Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

I remember the first time in elementary school that the nuns gave me a rosary. To this six year old little girl, it felt like being handed a piece of jewelry. It had clear, iridescent beads that sparkled like bling.

I have always loved the rosary. In the past twelve or more years, I have begun to collect them and rather than leave them in a drawer or just by my nightstand, I display them in various places in my house. I suppose for two reasons: They are symbolic of my faith and still the beautiful bling I found them to be as a child.

My niece recently went to Rome on her Honeymoon. I knew that she would be going to the Vatican and visiting our cousin, Father Kevin and I asked her if she would bring me home a rosary. My niece returned with a gorgeous pink rosary with silver hearts. It is even more special to me because my cousin blessed it. It is now one of my three favorite rosaries: The one blessed by The Pope, the one blessed by Father Kevin and the ones that belonged to my uncle, the priest.

I have my Father Kevin rosary next to my computer. It is a reminder to me every day of not only my faith, but of the strength my faith gave me during this difficult period in my time.

It got me thinking.

What does being Catholic mean to me?

I don’t mean the faith or spiritual side. I mean how would I describe what my life is built upon if I met a stranger who had never heard of Catholicism.

If I were to sum up what being Catholic means to me it would be kindness and kindness is simply the manifestation of love.

It is congruent with my favorite hymn from elementary school. The nuns and teachers would usher us down to the Church during the school day. It was hard to sit still as a child, but the music made the Mass come alive. There was one song in particular that bonded me with my faith and spoke to me.

It is the Christian hymnThey’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love.

This song was written by a Catholic priest named Peter R. Scholtes and based on John 13:35 – “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

I think of my new pink rosary with the silver heart beads.

I think of love. I think of being Catholic.

I think it will become my favorite rosary.

Two versions of the hymn:

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