October 11, 2010

Charles Lee is never far from a rosary.

There are three or four on an end table next to his recliner. He keeps one on a kitchen cabinet and a few more next to his bed. He seems always to have one or two in his pocket wherever he goes.

Just in case he forgets, there is another in the glove compartment of his pickup, which, by the way, has a bumper sticker squarely in the middle of the tailgate that reads, “Pray the Rosary.”

Lee prays the rosary every day, and he has for more than 60 years. He started his daily devotion in fifth grade while attending Catholic school in his hometown of Hartshorne, Okla.

Reciting the Hail Marys and contemplating the rosary’s four mysteries – joyful, sorrowful, glorious and luminous – help take his mind off the troubles of this world.

“Next to the Mass, the rosary is everything to me. It takes away a lot of anxiety. It calms me. It keeps me in touch with our Lord, his mother and the saints,” he explained.

He has prayed the rosary while driving, on his front porch, while on guard duty when he was stationed with the Army in Korea, and in both private and public places.

“I know some people think I’m talking to myself but that’s OK,” he said. “A day without the rosary just wouldn’t seem right.”