My experience with the Rosary

This article was written in 2012 for a book, The Healing Rosary by Paulette Kelly.

I had been on Broadway, the US National tour of “Cats”, and had co-starred in movies for Paramount and Columbia pictures, but my life fell apart as a result of being involved in abortion, a subsequent eating disorder and a voice injury.

As I tried to clean up my life, I searched for answers in Eastern Meditation, which was popular in New York and Hollywood.

During four years of meditation classes, I was taught to still the mind: imagining myself on the bank of a river letting go of thoughts as they went by, like boats floating downstream. I considered myself accomplished in meditation.

I thought the Catholic Church was a cold stone building full of hypocrites, and western Christianity shallow and materialistic. I was going to meet a famous guru in Montreal so I could be given a new name in preparation to become a sannyasin (Hindu monk).

In Montreal, I got lost and wandered into St. Joseph's Oratory. I felt moved by the little old ladies praying in front of the statue of Jesus. I walked around the tomb of Brother Andre. I did not know anything about the intercession of saints, but I felt my heart soften. I went to the upper floor which was empty. The lights were off, except a soft spot light on the Cross. In a moment of clarity, I lay down on my face in front of the Cross, and told Jesus how very sorry I was that I had made such a mess of things. Then I gave him complete permission to take my will and my life. I immediately felt a complete shift deep within, like a great yoke had been lifted off my back.

My life cleaned up after and I felt God calling me away from the New Age movement. My eating disorder healed, and I never went back to drinking or drugs. I began a journey into the Catholic Church.

Confession freed me from my past. My attention turned to various Christian meditations aimed at stilling the mind. Someone gave me a Rosary. I read that it was the most powerful prayer of the Church but I thought it was too active, with its different scenes, words, and repetition. Would it distract me from quietly seeking God’s will?

However, as my journey into Catholicism deepened, I seemed drawn to the Rosary. One day I took the beads and began to learn the different prayers. At first it seemed complicated, as I referred to my prayer card for each mystery; but at the same time, it was very comforting. Within a couple of weeks it came naturally, and I began to enter the best meditations of my life. The gentle rhythm of the decades, against the powerful images from the life of Christ centered me in a way I'd never experienced before. The images didn’t crowd my mind at all. They focused me on the sufferings and victory of Christ.

As years of daily Rosary went by, I began a music ministry and built the web site CatholicBridge.com. Kirsten was introduced to me because she was an Evangelical who had questions about Catholicism. To my surprise she became Catholic. I tried to consider her as only a friend because I thought I was called to lay celibacy.

While travelling through Israel I went to the Church of the Annunciation, in Nazareth, where tradition says Mary gave her “yes” to the Archangel Gabriel. It was quiet inside as I sat cross-legged on the floor repeating “Hail Mary, full of Grace” where those words were first spoken. After a while, in my spirit I heard what I believe was the voice of Mary saying “David, I want you to marry Kirsten.”

My love for Kirsten that I had been holding back poured into my soul. Today we are married.
The Rosary is a pillar in our spiritual lives along with frequent Mass, the Bible, Liturgy of the Hours, and Eucharistic Adoration. Our daily Rosary is a powerful unifier in our marriage. It has strengthened our relationship with Jesus, and with each other.

I had been on Broadway, the US National tour of “Cats”, and had co-starred in movies for Paramount and Columbia pictures, but my life fell apart as a result of being involved in abortion, a subsequent eating disorder and a voice injury.

As I tried to clean up my life, I searched for answers in Eastern Meditation, which was popular in New York and Hollywood.  During four years of meditation classes, I was taught to still the mind: imagining myself on the bank of a river letting go of thoughts as they went by, like boats floating downstream. I considered myself accomplished in meditation.

I thought the Catholic Church was a cold stone building full of hypocrites, and western Christianity shallow and materialistic. I was going to meet a famous guru in Montreal so I could be given a new name in preparation to become a sannyasin (Hindu monk).

In Montreal, I got lost and wandered into St. Joseph's Oratory. I felt moved by the little old ladies praying in front of the statue of Jesus. I walked around the tomb of Brother Andre. I did not know anything about the intercession of saints, but I felt my heart soften. I went to the upper floor which was empty. The lights were off, except a soft spot light on the Cross. In a moment of clarity, I lay down on my face in front of the Cross, and told Jesus how very sorry I was that I had made such a mess of things. Then I gave him complete permission to take my will and my life. I immediately felt a complete shift deep within, like a great yoke had been lifted off my back.

My life cleaned up after and I felt God calling me away from the New Age movement. My eating disorder healed, and I never went back to drinking or drugs. I began a journey into the Catholic Church.

Confession freed me from my past. My attention turned to various Christian meditations aimed at stilling the mind. Someone gave me a Rosary. I read that it was the most powerful prayer of the Church but I thought it was too active, with its different scenes, words, and repetition. Would it distract me from quietly seeking God’s will?

However, as my journey into Catholicism deepened, I seemed drawn to the Rosary. One day I took the beads and began to learn the different prayers. At first it seemed complicated, as I referred to my prayer card for each mystery; but at the same time, it was very comforting. Within a couple of weeks it came naturally, and I began to enter the best meditations of my life. The gentle rhythm of the decades, against the powerful images from the life of Christ centered me in a way I'd never experienced before. The images didn’t crowd my mind at all. They focused me on the sufferings and victory of Christ.

As years of daily Rosary went by, I began a music ministry and built the web site CatholicBridge.com. Kirsten was introduced to me because she was an Evangelical who had questions about Catholicism. To my surprise she became Catholic. I tried to consider her as only a friend because I thought I was called to lay celibacy.

While travelling through Israel I went to the Church of the Annunciation, in Nazareth, where tradition says Mary gave her “yes” to the Archangel Gabriel. It was quiet inside as I sat cross-legged on the floor repeating “Hail Mary, full of Grace” where those words were first spoken. After a while, in my spirit I heard what I believe was the voice of Mary saying “David, I want you to marry Kirsten.”

My love for Kirsten that I had been holding back poured into my soul. Today we are married. The Rosary is a pillar in our spiritual lives along with frequent Mass, the Bible, Liturgy of the Hours, and Eucharistic Adoration. Our daily Rosary is a powerful unifier in our marriage. It has strengthened our relationship with Jesus, and with each other.

See also Kirsten's experience with the Rosary.

Lord Jesus, let Your prayer of unity for Christians
become a reality, in Your way.
We have absolute confidence
that you can bring your people together,
we give you absolute permission to move.
Amen