Praying the Rosary
The recitation of the Holy Rosary is a devotion which is highly recommended by Popes, Saints and the Church in general, it's a great weapon for our own good and salvation's sake!, we need to take advantage of this, so in this post we are going to encourage the faithful to put it in practice.
I have encountered several people and friends at my parish who says that have difficulty praying the Rosary for different motives, some of them are:
Do not have time
Get distracted too easy
I recommended some tips to a lady and she told me several months later that has helped her a good deal.
Ok. We'll go through these issues in order to solve the problem. I myself had some of these difficulties and how I become more devoted to the Rosary with the help of God's grace and providence, some information, book of Saints and even some tips which I will go in the following posts.
If would like to pray but find it difficult, or if you are well devoted to the Holy Rosary, you can share your experiences as well.
Ok, some of the difficulties that some persons say that they have problem with in order to pray the Rosary has to do with time: "do not have time" or "too long".
We all have time, for time is there, 24 hours a day, so we have to organize the things we do in life with its priorities which are resumed in loving God with all our strength, above all and loving neighbor as self.
The following saying is credited to St. Padre Pio - phrase which has stuck with me:
"God command us to love Him, not as much as He deserves, because He knows our capabilities and therefore He does not ask us to do what we cannot do. But He ask us to love Him according to our strength, with all our soul, all our mind, and all our heart".
This is true, we can not love God as He deserves because He is infinitely superior than us limited creatures, but God knows our limitations; however, the question is: are we doing as much as we can or are we leaving space and preferences for some other things which are temporal ?
St. Therese of the Little Flower also tells the story that when she was little, her father showed the love for her even though she could not walk well but she was trying her best.
The soon to be canonized Mother Theresa has said: "It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love is put in the giving."
But are we trying to do? or trying to give our best ?
"Prayer is the best weapon we possess. It is the key that opens the heart of God" - St. Padre Pio. And even with more advantage if we do so through Mary, the mother of our Lord. St. Padre Pio also recommended to pray the Rosary very often.
So now, to combat the "time" issues, it's best if we set about an hour dedicated to the Rosary (it could last less or longer for you). Many TV shows last an hour, and hey, some movies last about 3 hours! but we have time for things like that. So lets schedule a time for the Rosary, this has to be around the same time every day so you get accustomed to it. But not too late, I would say. If you want to start and want to pray right before bed, chances are that you will fall asleep or feel tired. So, especially for those who have the sleepiness issue, let's dedicate a "prime time" for the Rosary, choose a time from 7:00, 8:00 or even at 10:00pm, this way you will be able to dedicate this time with harmony every day. If you can pray earlier during the day, then fantastic!
In the next posts I'll give some suggestions on what can help you get motivated and focused with this holy devotion.
I've been praying the Rosary daily for many years. It's a pillar of my prayer life and spiritual life.
The reluctance that people often experience when thinking of prayer is related to a lack of humility or feeling entitled to sensorially/spiritually high experiences. As Saint John of the Cross relates in his Dark Night of The Soul, people very often seek sensory excitation when they experience spiritual highs. They come to associate sensation as a spiritual high and they begin to seek out sensory experiences in spiritual acts, often concluding that if they do not experience high sensation, that the spiritual practice itself is not beneficial to them. Prayer therefore requires a deep humility and willingness to relinquish sensory experience. This itself is a form of suffering and sacrifice and is very much central to the Christian calling. The answer lies deeply in the cross of Christ.
The Daily Rosary
At Medjugorje the Blessed Mother told the 6 visionaries " I give you your 5 stones against your Goliath". These were as follows:
1 A daily rosary
2. The Eucharist as often as possible...not just on Sundays
3 Fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays
4. Confession at least monthly
5. Regularly reading of the Bible.
I accepted this recommendation and have prayed the rosary every day since then (June 2001). The rosary can be very boring if you simply repeat the prayers over and over. But that misses the point of the rosary. The reason for the rosary is to focus your attention on the life of Jesus. Each of the mysteries of the rosary requires an Our Father and 10 Hail Mary's. As an example....consider the first Sorrowful Mystery which is The Agony in the Garden. From Ann Catherine Emmerich we learn that Jesus spent three hours in prayer before he was arrested. During the first hour he was shown by his Father all of the physical suffering that he would have to endure.....even up to death on the cross. This caused him to experience the "sweating of blood". And he asked the father if there was another way. But he accepted the fathers will. He then had to awaken Peter, James, and John who had fallen asleep. He then spoke those famous words "The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Returning to prayer during the 2nd hour Jesus was shown all of the sins of humanity that he would have to take upon himself and carry them to the cross. Then he had to awaken the apostles again. During the 3rd hour Jesus was shown all of the souls that would be saved because of his great sacrifice. With that.....he was ready to face his passion.
If you can focus your mind on the key elements of this "Mystery", you will find that 10 Hail Mary's will fly by before you have really examined mentally all of the aspects of The Agony in the Garden. You will need to do some research on each of the 20 mysteries of the rosary. But in the end you will find that the rosary will become very important to your spiritual life and you will develop a much deeper appreciation for the life of Jesus.
Thank you both for sharing your experiences and advice.
Yes, we need humility, and the willingness to do acts of self denial for Jesus' love and the world's conversion. Jesus takes in consideration each every one of our acts of self-denials and what the great benefit we receive that, on top of that, we pray through His immaculate Mother.
Will continue on the following posts regarding this wonderful devotion.
Once we have set up a time to go to our Lord through our Lady, if you're having difficulty praying the Rosary, then ask the Lord to give you His Spirit, which is something that He cannot refuse to you, to give you the grace of prayer in unity with Him.
In order to meditate the mysteries, looking at the images that comes in most pamphlets of the Rosary can help. You can imagine that you are there, at that moment and talking to our Lady about it. Also, a little phrase in the middle of each Hail Mary indicating the life of Jesus in relation with the mystery that is being prayed at that moment, can help as well. I will tell you those phrases in the following posts. This helps me a lot in order to concentrate, but remember that above these little tips, this relies in your will.
In order to help meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary, it's also good to say small phrases such as the following which are in connection with the life of Jesus just right after the: " and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus" on each Hail Mary:
JOYFUL MYSTERIES Mondays and Saturdays
First Mystery The Annunciation
At the Hail Mary:
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus
(Repeat with the following)
"Incarnated in thee".
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Second Joyful Mystery The Visitation
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus ... "In thy womb" .
Third Joyful Mystery The Nativity
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus "Laid in a manger"
Fourth Joyful Mystery Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
"Presented in the Temple"
Fifth Joyful Mystery
"Lost but found in the Temple"
Similarly, for the other mysteries:
LUMINOUS MYSTERIES Thursdays
1. ."Baptized in the Jordan"
2. "At the wedding at Cana"
3. "Proclaiming the Good News"
5. "Instituting the Eucharist"
THE SORROFUL MYSTERIES - Tuesdays and Fridays
1. "At the garden of Gethsemane"
2. "Being scourged"
3. "Being crown with thorns"
4. "Carrying the cross"
5. "Being crucified"
THE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES Wednesdays and Sundays
2. "Ascended into Heaven in body and soul"
3. "With the Father, sending thee and the Apostles the Holy Spirit"
4. "With the Father and Holy Spirit, ascending thee into Heaven in body and soul"
5. "With the Father and Holy Spirit, crowning thee as Queen of Heaven and earth"
These phrases said while looking at images (or paintings) related to the mystery that is being prayed can help as well. These images can be found in Rosary pamphlets or booklets; some of them, by the way, come with nice meditation writings from Pope or Saints.
Similar practice(s) (or custom) have been doing in certain places.
I'm going to make a parenthesis here in order to talk about the Divine Mercy Chaplet which is a devotion that has been highly recommended by Pope St. John Paul II and subsequent holy Popes, Benedict 16 and Francis.
Jesus told St. Faustina Kowalska to unceasingly say the following chaplet:
1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Oh, Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times):
Oh, Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
And He promised many graces to those who recite this devotedly.
Now, in order to help contemplation of our Lord's Passion, we can use the same phrases used for the Dolorous Mysteries of the Rosary right after the "For the sake of His sorrowful Passion" as follows:
1. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion "In the garden of Gethsemane" have mercy on us and on the whole world. (10 times)
2. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion "Being scourged" have mercy on us and on the whole world. (10 times)
3. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion "Being crown with thorns" have mercy on us and on the whole world. (10 times)
4. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion "Carrying the cross" have mercy on us and on the whole world. (10 times)
5. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion "Being crucified" have mercy on us and on the whole world. (10 times)
Since this is a shorter prayer than the Rosary, it can be said (silently or in your mind) during a short brake at work, and even if you don't have a small Rosary beads in your pocket (or are not able to use it), it can be counted with your fingers, yes it counts! :)
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