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The Electronic Talking Rosary

It ain't easy being Catholic. You gotta give things up for Lent, remember the holidays of approximately 10,000 saints, listen to the moralization of child molesters' accomplices every Sunday. You've gotta forget about extra-coital orgasms, oral sex, wanking, sodomy, abortion, personal relations with "Christ," and the private repentance of "sin." Also, you've gotta get your mind around the idea that the every utterance of some dude in Rome is literally infallible, even if he disagrees with almost everything the last dude who was supposed to be infallible ever said.

But even if you manage all this, it's for naught if you can't remember how to work a rosary. Because the creator of the universe is a strange guy -- He not only demands fealty and constant adoration; He demands that you adore Him in very particular ways. The rosary is a loop of big and small beads with another string of beads dangling from it, and attached to that dangly protrusion is a little sculpture of a dead man nailed to a piece of wood. If you're a good Catholic and you're serious about your salvation, you've gotta say a prayer while worrying each of the beads between your fingers, and you've gotta remember which prayers are demanded by each size of bead, and in what order these beads are meant to be handled. It's a lot handle -- especially since we're in the middle of Lent, and your cognition might be impaired because you gave up some important source of glucose and you're on the verge of a pious hypoglycemic coma.

Which is why you ought to thank God -- or, more properly, a Vero Beach couple named Rae DelVecchio and Gary Graham -- for the electronic talking rosary!

The electronic talking rosary, which Rae and Gary call the "Freedom Rosary," speaks in male or female voices and instructs you in the the rosary's proper use as you squeeze each of its Jesussy beads. Squeeze the larger beads, and the rosary will tell you about an scriptural episode on which you ought to meditate. (Church tradition demands certain episodes be pondered on certain days. Again: It's not easy being Catholic.)

The rosary's voice emanates from its crucifix -- it's like you're talking to Jesus Himself! The Freedom Rosary may be purchased here.

I called St. Anthony's Catholic Church, in Fort Lauderdale, to get the official Catholic position on electronic talking rosaries. Unfortunately, the clergy were out to lunch.

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Brandon K. Thorp

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