Blog Archives

Pray the Rosary for 33 Days — You Can Do It!

Catholic RosaryRecently, I’ve become involved with a project to encourage praying the rosary. As someone who just over the last few months began praying the rosary daily (well, almost!), this is near and dear to my heart and I can attest to its benefits.

Created by David Calvillo, the 33 Day Rosary campaign encourages all Catholics to pray the rosary daily for 33 days starting August 29 and then see what a difference it’s made in their lives. He has a compelling story of how the rosary changed his own life, which is captured wonderfully in this article by Patti Armstrong on The Integrated Catholic Life website. When praying the rosary on a retreat he says, “I was suddenly with Mary at the feet of Jesus, praying with everyone who had ever prayed the rosary. I was in union with the whole Body of Christ.”

As a Catholic newbie, one of the stumbling blocks of praying the rosary for me was figuring out how to do it! It seems simple to cradle Catholics, but let me tell you, when you Google how to pray the rosary and start reading all the prayers involved and then add in the mysteries, it was a “mystery” to me :). It finally took finding a simplified brochure at my parish that helped me understand it. Calvillo has overcome that one with an easy-to-understand How to Pray section of his website that takes you through each prayer on the drop down menu under How to Pray.

Another problem I ran into was struggling with the repetition of it all. That simply took JUST DOING IT and then I got over it. I think after 33 days you’ll have conquered that one.

Also, you may be saying “But I don’t HAVE TIME to pray the rosary every day.” WRONG! YOU DO! If you can’t set aside 20-30 minutes of quiet time, then pray it while driving (this requires some prayer memorization or tune into Catholic Radio, which plays it multiple times a day, or download a rosary podcast), folding laundry, walking the dog, taking a shower, etc. I know you can fit it in. And if you have to do 2 decades in the morning, 1 at lunch and 2 more at night, so be it. Mary doesn’t mind :).

I marvel at the change the rosary has brought to my own life and my newfound dedication to our Blessed Mother. She has brought me infinite graces and blessings already. In reading Calvillo’s story, it chronologically mirrors my own. The rosary led him to St. Louis de Montfort, which led him to Total Consecration. I plan to do the Total Consecration to Mary beginning September 4 and recently finished reading “True Devotion to Mary” by St. Louis de Montfort after starting to pray the rosary daily this spring. I am so excited! Take a look at the Total Consecration page on Calvillo’s website for more information. I am doing it through Gary Zimak who offers a resource for a free book to take you through the process. More info.

Why pray the rosary? Well, there are the 15 promises from Mary, which are pretty powerful, but let’s let the experts weigh in:

“It is through the blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus Christ came into the world, and it is also through her that he must reign in the world.” — St. Louis Marie de Montfort

“One of the principal benefits of the rosary is to provide the Christian with a short and easy way of nourishing his faith and of preserving it from ignorance … When faith is exercised … by meditating on the mysteries, … we recall to mind the wonderful work of our salvation.” — Pope Leo XIII

Now, go sign up for the 33 Day Rosary Challenge to make yourself accountable and put it on your daily to do list. Then come back to the Catholic Newbie blog at the end and share how it changed your life. And remember, Jesus came to us through Mary, so why should we not go to him through Her? Be blessed!

More Catholic Newbie blogs about praying the rosary

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Simple Ways to Become More Engaged in Catholicism

Matthew Kelly - CatholicismI am a big fan of Matthew Kelly, a Catholic author, best known for his inspiring “Rediscover Catholicism” book. After hearing someone mention it one day as I was just becoming interest in Catholicism, I sought it out at the library and it really “sold” me! He is around my age (30’s-40’s) and has a very down-to-earth way of making Catholicism relevant to today’s world, even some of the most ancient and seemingly out-of-date practices. You actually can get a free copy of Rediscover Catholicism at his website, which I highly encourage you to do!

I recently read his new book “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic” and attended one of his seminars in Indianapolis. One of the biggest messages I took from both are simple ways you can become more engaged in Catholicism. Why would you want to do that? Because you will feel better, in turn your family will feel better and ultimately, the world will be better! We have to start with what we each can do. As I quoted from the “YouCat” (Youth Catechism) in a previous post:

“God gives himself to each one of us individually, and he wants to transform us through communion with him. Once we are transformed, we are supposed to transform the world.”

Here are some recommendations from Matthew Kelly that you can slowly start to add into your life to become more engaged:

1) Pray daily – Kelly found that the most engaged Catholics all have a daily prayer routine. He provides a great 10-minute prayer ritual in his book (I made several copies and have them sitting around my house) that includes thanking God for what you’re most grateful for today, reflecting on when you were/weren’t your best self that today, considering any ways God may be talking to you today, praying for anyone you feel called to pray for and concluding with the Our Father.

2) Read the Gospel – He suggests spending 15 minutes a day reading one of the four Gospels for a year. He says keep reading them over and over for a year to help get to know Jesus. Then you can move on to other parts of The Bible.

3) Donate or volunteer – Make a conscious effort to increase the amount of time you give to volunteer work or to increase the amount you donate to your church or charities a little bit each year.

4) Pray the rosary – Try praying the rosary on a regular basis (I am working toward daily). Here’s a great blog post from a fellow blogger on the power of the rosary.

5) Go to confession monthly – No one wants to do this one, but already confession has become a favorite of mine! It’s truly a joy to be forgiven and be handed a clean slate. You’ll be amazed at how it effects your outlook on life and your ability to reel in sinful tendencies.

6) Make Mass more meaningful – Kelly suggests keeping a Mass journal and asking God before each Mass to show you one way you can be a more holy person. Pay attention during Mass to that one message that speaks to you (and it will!) and write it down. Review them periodically and see how well you’ve followed God’s guidance.

7) Read a Catholic book – Try to read 1-2 Catholic books a year. Start with Rediscover Catholicism! Kelly maintains if we all read just one more Catholic book a year what a difference that would make to the church and the world.

Kelly’s “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic” book aims to encourage Catholics to be more engaged so we can have a more powerful positive effect on the world. If we can just get a few more people engaged at each parish, that could have a huge impact on our country and the world toward goodness and peace.

Get started doing your part by adding one of these simple steps to your daily routine. Keep adding a new one every month or so and let me know how it impacts your life. I am working on this also and will share my progress! Come on, Catholics! Let’s engage the world!