I have vivid memories – not necessarily fond memories – of kneeling at my bedside with my family reciting a decade of the rosary each night before bed.
As my interests in theology became more academic and intellectual in my 20’s and 30’s I fell away from praying the rosary.
During a recent and particularly difficult time, I have found myself called back to the Divine Feminine. The mantra that I received from my teacher Stephen (Stoma) Parker includes a reference to the divine feminine, which can be understood to refer to Mary or the female form of Avalokiteshvara (or Guanyin) – a Buddhist embodiment of compassion for all beings.
As I am seeking healing from trauma in early life and recent experiences during the pandemic, I am drawn inexorably to the nurturing, healing energies of the divine feminine and to Her expressions the forms of nature.
I have found myself returning to the rosary and finding great comfort in the presence of the Mother, especially while walking in the park and praying through the mysteries of the rosary.
And as I do this, I have begun to put new words to the prayers. Words that are more congruent with my adult experience of God, of the Ineffable Source and Ground of All Being. Words that point toward a non-dualistic, non-separate experience of Reality and of Being. Words that avoid exclusivity of sex, gender, religious tradition, sinner vs. saint, etc.
It is a unique blending of a very traditional ritual from my childhood with my adult understanding of seeking God after years of contemplative prayer, theological study and reflection, and lived experience.
In doing so, the following prayers have emerged quite naturally and I post them below to share with you. I did not consciously “create” new prayers, nor did I need to change something that was “wrong” with the tradition I inherited. I make no claims for or against the orthodoxy of these words. I make no claims as to whether or not you will find them helpful or hindrance. I invite you to use them if you find them helpful, and to allow your own variations to emerge. Allow them to emerge naturally from your prayer, guided by Sophia/Spirit. She will not fail to come to you…
These new forms of classic prayers have emerged for me in my openness to prayer, to the Holy Mother, to Mother Earth, to a deep need for nurturance and healing. I hope you may find them of some benefit in your prayer to use as you like.
P.S. If you are not familiar with praying the rosary, please see the diagram description at the end of the page below.
Our Ineffable Source and Ground of All Being,
Who dwells throughout all the heavens and creation, without distinction or separation,
Sacred are Your many names.
Your Presence is always and everywhere at all times,
Your will is perfectly fulfilled in all times and places
From the farthest reaches of the universe, to the smallest particles of existence, without distinction or separation.
You give us this day our daily bread, and You provide for the sufficiency of our needs out of your infinite Abundance and Wisdom,
Forgive us and remove the obstacles that keep us from awakening to the One-ness of All Being,
As we forgive others and strive to support all beings on the path with great compassion, and to avoid becoming a obstacle* to others.
Guide us always on the path that leads to You,
And deliver us from all illusions, false beliefs, attachments, and our ego identities that block us from realizing our true One-ness with You and All Being.
*The Greek word skandalon means “stumbling block.” We seek to avoid being a stumbling block to others’ journey to union with God, through our words, actions, or intentions.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with you,
Blessed are you among all people,
And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, bearer of God* and light to all humankind,
Pray for us humans,
Now and at the hour of…
…our death (said on the first bead of each decade)
…our final breath (on the second bead)
…our transition into Eternal Life (on the third bead, and so on…)
…our dropping of this human form
…therevelation of our true Nature as adopted sons and daughters of God
…the parting of the veil of the illusion of separateness
…our awakening to the One-ness of All Being
…our inner enlightenment
…the revelation of glory of our resurrected body
…our final emergence into the Ineffable Source and Ground of All Being
*The Greek word theotokos, often translated as “Mother of God,” literally means “God-bearer.”
Glory to the Ineffable Source and Ground of All Being,
Glory to the Advocate, the Helper, and Holy Spirit,
Glory to the Son of God, the One whose feet graced the earth in human form,
As it has always been,
As it is in the Eternal Now,
As it will always Be.
Images from John Hendrix, Miracle Man. We bought this book for our children, but my wife and I love it as much (maybe more?) than our kids. I am always drawn to the images of Jesus’ feet bringing forth life and abundance to a dry and barren earth.
How to Pray the Rosary
For a fully detailed description of praying the rosary, and a list of the mysteries and decades, I like the description offered by the Maryknoll Sisters – https://www.maryknollsisters.org/pray-with-us/pray-rosary-us/?s_subsrc=20ZGCZZZ