How to Shut Up

An Old Devotion Quiets a Modern Mind

I bought my first rosary in 1960. It was plastic and pink, and it cost a dime. Our Catholic school had mandated that all first-graders purchase a rosary from the principal’s office on a certain day. But when that day came, only three of us arrived at school with ten cents. The principal’s assistant had two kinds of rosaries laid out on her desk: pink and black. I thought the pink one looked much better.

“Sorry, but the pink ones are for girls and the black ones are for boys. You are...

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