I hate praying, especially the rosary. Help me!


#1

I have no problem praying before meals, morning prayer, and at bedtime. I can also read spiritual books all day. But I really struggle with setting aside truly meaningful contemplative prayer time. I strive to say a rosary daily. I also would like to work in the divine chaplet and divine office, which somehow is more fulfulling and easier than the rosary for me. Anyhow…here is my problem…

I hate praying the rosary. It is such a struggle. I get NOTHING out of it. The entire time, I have to stop, asking for mercy and for the Holy Spirit to help me, because my mind wanders. Even when I can focus on the mystery, I get no insight there. Really, I hate it. I know that sounds awful, but I am being brutally honest because I really want to do better. When I do manage to say it daily, I feel like it is such a hoax. Like I am just doing something entirely outward with no inner spiritual insight or graces attached, because of how dry and meaningless it is for me. :frowning: It is like folding laundry. I don’t know what to do. I switched to the DC, but I felt guilty because it is quicker, and less to think about, which is a lazy solution. So, I am back to trying to get this rosary recited daily.

I say it out of duty, and I have tremendous guilt over how I feel. I know that I should say it even if God does not bestow me with grace and wisdom from reciting it. I don’t expect that of Him, and I know that everyone experiences spiritual dryness. I just don’t want to dread this time in prayer. I don’t want to hate it. I love God so dearly, so how can I feel so awfully about the prayer the BVM desires us to recite? :frowning:

What am I supposed to do? How can I get over this? Thanks in advance.

I have been reading Merton, and started ‘when the well runs dry.’ I also sought some advice from my Priest. Please help me!


#2

Even though it may seem as though you aren’t getting anything praying and as you say especially with the rosary, you are getting something. The BVM is still giving you graces and knows it is hard for you and understands. Some questions you might want to ask yourself: Do you find it hard to “talk” with the Blessed Mother? why do you find it hard? Maybe for awhile don’t say rosaries, just ask her for her blessings and help. If you don’t already, start wearing the brown scapular. It is something she asks us to wear and could be a start to a better love for her. I have heard that many people who started wearing it experienced a growth in their love for her. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. Also, at the end of other prayer or spiritual reading, ask the BVM for her help to bring you closer to her, and leave it at that. Finally, remember you are not the only one with these feelings. Many of our great saints struggled with spiritual dryness and yet they became saints. Read some of their stories, they may help you.

Want a cat? I don’t know how many times I have had to edit this post because of her kitty typing!!! :smiley:

:manvspc:


#3

The prayers involved in th rosary are meditations. When Catholics recite the twelve prayers that are the rosary, they meditate on the mystery associated with that decade. If they merely recite the prayers, whether vocally or silently, they’re missing the essence of the rosary. Which clearly you are. It isn’t just a recitation of prayers, but a meditation on the grace of God.

So, I am back to trying to get this rosary recited daily.

It is quite clear from your post that you see the rosary as simply something to get through.

Quality matters. When repetition is used, meditation is important so that our prayers do not become meaningless. Others may disagree with me but I say, then stop. Pray in ways that are meaniningful to you, find other ways to honor Our Lord’s Mother and in your prayers ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart to the rosary if that is what you desire, the rosary can indeed be a form of beautiful, meaningful meditation.

Read Expressions of Prayer in the Cathecism scborromeo.org/ccc/p4s1c3a1.htm


#4

The one who wants you to stop praying is Satan. He fills the heart with a hatred of prayer. Ask St. Michael to pray for you before you attempt to prayer, whether its petition, praise, meditation, or contemplation.


#5

How do you feel while praying just the Hail Mary or the Our Father without the full scale Rosary?


#6

If you would prefer to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet or the Divine Office, then why don’t you? There’s no rule that you have to pray the rosary.

One thing I would mention – and I noticed it because it’s something I fall into myself – is that spiritual reading is good, but it’s not the only thing you need. Reading about prayer isn’t praying. Having time set aside for prayer, for nurturing your relationship with God, is vital.

Have you ever tried lectio divina? Or Ignatian contemplation?

There are lots of different ways to pray. Find the way that’s going to do the most to deepen your relationship with God.


#7

Yeah, you might get more “value” out of a prayer you’ve made up yourself. The Rosary, for all its status, is just one type of prayer.
The seemingly-endless repetition of the Hail Mary will get you nowhere if your heart is not in it.
I believe that humility is the key–the recognition that we are utterly hopeless, and we throw ourselves on the mercy of God.
Devise a prayer based around the things you truly believe in and that you hold most dear. You’ll want to pray then.


#8

Quality matters. When repetition is used, meditation is important so that our prayers do not become meaningless.

This is how I normally think, and it is why I initially stopped making myself suffer through it. I felt that to pray it was disrespectful because it was just words. It is NOT supposed to be just words, so no, I would never try to fit it into my day by praying while my mind is elsewhere, like while driving, for example. I do think it needs real meditative concentration, so I have always tried to find time alone, away from the kids, in silence. A couple of years ago, I experienced true meditation with it, and it was amazing. But…then, that dried up, and here I am. ??? Initially, I felt that the disrespect of just saying the words meant I could stop. So, I did. Then, after some time not praying it, I thought that I should still recite it even though it is dry because I was afraid that I was allowing Satan to win in getting me to abandon the prayer. I feel so lost on this. I go back and forth…should I suffer on with hopes that things better? Should I stop so as to not develop bad dry-prayer habits? Are ALL Catholics supposed to pray the daily rosary? Can I just pray other stuff instead? Wait, is that a cop-out, and so on. :frowning:

I have no issues with the prayers within the rosary. None at all. I say them often, by myself, with my kids, etc. I also can pray the DC easily, and I also adore the Divine Office. It is just the full rosary that I loathe. Perhaps it is the inability to meditate as I should on the mysteries.

I have no issue in speaking with the BVM either. I started reading St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion.


#9

If you would prefer to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet or the Divine Office, then why don’t you? There’s no rule that you have to pray the rosary.

TBH, this is what my heart most desires to hear, but I just have this nagging feeling…Many times the BVM has come down to earth, and what has she asked us to do? Pray the rosary! So, how can I hate it? Shouldn’t I find a way? :frowning:


#10

God is asking you to pray the Chaplet or Divine Office. You are being confused by the devil. He is trying to make you think private revelation is mandatory, but it is not. If you should get any more doubts, ask for Heaven’s help and flee to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Do not be afraid of Jesus’ All-Powerful Love and Mercy!


#11

:thumbsup:
You are on your way to understanding the answers you seek in reading his book True Devotion to Mary.

It won’t be long until you delight in praying the Most Holy Rosary. God bless you!


#12

Has she? In all her apparitions? I’m pretty sure it’s not in all of them! In fact in Guadalupe her only request was to have a chapel built on the site, no?

Regardless, you seem pretty set on saying the Rosary. First of all, dear heart, bear in mind love is an action and not just a feeling. Think of it in the same way as washing clothes or making beds for others - you might not actually enjoy it while you’re doing it, but it is an act of love for them even so.

Your mind WILL wander at times and there WILL be times you feel you’re getting nothing out of it. Happens to every blessed one of us, it’s part of human nature. If I’m honest, occasionally I feel the same praying the Liturgy of the Hours or the Divine Mercy chaplet, so I’m kinda in the opposite situation to you.

Secondly - take your time. Say just one decade at a time, even leave it at one decade a day for the moment. There’s no need to say all the mysteries in one sitting or all in one day or anything.

Thirdly - what exactly are you currently doing in regards the meditations? Are you meditating before you say the Hail Marys or during? Are you using a ‘scriptural rosary’ (one which gives you a passage of scripture to think about for each Hail Mary) or some other sort of aid? Are you doing some thing else instead?

It may just be a matter of trying different techniques (and there are any number of different ones out there) - and even perhaps of varying your technique to suit your mood.


#13

I have a treat for you…and it is free!

Go to the EWTN website www.ewtn.com and go to the library tab. click on audio and type in rosary. There will be a few to choose from. Scroll down to the Scriptural Rosary. Lie down on a mat and shut your eyes once the rosary starts it’s recitation. Instead of doing a New Age yoga meditaion you can do a holy rosary meditaion. Inhale…exhale…if you fall asleep don’t fret. That probably means you became part of the prayer!
The only drawback is there are no Lumunous Mysteries.
If you want to spend some money here are some other ideas.
I bought myself a CD with the Scriptural mysteries. It is different from the one on EWTN but it is also excellent. It not only has the Luminous Mysteries but some beautiful Marian poems and songs. I use it when I go for a daily walk.
I checked another version of rosary CD out from the church library and used it for a month. I can’t remember the name of it but Johnette B. sells it. If you are interested I can look up the name of it.


#14

You probably shouldn’t “hate” the rosary. But it doesn’t need to be a major part of your prayer life unless you want it to be.

The most frequent ways I pray are the Liturgy of the Hours and lectio divina. They’re the ways that engage my heart. They’re not better or worse than other forms of prayer, they’re just the ways that are most meaningful to me. I sometimes try other things, but these are the main prayer forms that nourish me.

I think it’s important to pray regularly, preferably daily. But prayer is an opportunity to spend time with the One who loves you more than you can imagine. It should have an element of joy to it, not just be something you have to get through.

Perhaps you would find it helpful to meet with a spiritual director or your priest and explore this more.


#15

My dear friend

Satan hates the rosary. Also, prayer is a virtue you acquire with effort and persistence. To get in shape you must exercise a lot. To be a prayerful soul you must pray a lot even if it’s hard at first. It gets easier over time. Just keep going and do your best. Don’t worry about lack of feeling and difficulties either. All God and your Blessed Mother want is your love in the end. The greatest love is sacrificial love. So if you find it hard offer your sacrificial love and They will be exceedingly please with you and your prayer. It doesn’t matter if you don’t enjoy it. You will enjoy prayer more and more as you advance spiritually. So don’t worry.

God bless ou friend:thumbsup::slight_smile:
John


#16

Quit the popcorn:popcorn: Just say the thing. "Say the thing and you will have the power"
I mix it up at times and sing the Hail Mary at certain points and sometime say it in Latin. The thing it does for me is it just gets me off of myself, gives me something to physically focus on-that is the beauty of our faith-there are so many tools for us to use. Meditate of the great history of the Church, think about the inside of your favorite Church, think about the Vatican. Think about the Pope and what an amazing Pope he is with his intellect and his compassion.


#17

I vary my approach to meditating on the mysteries. At times, I ponder how Mary felt, other times I ponder how the mystery relates to me in my life right now, other times I think about how the Church and the Pope are related to the mysteries (eg what gifts the Holy Spirit has given Pope B16 as opposed to Pope John Paul 2), how the mysteries relate to those who suffer, and at other times I just keep an image of the mystery in my mind, and do forth.

There is no one right way to meditate.

I recall reading a Rosary guide which said gazing upon an image or picture of the mystery was quite sufficient.

I don’t pray the Rosary every day. However, I will pray it even if I cannot meditate on it. Why? Because I believe the repetition of the words inscribes the prayers more deeply into my heart and soul. I certainly wouldn’t consider the recitation of the prayers ‘vain’. The Holy Spirit knows how I am supposed to pray, and my Guardian Angel is probably praying with me, so I continue on, even if it is dry.


#18

I found the Rosary very dry until I found a pamphlet that had a virtue to pray for with each mystery. This changed everything for me. I found new and inspiring depth to my time with the Rosary. Each virtue came alive and each mystery made sense and with each virtue and I found new meaning and came to love the Rosary.

I have searched and searched the internet looking for a link to give you. I only found this one. Please take the time to go through the Rosary once and write down the virtue with each mystery and begin to pray them along with each mystery. It brought me so much meaning I know it will you as well.

I will pray that you will fall in love with the Rosary.

ixeh.net/faith/Treasure/Companion/order-usa/start-M.html


#19

You may want to try just doing ONE decade a day, using the Scriptural Rosary. In it you say a line of scripture before each Hail Mary, which helps you to focus on the mystery.

You can find it here -
holyspiritinteractive.net/features/theholyrosary/sr_thejoyfulmysteries.asp

And, if you like it you can do a search for the Scriptural Rosary Book and purchase it.

Peace,

Dorothy


#20

Great! The “True Devotion” is an amazing book.

First of all, you don’t have to pray the Rosary. You can feel free to pray other prayers instead. However, the Rosary is the best Catholic prayer. So while it’s all right to not pray it, I certainly respect your efforts to keep at it.

If you can enjoy the Hail Mary’s and Our Father’s and Glory Be’s, then it sounds like the real problem for you is the meditations. Because if you go really slowly through the decades, thinking about everything you pray, the words will really bless you and can create joy or peace or other uplifting feelings. For me, because I go so slowly, praying the Rosary usually takes one and a half to two hours. It is an extremely powerful experience every time, though.

One way of meditating is to picture in your mind’s eye all the events or people described in the meditation. That can help bring it to life for you. It also helps to try considering (perhaps praying for help in this) how this applies to your own life, what parallels there are between you and the villains or heroes of any particular story, or what it means we need to do. Or one can read online about the passages of the Rosary. Reading about them online so that one can know more about their various meanings can really help open one’s eyes to it.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.