Heavy Duty

I had asked for a particular kind of rosary, because it was built to last; it was elegant and uniquely masculine. As an avid pray-er of the Rosary, I wanted a tool for helping me in praying that would be memorable, durable, and tough to lose. As a somewhat disorganized person, it helps that those boxes are checked. But, before going further, I’ll be honest with you; this article is kind of meant as encouragement for “the fellas.”

Now, the Rosary is often referred to as a spiritual weapon and rightly so. For some, this language of spiritual “warfare” makes them uncomfortable, but in my experience—the manifestations I have seen of the living Holy Spirit and those of evil spirits—this kind of language is the only fitting way to describe the invisible conflict between the holy and the unholy. In addition, as a man, these expressions help me see that there is a role I can play in cooperating with the movement of the Holy Spirit in bringing about the Kingdom.

Therefore, in my request for a new rosary, was embedded the hope of a tactile tool for the wielding of this great prayer of meditation and intercession. In medieval warfare, a soldier or knight would opt for the heaviest sword, mace, or flail that he could effectively swing. The bigger, the better, so long as the user could control it. I wanted to recognize that this rosary is my spiritual armament, as I intercede on behalf of my wife, children, our parish, the Church, and the whole world.

When it comes to household tools, we typically value those which are well made and those made of quality materials. When I undertake to pray the Rosary, I want to experience that I am using an implement that is purpose-built for the hard work of intercession, of recourse to our Blessed Mother, and of gaining ground in the war against sin in my life and the lives of those dear to me. Whereas any rosary will do the job of counting the prayers, keeping one’s place in the litany, I wanted a rosary that would remind me of the gravity of my responsibility as a Catholic man (father, husband, brother-in-arms).

It might seem frivolous, but I wanted a rosary that would focus my mind on the spiritual weight of those prayers that have garnered so many untold graces for the Church and her members. If my prayers are to carry weight, to be more than a repetitive recitation of prayers composed of words that did not originate within my own heart, then let the tool I use in that recitation remind me of the power of those words and of the weight on my heart of those for whom I pray.

My “Faith Over Fear” rosary is the heaviest I have ever held. It is composed of metal beads and military grade “550 paracord,” a kind of rope that was originally used in the suspension lines of parachutes. The crucifix fills my fingers when I close my hand around it. This rosary is heavy, clunky, beautiful, and when the beads rattle against the crucifix, it sounds like equipment. And that’s just what it is.

David Dunst
Director of Music and Liturgy

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