Each Wednesday during the school year, I pray a Rosary with a spiritual brotherhood I am a member of, a Rosary that is often prayed during a procession led by an icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa. This past week, as I prayed with my rosary in my right hand and my komboskini around my left wrist, I thought of the sublime combination of traditions.
On one hand, we were praying the Rosary, the traditional Marian prayer revealed to St. Dominic. With this prayer, we fervently beseeched the intercession of Our Lady, the Mother of God, as we meditated upon the mysteries of the life of Our Lord. On the other hand (quite literally), my komboskini wrapped around my wrist reminded me to constantly remember Jesus Christ and to pray unceasingly the Jesus Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. The Rosary is a traditional devotion of the Western Church, and the Jesus Prayer prayed on a komboskini is a traditional devotion of the Eastern Church. To lead these prayers, an icon from Poland was processed, and, as my girlfriend's father remarked, Poland can be seen as a geographical point of connection between the Western and Eastern Churches (he mentioned this in connection to the devotion to Divine Mercy of St. Faustina Kowalska, which he sees as being a great tool for the reuniting of the two lungs of the Church).
Thus, in this one time of prayer, traditions from both lungs of the Church were used to lead me deeper into prayer. I see a brilliant complementarity between the rosary in one hand and the komboskini in the other: with the one, we ask the intercession of the Theotokos as we meditate on the mysteries of the life of Our Lord, and, with the other, we unceasingly keep the name of Jesus Christ in our hearts, minds, and souls, as we continually ask Him for mercy. With the one we beseech the Mother, and with the other we beseech the Son. The use of komboskini also helps me see the Christocentrism present in the Rosary, for I often have a difficulty with Marian prayers being too about Mary with little connection to the Lord. With the komboskini unceasingly reminding me of Jesus Christ, though, I am able to pray the Rosary with greater fervor and devotion.
This personal example just shows one more way how the use of both lungs of the Church can lead us deeper into devotion to the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Praise the Lord for His great gift of the two lungs of the Church!
St. Dominic, pray for us!