My Mom and I were over at a cousin’s house last Sunday, watching the game. Some friends of my cousins were also there: a man and his wife and their twelve year old son.
My mom was in the kitchen making a salad when she overheard the boy say he wanted a rosary. This perked her interest and she headed back in the living room. “Would you really like a rosary?”
The boy responded, “Oh! I’ve always wanted one!”
So Mom reached in her purse and pulled out her rosary (she has many others), and said, “If you really want a rosary, I’ll give you mine.” Then she asked, “Honey, do you know how to pray a rosary? I have a booklet if you don’t.”
Boy: “Praaay??? What are you talking about?”Mom: “Well, you PRAY the rosary. That’s what the beads are for. Do you know the prayers?”
Boy ( laughing): “I don’t want to pray it!” He proceeded to put the rosary around his neck. “Sofa king cool! Everybody’s wearing one.”
You could have heard a feather floating across the room when my mother calmly reached over and took the rosary from around the boy’s neck and dropped it back in her purse. His jaw dropped. “Hey! Why did you take it back?”
Mom explained that while people of other cultures might wear rosaries around their necks, in our culture it is only worn that way by rappers and rock stars and gang members – people who have no intention of praying it. That was disrespectful in her eyes, seeing as the rosary is a sacramental.
The kid’s jaw was still scraping the floor. His parents, sitting on the couch, were also slack jawed. The woman remarked: “I can’t believe you did that. How rude!”
Mom explained again: “I’m not trying to be rude…. but I can’t give up my rosary to someone who wants to wear it like a decoration.”
With that, the couple and their son got up and walked out! Doors slamming and all! They even called back and told my cousin that they would not be returning to his house if “that woman” was there. Now, from my point of view she wasn’t being rude, the boy was: even if you don’t belong to the same religious tradition, you should treat those objects with respect, not as an accessory you DESERVE. 1029-10