5 Ways of Praying the Rosary
Praying the Rosary is a revered and desirable devotion for Catholic Christians – from the laity all the way to the pope. However, those for whom it is not yet a developed habit, the task is often daunting. As with any worthy behavior, the practice of praying the Rosary daily is something we can easily develop over time.
I have worked for, several years, toward building up the habit of praying the Rosary on a daily basis. However, many of my past efforts have been rather haphazard. Yet, since our loving God has a ‘better late than never’ attitude toward us, I am assured of His mercy. He is always happy to see His children work to progress on a path of holiness.
One Decade at a Time
If you are like me and often find yourself with too little time on your hands. Or maybe you are not quite at the point of making the time, praying the Rosary can be accomplished incrementally. While a five-decade Rosary may feel daunting at first, praying one Our Father and 10 Hail Marys is not that difficult. If you go a step further and space the five decades out throughout the day, your Rosary is complete.
Praying the Rosary During Life
Another way to successfully integrate the Rosary into daily life is to pray throughout your daily life. While this method may seem a bit like multitasking, done with the proper mindset, it can be quite faithful. In the same way as we are encouraged to offer our daily tasks to God as a gift, we can incorporate praying the Rosary.
Peeling potatoes or washing the dishes? Only a small portion of presence of mind is needed for these mundane tasks. Why not pray the Rosary instead of daydreaming or listening to the radio? Even my 20 minute drive into town provides the chance for prayer. As I drive, I meditate on family situations or pray for strangers as I see them in traffic.
Praying the Rosary As Meditation
Praying the Rosary as a meditation is probably one of my favorite methods. I enjoy using a Rosary app on my phone and praying along with the leader. As we continue the prayers and count down the mysteries of the day, I meditate on those dearest to me – my family. I like to pray one mystery for each intention I need to petition to God. Sometimes my focus is on individual extended family groups, an end to abortion, our priests, or current events. Praying the Rosary in this way personalizes the prayers and, hopefully benefits others at the same time.
During Eucharistic Adoration
Since our small rural parish recently initiated a regularly scheduled Holy Hour, I also gain great benefit by praying the Rosary during this time. Eucharistic adoration, in and of itself, can be practiced in various ways. Incorporating the Rosary, however, adds a Marian dimension. Worship of Jesus, present in the monstrance invites the realization that Our Blessed Mother Mary was the first vessel to hold Him.
According to A Scriptural Rosary for the Family, “The Rosary is a school, that is, a method of prayer for all times and seasons”. Although, at first glance, the Rosary may appear to simply be a Marian prayer, we soon realize it is about Jesus Who came to us through Mary. It helps teach us about the Gospel while we contemplate the life of Christ. Each mystery is associated with scripture verses and leads us through some of the milestones of earthly life of Jesus.
As we pray through each of the decades – Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious – we call to mind how Jesus came to bring salvation for the world. Reflecting on the birth, life, death, and resurrection helps us tune in to the gift we have received and how to better live our own lives in the hopes of Eternity with Him.
The Journey Begins and Falters
Although I now find myself hungering for the daily Rosary, my journey toward praying the Rosary on a daily basis began with the Holy Spirit gently nudging me. Confidently, I began my road to this goal. Yet, I confess that I initially faltered and gave up. At first, praying the Rosary every day seems like a huge commitment to an uninitiated devotee. Sure, there are times when inspiration hits, and the prayers and resulting meditational state are a breeze. Other times, however, the task feels mundane. There is nothing quite as humiliating as failing at a self-initiated spiritual task.
Failure Brings Success
Yet, a while after my failed attempt, I found myself wanting more. If I could work in five decades during the day – maybe I was now ready for the complete Rosary. So I made another attempt. The pressure was still unnerving but the Holy Spirit persisted. Just as our loving God forgives us time and again, we are able to learn from our failures. Failure often brings a subsequent success.
“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”
– C. S. Lewis
Let’s Do This!
A few years ago I came across Father Richard Heilman’s Special Forces Prayer Warriors and Training on Facebook. The structured effort set forth in Father’s daily posts appealed to me and I joined his Special Forces Facebook group. Maybe this initiative will prove as helpful to you as it is to me. We have just begun a 54 Rosary Novena for Our Nation and could use all of the recruits we can muster.
Is your reading of this post a nudge by the Holy Spirit? God, does indeed, work in mysterious ways.