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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Batteries Not Included

We are behind the eight ball in every way today, so forgive me for not getting to your questions right away. Things are tough all over, as they say. The eighth grade boys who help me with things internet have encouraged me to add advertising to our little convent in the tubes. Since I can't have a bake sale (even though Sister St. Aloysius would be willing to do all of the baking), I went with it.

I was very concerned that the ads would be inappropriate. There have been a couple that were bad. For example, a book about the life of Jesus and Mary Magdelene as husband and wife that wasn't even the Da Vinci Code. At least the author had the good sense to call it fiction. Still, I found that pretty creepy. There was an excerpt from the book about their eyes meeting and such. Creepy. And a picture of the author looking just so happy with herself. Creepy squared.

There have been a couple that were questionable. A clickable 'accept Jesus' prayer. I can't find any real fault in the prayer, just that it had a distinct 'separated brethen' feel to it.

But I've been very happy with most of the content: rosaries, patron saints, books, the Vatican. All good.

So it was with great curiosity that I clicked on the "Electronic Rosary".

Here's the thing: the rosary is such a simple device. It doesn't really need to be any more simple. Beads on a string. For counting. If you had more fingers you could just use your fingers. If you were one of those people who sat in a cabin in Alaska and became so bored you learned to play the guitar with your feet, you could use your fingers and your toes.

I have trouble imagining that anyone needs an electric rosary to count for them. The people selling the electric rosary mention that it's good for people with arthritis because you just push a button. I can't imagine that's any easier for your arthritis than moving to the next bead. If you have arthritis, you could lay your rosary down on a table and point to the next bead. But I only have a little arthritis, so what do I know?

I can imagine that children might get a bang out of it. It looks like a little space ship. It lights up.

And it talks.

When it talks, what sounds like a whole convent of nuns saying the "Hail Mary". It's like you are praying with a whole convent of nuns.

Enter Sister St. Aloysius.

"You could just turn it on and have that whole convent praying for you! That is just lovely!"

"It's so that you can pray the rosary..."

"Yes, but if you were occupied with something else, you could turn it on and have the nuns pray for you...I don't mean in your place...I mean pray for you, as in 'I'll pray for you', like when people ask us to pray for them."

"It's a recording. The nuns aren't praying."

"But they would if you asked them. And if they knew you were using their voices to pray for you they'd be happy. If sin is about intent, certainly we can imagine that prayer can be as well."

Somehow I can't really go along with the idea that when I intend to pray and don't, it still counts. I am certain that she is correct in assuming that the nuns would be happy to pray for you just about constantly, until their batteries wore out. What do I know? I'm not going to argue.

What I can't seem to find out is how the device changes mysteries over from one set of mysteries (Joyful to Sorrowful to Glorious to Luminous) to the next. It would be just great if electronic rosary kept track of which mystery to say on what day. People have a real problem keeping track of what mystery goes where. I made a chart of it for the fourth graders once on the black board and when I was done it looked like John Madden had been there.

I'm not sure how I feel about the electronic rosary. (Much better than I feel about the Mr. and Mrs. Jesus book, certainly.) But for it's retail price of $34 not including shipping, I'll go back to a pocket full of rocks if need be.

It's tough out there.


Anonymous said...

This is a nice blog. I like it!

Anonymous said...

I could give my own opinion with your topic that is not boring for me.

Bethany said...

Sister, sometimes my dad likes to watch the nuns pray the rosary on EWTN, but we don't have tv service, so I bought a cd with people with Irish accents praying the rosary. It is very nice to have other voices to pray along with, and it does have meditations for the mysteries, so that makes it easier than trying to keep track myself. As for what day to pray what set, I think EWTN keeps track of that for my dad, but unfortunately, my cd always starts with the Joyful Mysteries, and I never seem to get much farther past that. But the different Mysteries are all different tracks, so I could do it right if I quit being lazy.

Good luck with your ads! I've made a little bit with mine, but I'm sure your traffic is about a million times higher, so you shouldn't have to wait too long to get your check. :D

Sarah - Kala said...

You're a riot!!

I agree with you with my whole heart about beads being easy enough. Simple. Pure. Pray it.

Anonymous said...

if you were occupied with something else, you could turn it on and have the nuns pray for you

This is very, very funny to me, and here is why. When I was growing up, we had a priest who gave the same exact sermon on January 1 every year. (I think the tie-in was New Year's resolutions to pray more.) And that in that sermon, he talked about how you couldn't make a robot pray. You could, in the science fiction future, program a robot to recite prayers, but it wouldn't really be praying. So I find it hilarious that someone actually did program (and market!) an electronic device to pray.

(Also, I regret that you have some comment spam above. Sadness.)

RadioPie said...

Speaking of rosaries, would it be terribly impolite to pray the rosary in a Jewish Community Centre? The have a wonderful gym there - which they say is open to all faiths - and I've found that it takes me about 20 mins. to say the whole thing. 3 rosaries later (one on the treadmill, one on the rowing machine and one on that stupid bike that doesn't go anywhere), and I'll have done a nice hour long workout.

Although the gym is open to anyone regardless of religion, it is still a JEWISH community centre, and I don't want people thinking that I am praying for their conversion or something.

What is your opinion on the matter?

Oh yes, I am praying silently - in my head - does that matter? can you do that?

Chris Stone said...

34 bucks for an electronic rosary? obviously the rosary is discriminating against the chinese by not allowing them to participate in the production of its wonders. Don't reward such negativity! Instead buy some chocolate ice cream feel great and release positive energy into the universe!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! Today's comment about pointing to the next bead really cracked me up. I think I'll do that when I'm much older. I'll just hang up a wall rosary and go at it. Or maybe I'll just go with your original thought and use my fingers.

Anyway, I thinking you should check out the Virtual Rosary. It is a free program and plays background music while you are praying. There aren't any nuns praying along with you but it does keep track of the day's mystery for you. Oh, and you can have it automatically remind you to say your rosary every day! I'd say it's for the poor soul glued to his computer all day. I just like the music. Here's the link:

God Bless you, Sister!

DaveW said...

My journey began with a daily Rosary and continues that way to this day. Memorizing this stuff is hard for us n00bs.

I finally got the Mysteries and days straightened out this way.

1) Sunday is Glorious.

2) Wednesday goes with Sunday.

3) Sunday is led and followed by Joyful (Saturday and Monday).

4) Thursday is Luminous (new).

5) That leaves Tuesday and Friday for Sorrowful.

Getting it from paper to my mind is important as it is hard for me to pray from the heart if I am reading. Same with Mass - I get more out of it as I learn more about it and pray on it.

Even after I memorize it if I have to exert an effort to call it to mind it distracts from the power of the prayer (for me). After I truly 'know' it and can pray it even from a trance-like state I start to really get a lot of power out of it.

Sarah - Kala said...

radiopie, you can pray in your head and it counts! I suggest the rosary ring. It's discreet enough to keep in your palm and turn it with your thumb. If you feel you need it, because your fingers work and you can do it in your head. I like that you aren't trying to worry or offend anyone, but you must live your faith authentically too. God bless!

BTW, what is "comment spam"???

bill7tx said...

Comment spam is comments left in a blog solely for the purpose of embedding a link to a web site. The link may attract traffic directly, but the actual purpose is to raise the Google rank of the site to which those links refer. Comment spam is a blight.

The first two comments on this post (at least at the time I am entering this) are associated with what is probably an online gambling site. They are not comments made by actual blog readers. They were probably planted by an automated program ("bot").

Sister will probably delete the spam as soon as she realizes what it is.

Anonymous said...

Actually, she probably won't. She hasn't yet, anyway, and what with there being only two, it's not so big a deal. Still, I now understand why she's moderating comments and I can't say I blame her.

But in the hopes that I'll get a hairsbreadth more traffic for my own blog, I'll shorten the number of pages one must visit to get there buy using the name/url option instead of my blogger ID to post comments hereafter.