About a week ago I started my first thread (“Rosary Helps?”). Since my life really is a mess I want to pray the Rosary. I read that you should pray it for an intention. But if I had to pick just one I really wouldn’t know where to start. Can I just present my whole messed up life to Mary (and the lives of my family, too!) and ask her for help in all areas?
Sure you can!
The rosary is one form of prayer. What you learn about prayer in general often applies to the prayer of the rosary. Two important things I learned long ago: (One) We don’t have to know exactly what we think the right outcome should be to pray for God to help us with something (e.g. my friend has left her abusive husband. Should I pray for her to get back with her husband, or for her to have a successful separation? Ans. Neither. Pray for God in His great mercy to show His love to these people, and let Him take care of the result). (Two) Some of the most amazing ways that God has intervened in my life have not been the result of specific prayers, because I did not even know about the situation in time to pray for it one way or another.
So, yes, you can offer up the rosary, and the Mass, and your short occasional prayers during the day, and your sufferings, all to Mary, and ask for her guidance, love and wisdom. Then, be open to what answer you get. I promise you will be in for some surprises. Enjoy.
Go for it, present them all! Also be sure to pray the Rosary as often as you can, every day if you can. At least do a few decades every day if possible. If you find your self with a solid couple of hours free, I highly highly recommend praying all 4 Chaplets.
I don’t think you have to specifically choose an intention - the Rosary is a method by which you can meditate upon the different “mysteries” - or events - surrounding the life of Christ. So whatever set of mysteries you decide to use - each set of mysteries have traditionally been set particular days (the Mysteries of Light, should you choose to pray them, are generally prayed on a Thursday for example) I think you should keep the mysteries in mind throughout your prayers. They are, after all, mysteries which are intimately bound up with our salvation.
If you do have a particular intention, it might be a good idea to meditate on the mysteries which seem most relevant. You mention presenting your “whole messed up life” to Mary - so in times of trouble, you might be more inclined to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries. You might be drawn to pray the Joyful Mysteries if you are in thanksgiving “mode”, etc.