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photo courtesy of Andrea Bear

Our Lady of Tour Guides

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18

I prayed the Rosary for two-and-a-half years before I finally made a confession to my priest and friend Father Joe. “Father, I don’t think it’s working. I feel more miserable than when I started.” Fr. Joe smiled at me and simply replied, “That’s a good thing… because it means you’re being purified.”  I didn’t understand that message for a couple more years and continued to feel miserable. But what he said stuck out and I knew something inside me told me to remain steadfast, continue praying despite what I understood. As I prayed, I began to wonder what I was praying for and then one day I realized there was a lot to purify. I was a Church going woman but I didn’t have faith. Not in the sense that I didn’t believe in God, but I relied on myself, and I expected so much more of others but not from Him. As I began to be confronted with my own imperfections Mary began to show me what was holding me back…Me.

Praying the Rosary is similar to a road trip. It’s a journey and there are many stops along the way. But the destination is not Earth its Heaven.

So, while on this trip we have to remember there’s going to be setbacks, there’s going to be turns and detours we didn’t plan for but there’s also going to be surprising joys, and spectacular views while traveling.  Mary  has been my tour guide directing me to better know her Son.


It is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we many also be glorified with him, Romans 8:16-17.



In the early years of praying the Rosary God did not want me to be miserable forever, but I wouldn’t be able to fully understand His greatness if I hadn’t first walked and carried my cross. I kept delaying my journey by putting a time limit on my sorrow. When is God going to answer my prayers? I demanded. But if he had answered all my prayers instantly would I have appreciated them? Would I seek Him further or continue to rely on myself?

Jesus sent His mother to model how to surrender to His will, and she’s quite an exceptional role model. Through the Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and even the Luminous mysteries, Mary shows us how to rely on God and in turn we will be transformed.

I had to let go of controlling my father, my want for my husband to convert to be Catholic, my desire for others to be a “certain way” and the drive of my own ego of accomplishment. I had to trust God so that I could see Him more fully.

Sorrow Leads to Joy, Which Turns to Glory

God does not want us to be sorrowful forever, but when times are tough this is where the journey halts. Many stop praying because they can’t see God will work through the hard and intertwine the joy on their road. It’s in this exact moment when our perseverance and reliance on Him matter the most. In my own experience, my father’s health took a turn for the worst this past year and I realized sorrow  does not stop. But this time I would surrender to the fact that God would make good, and I began to focus on the joy within the sorrow. As I traveled (prayed) this road, my father and I grew closer and in our prayers together, my love for him and for my family expanded, my patience improved, and my worry decreased.

The Rosary becomes our GPS to helps us navigate the tough roads. Learning to become more reliant on God and allowing Him to lead, sustains our joy and peace.


Touring the Country with the Glorious Mysteries    

Encountering the Glorious mysteries was not far off. For me, it came in the most ironic place; a cross country trip. My husband, three daughters and I toured the United States this summer for three-weeks in our trusty white mini-van. With GPS and maps in hand I saw vast country sides. But as I prayed in the passenger seat, I began to see the Glory of God. First in his splendor, the scenic views and breathtaking landscapes. If you want to find Jesus, go to the mountains, go to the desert, there His glory is revealed. There were many places along the trip I experienced Him (pilgrame sites and the Eucharist) but in the quiet on the road looking out to the Grand Titans, I  began to celebrate in awe of His work and creation.

While praying the Rosary, Mary revealed to me times I hadn’t recognized God’s Glory rather glorified myself (published works, academic accolades, personal accomplishments). As I glorified God on the road, Mary showed me how He was with me in the hard, He was with me and sustained me in the joy, and she prepared me to now honor Him through all His creations and His mercy.

The words Sorrowful, Joyful, and Glorious followed me all these years yet it wasn’t until I returned from that trip did I realize Mary was navigating me through the mysteries of the Rosary. She was my Tour Guide.

Two days after returning from my trip I opened to Romans 8.

“likewise the Spirit helps us in weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Sprit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. “ Romans 8:26.

This passage reaffirmed Mary, the bride of the Holy Spirit was teaching me through the Rosary. Through the Spirit, she was guiding with me and showing me the way to her Son through prayer. The Rosary is not a lamp to rub with a genie who grants wishes but transforms. And for me purged the things that were blinding me to recognize God’s love, and glory and to share that with others.

“And he who searches the hearts of men knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes for the Saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:27

Through Mary’s guidance and intercession, she has helped me get out of my own way. She has helped me stop playing God and shows how her Son will determine what’s the best course. I know my prayers will be answered “if” it is God’s will, but how its done, and the way its done will not be according to my plan.

I have yet to learn about the Luminous mysteries, however something tells me Mary is working on that as we speak. In the meantime, I am going to continue praying the Rosary.

We know that in everything God works for the good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28



Our Lady of Tour Guides… pray for us.



How has the Rosary and the mysteries guided your destination?  I’d love to hear about your journey in the comments below.

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