During the course of the year, one Mondays one can find me in the local mountains near Portland. Sometimes I have to go further afield, depending on the weather. But I do like to stay close. After all, I don’t want to spend the bulk of my day off in a car. The Pacific Northwest is ideal because anywhere is less than an hour from some of the most accessible hiking in the country. It’s not right-across-the-street close, but close enough.
Though we Dominicans say the Rosary every day, it’s usually five decades, or one of the mysteries. Because I usually have the whole day to myself I can really spend the time on the full Rosary, all twenty decades and all four mysteries. Sometimes I have the time and inclination to do two complete Rosaries. Getting into the rhythm is the trick for me. So once I’ve hit my stride (usually on relatively flat ground, or going downhill), my hand drops to pick up the rosary hanging on my left side. It’s strange, that even though I have a habit rosary, which boasts fifteen decades, I usually go back and forth on the same set of ten beads. That way I’m not tugging unnecessarily on beads that are tucked into my belt.
Once I get into the “zone” I start to think about all those people that have asked for my prayers. It’s a long list but I’ve got time. On this ascent of Kilimanjaro I’ve got a long list of people. That’s good. Prayer works and it nudges the heart toward God. Be assured of my prayers.