lately, I seem to be praying the rosary routinely. I also tend to get easily distracted nowadays. It gradually became a chore to pray it. Does this mean I am not praying the rosary properly?
Not in the least!
As Hilaire Belloc says, the Faith is not a mood. True adherence to the Faith means that we continue to trudge along the road even though we have no emotion to compel us.
It’s been suggested by several saints that prayers said with distraction, providing that we struggle against those distractions, have more merit than those flooded with spiritual consolations.
I’ve had to go through this with the rosary lately, and a bit more frighteningly the Eucharist. Last week at Mass I realized that I had absolutely no feeling that Christ was truly present. I was rather scared, and unsure of whether I should receive. I thank God every day for Mr. Belloc, whose words have stuck with me through a spiritually tough summer. I don’t feel that Christ is present in the Eucharist… I know it to be true. Whether my emotions are perfectly united with my reason or not, I believe… even if there are no feelings there.
And it was the same thing for me with the rosary. It’s become a bit routine over the summer. It still feels routine. It’s hard for me to get down on my knees and pray it. It’s harder when I consider the joy that it used to bring to me.
But I know that if I do get down on my knees and pray it, if I fight against all distractions, if I get to the end, as wearying as it might be… I know that in some small way I’ve pleased God and the Blessed Virgin.
Really… the ‘proper’ way to pray the rosary is to pray it, whether it’s difficult or easy, whether it’s a joy or a chore, whether it’s a sublime experience or a very dry one.
God keep you!
I guess I couldn’t really say without more info, but I found that when that happens I’m not probing deeper into the mysteries. Try and put yourself into the scenes of the mysteries…how would you have acted/reacted in those situations?
For instance from Friday…would you have fallen asleep with the disciples, oblivious to what was going on? What does that imply spiritually?
Would you have steadfastly followed Him out of the Garden, or run off as the rest did leaving Him to take care of Himself?
Would you have been shouting CRUCIFY HIM! or would you have denied Him as Peter did, or just not have been there?
Would you have made a mockery of Him as the soldiers did?
Would you have even cared enough to try and defend Him and save His life as Pilate did? In the end washing your hands of the whole affair? Do you do that today concerning others? Or Christ Himself?
Would you have been at the foot of the cross with Mary and John - or hiding worried about you?
How do these things apply to you today? Do you make a mockery of Him through your actions? Do you deny Him in your everyday life? Do you sleep and worry about yourself while He is in heaven looking after you pleading with you to see Him, Pray with Him, keep watch for/with Him? What does that say?
Are you carrying your cross, or helping others carry theirs? Are you looking at our torn and battered Jesus asking Him to take on more and more suffering on your behalf, while ignoring your part in what He has already suffered?
How many of those stripes on His back are yours? How much of His blood spilled belongs to you? Meditate on the words of Paul “By His Stripes - We Are Healed”
What about reversing all of that - would you be willing to go through that for someone you didn’t know? Look at how much Love and determination Jesus showed NOT to lose even a single soul…not even that of those who were kicking, beating, spitting, whipping, mocking, and crucifying Him.
Would you be willing to go through any of that for someone?
What can you learn from all of that? How can you apply those things to living better and more for Christ today? What virtues did Christ show…how is that an example for us? We don’t even begin to scratch the surface of what Jesus went through, yet we constantly fall even without any outside help.
We have an advocate who was tempted beyond what we can even begin to comprehend, and a Mother who was there for all of it, determined that it will not be for nothing that He did so - willing to help us even through the most minor of trials and loving us even when we do act like those who put Jesus through the Passion.
How can we emulate what Jesus did? How can we conform more and more to His way of thinking? How can we begin to look at others through the eyes of Christ, with the mind of Christ, and see them all as people worthy of our suffering - and death even, in order to possibly save them from themselves?
What can I do, today, right now - to save ME from myself? What am I ignoring about ME? What does Jesus see in ME that He Loves me that much, and what does He see in ME that needs to go?
I try and probe the mysteries beyond just the surface, beyond just what they mean theologically or the Truth of it, to what it means personally. Past Present and Future.
Then too - look at it all through the eyes of Mary…what did she see? How did she feel? She is our advocate also, and She is a model for us as well - what can we learn from that?
Personally - I don’t think there is an end to what we can learn from the Mysteries.
Also - I don’t feel we have to always Pray the Rosary using the mysteries either. The Rosary is a tool, given to us by Our Blessed Virgin Mother - to help us to meditate on or about anything. Scripture, problems, Virtues, Gifts of the Spirit, Family, Love, Jesus, the Trinity, Prayers, Our Blessed Mother Herself. Virtually anything.
Hope this is of some help to you Meditations may also provide some fresh perspective.
Peace and Blessings
I recommend praying it slowly. That’s what I do. If you pray it slowly, line by line, meditating on each line, it takes a lot longer, and it blesses you much more fully, because you mean everything you pray.
I’d recommend you to get the book called “Secrets of the Rosary” by Saint Louis de Montfort.
I suggest that you change your setting. Everything can become a routine if we do it the same way in the same place every day.
There is a plus to this. We can meditate on what we’re praying, if we’re not actually listening to the Aves.
The minus is that it is often difficult to remain on task.
I often suggest to people that they walk and pray or pray when they drive alone. They should pray aloud so they can hear themselves. This helps keep one focussed.
You may want to pray after doing a short spritual reading. This way if you are not focussing on the Aves, your mind can be meditating on the reading that you did.
Remember, the rosary is a meditation. Find something to meditate on.
Wow! Frankly, I got more advice than I expected. I will be checking and trying them out. Thank you very much for all your help!
Consider getting “The Little Office Of The Blessed Virgin Mary”.
It’s a version of the Divine Office, I think. The Rosary was invented for lay people who couldn’t read, to substitute for the Divine Office, which priests say, I think: 3 sets of Mysteries X 50 Hail Mary’s substituting for 150 Psalms, which the early Church fathers said every day.
I have a modern reprint of a 1904 version of The Little Office which has the Office in Latin with the traditional Douay Rheims(?) english translation beside it, I think. Great stuff. You can start with the english and slip into the Latin if you’re up to it.
The value of the Rosary is that you can easily do it, without beads even, if you can remember the Mysteries, and craftily too, on your fingers, if praying in public [grin]
The value of the Office is that it’s got some grand-sounding psalms in it which really enrich your appreciation of your religion.
You could alternate them if you get bored.
Check out Bonaventure publications and the Baronius Press (I think, their server is down.)
I just remembered another alternative. You can alternate between the rosary and the chaplet of Divine Mercy.
nope it means you just keep praying
revive interest by giving yourself meat for meditation, best way is to re-read the scriptures for the mysteries of the day so they are fresh in your mind.
you can also change the time and way you pray
if you usually sit in a chair, try walking
if you usually do it in the evening, try doing it first thing in the morning, so you have all day to finish if you get interrupted
try Romano Guardini’s suggestion, common in Europe, of adding a brief invocation after the name of Jesus in each Hail Mary corresponding to the mystery
Annunciation . . . .Jesus, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
Nativity . . … Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem
Resurrection . . . Jesus, who rose from the dead
Great advice in this thread especially that of PraRFLEsEkHm. Mediation on the mysteries of the rosary make the rosary easier to say and a more powerful prayer in and of itself.
Thank ** you ** for having enough love for our Blessed Virgin Mother that you seek to glorify her even more fully. To encourage you on her way: Remember that the devils and demons fear her more than anyone on earth and she has power over them. In the bible, she crushes the head of Satan with her heel. Devotion to the rosary is a great sign of predestination.
And the rosary is so powerful because we have a lack of humility - an unconscious reliance on self - so the Lord sometimes allows us to ourselves and allows the evil spirits to take us by suprise and make us fall, to rob us of grace and merit we have taken years to acquire. However, if we devote ourselves completely to the Blessed Mother, Mary the powerful and faithful Virgin would have kept our spiritual treasures for us as if they were her own possessions and considered that trust an obligation of justice. When she holds us, we cannot fall to the same depths as we do without her loving intercession.
Finally, Sister Lucy of Fatima has said, “The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult is is, whether temporal or above all, spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world, or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations, that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary, we will save ourselves, we will sanctify ourselves, we will console Our Lord and obtain the ***salvation ***of many souls.”
Knowledge of the significance of the rosary and the history of the rosary and the benefits of the rosary: helping us to imitate Christ, destroy vice, decrease sin, grow in charity towards our neighbor, prevent getting conquered by misfortune, obtain graces, obtain special protection may help motivate you. I know of no two better books for knowledge than the Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis de Montfort and True Devotion to Mary by St Louis de Montfort. As St. Padre Pio says, “*The Rosary IS the weapon.” *
Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen