rosary piece with Celtic cross

Helps in Praying the Rosary

by an unknown author

Undoubtedly everyone who prays the rosary has to put up with distractions.

There are times when it is difficult to concentrate and after praying the thought may occur: Was this miserable prayer worth anything at all?

Here are some practical and consoling things that one person has learned from long experience in praying the rosary.

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First of all, it is important to me that I am holding a thing in my hands which is a visible tie to the Blessed Mother. Furthermore, I consider it a blessing to know that the recitation of the rosary takes a certain amount of time.

When we set out to pray it, we can allow a specific amount of time to place at our disposal for spiritual matters.

I pray the rosary four different ways:

1) When I am well disposed, I really manage to concentrate on the individual mysteries. Repetition, which always brings with it the danger of becoming mechanical, then shows its positive aspect. Our emotions may fast when our spirit wants to pray with the intellect.

2) When, on the contrary, I am badly disposed, this kind of concentration does not work for me at all. Then it is as if I were winding up thread on a reel, and I notice all too clearly that I can hardly wait for the tenth bead in each decade to come up.

In this case I recall what my teacher, St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, advised and I pray calmly, submissive to the weakness of my flesh, convinced that the Blessed Mother will be able to do something with this poor prayer.

(In her message to priests, Our Lady says so comfortingly: “The rosary is so valuable because at the moment you begin to pray, I pray along.”)

3) There are times when right from the outset I do not have the intention to pay such close attention to the individual mysteries. Again and again the rosary becomes for me a kind of raft or ship that I load with petitions.

Then each mystery, all ten beads of it, is permeated with my prayer intentions. There may be personal petitions or prayers for others and also prayers for the intentions of the whole Church.

4) It has been my experience that there is a fourth way of praying the rosary, and it is my personal opinion that this is the most important of all. It is to place myself so close to Mary that all that matters is that we love each other.

Here, more so than in the previous methods, I am not concerned with what I want for myself or for others. I am concerned only about her. She wants our love, the gift of our words, our tenderness.

Furthermore, she wants a deep reparation born of love in union with her, a union which is rooted in Jesus.

Pope St. Pius X said: “The greatest treasure in the Vatican is the rosary. And Pope St. John Paul II said: “The rosary is my favorite prayer.”

Many millions of Christians pray the rosary daily. May there be an increased love of the rosary everywhere!

Excerpted and adapted from a clipping I saved many years ago from Fatima Findings, a magazine long out of existence (editor)