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The banks are necessary to give direction and to keep the river flowing. So in prayer it is the inclination of the heart to God which alone matters. As the river moves into the sea, the banks drop away.

The words are..framework in which the prayer is held. So, too, as we move into the deeper sense of God's presence the words fall away and..shall be left in silence in the ocean of God's love." A handful of stones, a knotted woolen cord, a notched monastic staff, a string of beads...

The word "chaplet" refers to a set of prayers, and also to the set of beads we may use to help pray those prayers.

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In the 7th century, Irish monks arranged the 150 Psalms of David into 3 groups of 50 ( Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

They had intended to set upon him, but drew back when they saw that as the monk walked, he was praying the Psalter of Our Lady, and that as he prayed each Ave Maria, from his lips fell a rose.

So intent was the monk upon his prayer that he did not notice the roses -- nor did he notice that Our Lady herself was collecting the roses and twining them into a garland for her head.

Each of our sets of handmade prayer beads is by nature one-of-a-kind: Variation is an inherent quality of things made by hand of natural materials.

It's possible, though, for us to make several similar sets of beads, if you're not in a huge rush and the beads can be found.

Since the earliest days of the Church, we have used tangible objects such as these, to help in prayer, to speak to God, to listen to God, to contemplate God. The objects help draw our attention back to prayer. Beads have been so commonly used as an aid to prayer that the very word "bead" is derived from our Old English for "prayer." The use of prayer beads is a tradition that's .

The faithful of today, like the faithful of centuries past, continue to use -- and to treasure -- some of the most ancient forms; and we also continue to adapt and expand upon historical forms.

These recall Christ's public ministry between his Baptism and his Passion.

The word "rosary" is derived from the Latin word meaning "rose garden." According to legend, once robbers spied a young monk passing along a road.

The mysteries of the Rosary call to mind the events of Christ's life -- the Joyful mysteries recall his incarnation, the Sorrowful mysteries recall his suffering and death, the Glorious mysteries recall his resurrection.

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