and ‘love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39)” then in the end; we will see the Face of God. And finally, these beads were chosen to remind the prayer of the words of Hope spoken by Brother (Saint) Paul in 2 Timothy, 4:7-8; “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved this appearing.”

The Silver, Italian-made; Mary, Undoer of Knots centerpiece; has an enameled image of Mother Mary on the front. It is intended to remind the prayer of Mother Mary’s unfailing Love for us, her little boys and girls. A Mother who continually intercedes for us, undoing the knots of our lives; our struggles, our mistakes and our shortcomings. A mother who lovingly and patiently “unties”, all that is knotted, tangled and twisted within our lives. 

The Contemplative beauty, richness and uniqueness of this Rosary is completed by the use of a large, Silver, Italian-made, St. Benedict Crucifix. The front of the Crucifix has a Corpus (body) of Our Lord. The front and back of the Crucifix are emblazoned with the St. Benedict medal. For centuries, the St. Benedict medal has been recognized as a powerful weapon and has been employed in the unending battles of Spiritual combat.

Specifications:

  1. Assorted; Dalmatian Jasper, Agate, Earth-tone Jasper and White Jade gemstone, Ave Maria beads: 8mm
  2. Assorted; Howlite, Black Onyx, and White Jade gemstone, Pater Noster beads: 10mm
  3. Red, Black, Clear and Golden Topaz; Crystal, spacer beads: 4mm
  4. Gold and Silver, metal accent beads: 4mm
  5. Silver, Italian-made; Mary, Undoer of Knots, Centerpiece: Approximately; 3/4″ x 1″
  6. Silver, Italian-made, Two-sided, St. Benedict Crucifix: Approximately; 1 1/4″ x 2”
  7. Rosary Length: Approximately; 22″