How is it possible to say “hail mary” while trying to meditate on a mystery?? How can you do two things at once? I can’t really do it. Most I can do is say the words and think about the “hail mary” a little…then maybe quickly have some picture in my mind of the mystery…but not really. Am I missing something here? How does a person “pray the rosary”?
Mary helps us to remember her Son’s mysteries.
I find that practice helps. When I first started praying the Rosary, I had a lot of difficulty thinking about the mystery while saying the Hail Mary’s. So just keep at it. It should become easier in time.
I also prefer praying the Rosary on my own, rather than with a group. With the group, I’m always concerned about keeping in time with the others and find it difficult to meditate.
On my own, I try to synchronise the Hail Mary with my breath and put it on automatic, so to speak, thus freeing my mind to meditate.
Other things I’ve used are pictures of each mystery, deeply regarding each image and thinking about it while praying, or reading a meditation or scripture extract on each mystery before praying the Hail Mary’s. I find these facilitate my meditations.
Even so, distractions send my mind wandering at times and I have to keep bringing it back to the mystery. Offer up each of these distractions and pray for the people or situations that distracted you and ask our Lord and Mary to help you stay focused.
Praying for you
I found that by saying a prayer I got lost in the plot.
However when I changed into speaking to Jesus Mary or the saints then all became clear. i realised that it is a relationship built around speaking to the person you love that allows you to want to pray or speak to that person ( Mary in this case).
There are a couple of things you can try:
When you are praying a “Hail Mary,” look at a picture of the mystery.
Here is a version of a scriptural rosary where a verse in inserted before each prayer.
Take a second to “chew it over,” or picture it in your mind, and move on the next one.
Somewhere online, I found a version of a scriptural rosary where a line is inserted after the mid-point in each prayer. Does anyone have a link?
I would also recommend the use of large, colorful pictures of each Mystery… to help you concentrate. I had tremendous difficulty, with concentration… when I first started praying the Rosary. I took all the help I could, from EWTN (praying along with Mother Angelica and the Nuns).
And I also invested in a set of large, full color prints of each Mystery. You can get them at “Leaflet Missal Company” (link to follow). These have been greatly helpful to me. I have also typed out… and included short Scripture passages… appropriate to each Mystery, and I read them… while praying the “Hail Mary” in my mind. Really helps me to focus on the Mystery, being prayed.
I hope these will help you. God bless.
May I suggest these .PDF files:
what I do, usually, is when I pray the Hail Mary’s it’s like i’m talking to Mary about the Mystery, while meditating on it. Does that make sense? I pray the Hail Mary *in context *of the Mystery.
I also use this booklet: (click on the Mysteries at the top of the page)
it gives a meditation for each Hail Mary.
This book also helped me:
Try the CAF Rosary group.
Oh thank you this is very helpful! I have been learning on how to pray the rosary and as the OP I have a hard time trying to do both but this will be very helpful Thank you!
How do I Pray the Rosary?
With love, devotion, and honor that is how I Pray the Rosary.
You must meditate on the rosary in order to grow closer to god and his blessed Mother. You will be grown stronger to Mary and Jesus and in love
One other thing.
Some people never get the hang of it. One of my very best Catholic friends was unable to pray the Rosary, that is, he was unable to think about one thing and say something else at the same time. He found it extremely frustrating to try and never found it to be a fruitful prayer experience. If you can master it, Our Lady is a powerful advocate.
The wonderful thing is that the Church is full of ways to pray. Not all methods are suited to all personalities. My MIL is not fond of the Rosary but prays the Morning and Evening Prayers from the Liturgy of the Hours…
I’ve been praying the Rosary for years (and every day for the last year or so) and I still have the exact same problem as you. What I’ve found helpful is two things.
1.) Using St. Louis de Monfort’s method of weaving the mysteries into the Hail Marys. For example, when the mystery is that of the Resurrection, “Hail Mary… and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, resurrected. Holy Mary mother of God…”
2.) Offering each decade up to the Lord in honor of the associated mysteries. For example, “I offer to you, Lord, this decade, in honor of Your Glorious Resurrection. Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary I pray…Our Father, etc…”
When I think of Marian prayer, I think of Our Lady as portrayed in Luke’s gospel, chapter 2:
As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart 2:19
His mother stored up all these things in heart 2:52
Take a moment to remember the Mystery,** to treasure** it, and store it your heart, just like Mary. If that was was good enough for her, it’ should be good enough for us.
I’ve been using a variation on the method from St Louis de Montfort mentioned in the post above, which has been very helpful. I try to insert a clause after “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus” that’s connected to the mystery I’m praying. If I’m meditating on Jesus being crowned with thorns, for example, I’ll say “blessed is the fruit of the womb Jesus, who was humiliated for our sake”, or something like that. Then I take a moment to silently meditate on that thought before finishing the Hail Mary. I’ve found this to be a good way to start actually praying the rosary, rather than just reciting the prayers as I used to do.
Even if someone does “just recite the prayers”, as long as they’re said with sincerity, from the heart, there isn’t a problem. St Louis de Monfort said that one Hail Mary said with from the heart can be worth as much as an entire Rosary. So 50 said with sincerity, even without the meditations, are indeed still worth something.
I think meditation is great, but within the context of the Rosary, I think there is a percentage of Catholics that have become almost fetishistic about it (meditating). When the apostles asked the Lord to teach them how to pray, He gave them a short, simple prayer from the heart, the Our Father. He didn’t then add, “And make sure you have scriptural cross-references in hand, artistic depictions close-by, and then proceed with dissecting the meaning in a most scholarly fashion.”
Although if that’s what helps someone feel closer to God, then so be it.
This is similar to a thread a few weeks back you might check. Basically I can’t do two things at once, either. I state the mystery or do the reading then say the decade. Sometimes I state all the mysteries at the beginning so as not to breaak the flow. The use of pictures is a good ideas as one poster stated it. I usually find the Divine Mercy Chaplet easier to incorporate into a prayer rhythm, and you might find it an easier place for you to start before concentrating on the rosary.
Here is a link to a post I did on praying the rosary without distraction.