After I officially was confirmed Catholic, I started to drift away from the Liturgy of the Hours as my daily go-to prayers. I still did them but not with the consistency and frequency that I was last year. Instead, I started to feel called to pray the Rosary.
It’s funny, my relationship with the Rosary has not been a simple one. When I first started looking into it, I was totally and utterly confused about how to pray it. I didn’t understand that you meditated on different “mysteries” (or themes, for Catholic newbies ;-)) based on the day of the week and the “decade” (or set of 1o rosary beads) you were praying. I finally came across a simple tri-fold brochure at church that simplified it for me and I would pray it every so often.
When I first prayed the Rosary, I had a hard time. I would think to myself, “Ok, how many more beads? Am I almost done?” It really created a sense of anxiety within me!
I’ve been reading a fair amount about Mary of late, especially with it being the Marian month of May, and I felt called to try to pray the Rosary daily (note “try” being the key word). It never failed that I would wait to pray it until late in the day, but something would happen unexpectedly (as it so often does with kids around) and then I’d be too tired and I wouldn’t get to it. So I decided instead to try to pray it at lunchtime before my day could go too far astray and when the kids were at school. That has worked brilliantly!
I now sit down about 11:30 and pray my Rosary. At first, I used my brochure, but then I discovered that my favorite free smartphone app, Laudate, has the Rosary mysteries for each day included. I can also look up the Apostles Creed in Prayers on the app, which I don’t quite have memorized yet. I also like the reflections on the mysteries/meditations that the Laudate app includes.
This has become such a wonderful habit! At the end of the day when I stop and think what I am most grateful for, it’s often for the opportunity to have that silent 20-30 minutes of peace and reflection praying the Rosary. I’ve become a real pro and it no longer creates anxiety, but rather comfort and calm in the midst of a chaotic day. If you’re feeling that anxiety, I’d advise being persistent and pushing through it. The more often you pray it, the easier it becomes.
I also love the idea that I can dedicate the Rosary to different people and causes who need prayers. It helps me feel like I’m doing something concrete to help both myself and others.
It’s funny though how much distraction is often put in my way when I sit down to pray. Is this noise that the devil is creating? I am so often interrupted — by dogs, cats, my husband, heck, a coyote ran through my yard yesterday when I was trying to pray it outside, no kidding! But that’s OK. If I need to stop, I do, and then just come back to it later. I am determined not to let distractions take me away from my Rosary!
I then follow the Rosary with either the Angelus, traditionally prayed at Noon, or through the Easter season, the Queen of Heaven prayer. Both are quick and a nice way to stop your day and put your priorities in place. Then I may pray the daily prayer of a novena set of prayers I am participating in from PrayMoreNovenas.com or a set I have picked out on my own.
Have you made time for a daily Rosary in your life? How has it changed your life? I am only about a month in, but I look forward to the graces and changes it brings to me and others.
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