I am thrilled to present a review on Linking Your Beads, The Rosary’s History, Mysteries , and Prayers, by Patricia Ann Kasten. Sometimes I pick a book to review because I want to learn about the subject, other times I chose a more recreational topic since I read and write mostly serious stuff. This time I saw Linking Your Beads and thought that this would be a refresher for this old rosary praying mom and daughter.
From the beginning of this gem to the end, the rosary came alive and revealed to me more deeply its meaning and need in our world. The Rosary is an open book to Christ through our Holy and obedient Mother Mary. Each and every element of these beads gives way to what, why, and how we bow our heads and hearts to the mystery of our Redeemer. During our times praying the Rosary, we are brought to the foot of the cross, lap of Mary, and doorway of our salvation. In praising and supplicating our transgressions and tribulations we seek our Lord’s mercy in answered prayer.
Patricia Ann Kasten put her book together beautifully with the beginning of the Rosary’s 500- 600 years history to our present and new Luminous Mystery, explaining each mystery as it ties together the Old Testament with the New Testament. How the sacraments are at work in each bead and mystery as we meditate upon the life and death of Christ in the eyes of His Mother under the guidance of The Father. This is a short book, only 118 pages in 23 short chapters, but it is packed with all the history one could ask for. Kasten breaks down the rosary prayer by prayer with their origin along with their meaning and uses. I even learned about the Jesus Prayer: ”Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Wow, I can definitely pray that one daily.
From the Sign of the Cross to the Memorare and each of the mysteries, Ms. Kasten does an absolutely lovely job reflecting upon the Rosary’s many elements to help us have a new appreciation for this beautiful and powerful prayer. As she puts it, “As we ponder the Gospel events in our hearts, our own lives will begin to reflect Christ’s light. In so doing, we act like neon signs, showing that we are aglow with anticipation over the coming of the greatest attraction we could ever witness: God revealing His light and love to us, and in us, just as He did to Mary. All we need to do is take our place in the line of discipleship that Mary started and say, “May it be done to me according to your word”(Luke 1:38).”
This is a wonderful addition  to all Catholic households and would be a great teaching tool for students from middle school though high school and beyond to gain a better understanding and a desire to add this to their daily prayer life. And as Mary tells us through the Gospel, “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5).
(© 2011 Ebeth Weidner)