I was praying the rosary earlier tonight…the sorrowful mysteries and halfway through the forth sorrowful mystery cursing started as in a voice out of nowhere while I was trying to pray and meditate. This really upset me and I found it hard to finish my rosary after then. I tried to ignore it and what upset me was I find it hard to pray and meditate as it is without upsetting things like this. Has anyone else experienced this kind of distractions before? I know I should ignore them but sometimes they can be so upsetting I feel like stopping my rosary and starting it over again later.
Life is full of distractions. Internal as well as external. Our practice is to find peace, serenity, etc… even during the distractions, problems, troubles. I’m not saying this is easy just that distractions happen and we need to be able to deal with them in a healthy manner.
That may mean putting the prayer or meditation time aside and going for a walk. Or maybe praying or meditating while walking.
May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be well. May you be peaceful and at ease. May you be happy.
In my life, especially when I was in my late teens/early 20s, I battled scrupulosity and intrusive thoughts. By the time I reached my 40s, thanks to Scrupulous Anonymous, my fear of sinning was not so excessive. But I still had mentally tormenting thoughts - and there are situations I avoid that I know are triggering. The phenomenon I experience is known as “Pure-O” OCD. Since we mustn’t give medical advice here, I can only suggest you Google it and see if anything rings a bell. The good news is that I have had mine improve somewhat by just mentally “rolling my eyes” at the stupid unwanted thoughts. :rolleyes: Our brains do dumb things sometimes and we aren’t morally responsible for temptations. May God give you peace.
During the years I’ve been reciting the Rosary daily, there have been some rather unusual distractions which showed up along the way. They never seemed to endure for too long and I always tried to not let any of that stop me praying the Rosary daily.
The Rosary , sometimes referred to as “the Gospel on its knees,” is a very powerful prayer : It is the prayer preferred/recommended by our Blessed Mother to those of us who wish to live our devotion to Her. It is a prayer we pray with Her. The Holy Rosary is powerful both against sin and against the Devil too. Given the aforementioned ,and the testimony of so many saints that the Rosary is a Powerful Weapon , I think we almost have to expect distractions to occur from time to time while praying the Rosary.
Though not ideally conducive to contemplative prayer, distractions can actually give greater merit to our prayers because we have to apply a greater effort to complete them.
St. Louis de Montfort anticipated (thus in all likelihood personally experienced) the occurrence of distractions while praying the Rosary. In his book, The Secret of the Rosary , St. Louis provides us with an introductory prayer in which we renounce any distractions which may come to us while we are praying the Rosary :
I unite with all the saints in heaven, with all the just on earth, and with all the faithful here present. I unite with you, my Jesus, in order to praise your holy Mother worthily and to praise you in her and through her. I renounce all distractions which may arise during this Rosary. I desire to say it with attention and devotion as if it were the last of my life.
In this way, we confide any distractions to our Blessed Mother beforehand. Also, when we “renounce” those distractions , it is a profession of allegiance to our Blessed Lord through our Blessed Mother.
In the actual heat of the battle - when we find a distraction intruding on our recitation of the Rosary , it can help to remember several things:
- God looks upon the heart ( 1 Samuel 16:7).
May we say then, that this sentiment -
. . . expresses from the heart, the desire to give God the best we actually can of our prayers ? That, is an intention which would be pleasing to God.
- While praying our Rosary, in those moments where the distraction carries more of a disruptive element to it , I try to pause a moment , give a little extra squeeze to whichever bead I am on, and to picture myself holding our Blessed Mother’s hand (and giving her hand a little extra squeeze).
Saint Padre Pio once said that if he had to restart the Rosary every time he got distracted he would never finish a Rosary in his lifetime.
In other words you don’t need to start again.
Yes, and I am told its very common. I can be in a public rosary with my turn to pray, and go completely blank on the prayer, or become sad in the sorrowful mysteries. Its a confronting set of mysteries.
I have a rosary on ipod now, and follow it for my turn in public. The sadness , harder to work through. In private, for unwanted thoughts, i will stop, and repeat the words of Jesus ’ get behind me, satan’, or pray St Michael prayer.
Its ok to change prayers, and restart once we have the distraction conquered. Its a strange thing but the Rosary seems like a great battleground for distraction and conquering it for many people I speak too. I see people who have been praying the Rosary for a long time, as being in another higher level or stage of prayer.
Hmm, that’s nothing compared to the thoughts that sometimes come to my mind during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. If I refrained from receiving during these Masses I’d miss Communion way too often. If I couldn’t count these Masses towards my Sunday obligation I’d really be up the creek!
Distractions in and of themselves are not sinful. The Lord looks with great favor on those who redouble their efforts to pray despite distractions of all kinds. The effort it takes to overcome distractions shows the depth of your love and devotion.
Be at peace.