Lent: Sometimes the Rosary is All You Need
By now, many of us are fully immersed in Lent and all the plans we have made to live it to the fullest. Some hardy souls have kept up with all or most of their prayers, sacrifices, and charitable acts. Others have fallen a bit, but continue to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and regain the momentum they seek for the most spiritually nourishing Lent ever. There are also a few who procrastinated and did little in the way of planning. They probably feel guilty. It may even feel as though it is too late to begin now.
Take heart, each day is a new beginning and offers endless options to experience the fullness of Lent. Lent is not a race; it is not a competition at all. What we make of our Lenten experience is our own unique journey, trying to walk alongside or trailing Jesus. Each individual is in his own place – in life and in the journey toward Heaven. That Heaven is our goal, is the thing we most have in common. Our attempts at holiness are purely our own.
A Personal Journey for Lent
Where are you in your life’s journey? In your spiritual journey? The answers to these questions will tell you more about how to pick up your cross and follow Jesus than any comparison you can make to the journey of another.
We are often told in scripture that God loves the lost sheep and values the Prodigal Son.
“I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance.” Luke 15:7
Are we still among those who are lost, yet seek to find our way? Yes, all of us fit into that category in one sense or the other. To an outside observer, some are much further along in their life and in their practice of Lent. Yet, what God is asking of us is much more simple than we sometimes realize.
What Does God Ask of Me?
We are all broken in one way or another. Our loving Lord Jesus beckons us to ‘pick up our mat and follow Him’. In the many examples of His healing power, we see him offering forgiveness first – then physical healing. This should demonstrate what He holds most dear – our Eternal Salvation and return to Him. The exterior healing only comes as a visible sign to both the healed and the observers. It manifests tangible evidence of His ability to heal whatever is ailing us.
All Jesus is asking of us is to take the time to survey our spiritual wellness. As is the case in most lives, mine ebbs and flows with its own rhythm. At times, Lent finds me feeling ‘unwell’, spiritually. This sense of ailing is not always simple to define. I cannot quite put my finger on what exactly troubles me. With an internal checklist, I count down the possible reasons. Is there conflict with a loved one? Do I need to go to confession? Have I allowed some physical ill to color my spiritual wellness? How is my prayer life?
What Can We Do?
Many times when this malaise hits me, it is because I have let my prayer life and/or spiritual reading slide. In the busyness of life, I have failed to feed my soul – the very reason I was created. As is often the case, the simple act of reciting the Holy Rosary is all I need head back down the right path. Praying it daily sets me on a steady course of ‘wellness’. My life flows better; my heart feels lighter. Praying the Rosary offers a unique way to scripturally follow Jesus’ life – from His Incarnation, through his public life, His suffering and death on the cross for each of us, followed by the triumph of His Resurrection. In turn, it becomes easier to follow Him.
How does your prayer life affect you? What are your remedies for the feeling that your soul is ‘unwell’? Here are some suggestions I have found useful.
- Utilize the Mary app, which includes a spoken Rosary to follow and many more prayers and much information about Mary.
- A great brief talk about the importance of the Rosary can be found here: The Holy Rosary (Less than 9 minutes)
- If you pray the Rosary as a family, these (free) Rosary Prayer Sheets from Catholic Inspired will help kids focus.
“It is a proverb: A young man according to his way, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6