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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Our Lady of the Rosary
Tips on praying with Mary during the month of the Rosary.

our lady of the rosary

In honor of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary today, Oct. 7, we are reprinting an earlier article from 2009.   Also, please read the new blog article on Regnum Christi Live about praying along with our Blessed Mother.

Turn to the Rosary

Looking for a way to bless and unite your family? Turn to the Rosary.

October 19, 2009. During this month of October, which is traditionally dedicated to the Rosary, people all over the world turn to the Rosary as a sure way to bring blessings down upon their lives and their loved ones. Saints, popes, and seers have long declared that the Rosary is a powerful weapon against evil and a privileged vehicle of grace. And, as the famous saying goes, families that pray together, stay together.

In the next few articles in this brief series, entitled Return to the Rosary, we would like to offer you some practical resources to help you and your family pray the Rosary. Each of the 4 articles in the series will present one set of mysteries (joyful, luminous, sorrowful, and glorious) with accompanying Gospel passages, Catechism references, and a brief meditation on each mystery.

In the text below, we also offer some reflections from Pope Benedict on praying the Rosary, and some practical tips on how to pray the Rosary on your own and as a family.

What Pope Benedict XVI says about praying the Rosary

Pope Benedict XVI said in a May 3, 2008 address at St Mary Major Basilica: “The Holy Rosary is not a pious practice banished to the past, like prayers of other times thought of with nostalgia. Instead, the Rosary is experiencing a new Springtime.”

He goes on to say that the Rosary is a crucial means to help us focus on Jesus and Mary in a fast-paced world full of distractions:

“Without a doubt, this is one of the most eloquent
rosario en mano
signs of love that the young generation nourish for Jesus and his Mother, Mary. In the current world, so dispersive, this prayer helps to put Christ at the centre, as the Virgin did, who meditated within all that was said about her Son, and also what he did and said.”

And he explains how to pray the Rosary as a meditation on the life of Jesus as seen through Mary’s eyes:

“When reciting the Rosary, the important and meaningful moments of salvation history are relived. The various steps of Christ´s mission are traced. With Mary the heart is oriented toward the mystery of Jesus. Christ is put at the centre of our life, of our time, of our city, through the contemplation and meditation of his holy mysteries of joy, light, sorrow and glory.”

“The Rosary, when it is prayed in an authentic way, not mechanical and superficial but profoundly, it brings, in fact, peace and reconciliation. It contains within itself the healing power of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, invoked with faith and love at the centre of each ‘Hail Mary.’”

“May Mary help us to welcome within ourselves the grace emanating from these mysteries, so that through us we can "water" society, beginning with our daily relationships, and purifying them from so many negative forces, thus opening them to the newness of God.”

Some practical tips for praying the Rosary on your own and in the family

On your own:

  1. The Rosary is a prayer with two main elements: the words of the prayers, and your meditation on the mysteries. Focus on meditating on the mystery, and let the recitation of the prayers become like background music.
  2. If you find it difficult to maintain your attention on the mysteries for long periods of time, take it slow. Start with just one decade and try to maintain a gentle, loving gaze on Jesus or Mary in that mystery. Add more mysteries when you are ready.
  3. If it helps you to use an image, Circle Press sells a Rosary booklet for $5 with pictures and Gospel passages for each mystery.
  4. If you focus better when you are praying for a specific intention, you can set a prayer intention for each decade.
  5. Distractions in prayer usually show what our heart is most concerned about. But even distractions can become material for prayer. If something is worrying you, bring it to Jesus and Mary in your Rosary and offer it to them. You can even choose to pray on mysteries that are related to your specific concerns (ie, if you are thinking about your marriage, you can pray the mystery of the wedding at Cana).
  6. If you have trouble remembering to pray your Rosary, it may help to integrate it with some of your daily, habitual activities. Some people like to pray their Rosary while taking their morning or evening walk. Others pray it in bed before they fall asleep. Others pray while sitting on the metro or the bus on their way to work. Usually, there are pockets of quiet time during the day when you can fit in at least a decade. (It only takes 3 weeks to make a habit.)

As a family:

  1. Make the Rosary a positive and enjoyable family time, not a punishment or a moment for scolding. Children will long associate the Rosary with the experience of praying it as a child.
  2. Choose a special place or a special occasion to introduce the practice of praying the family Rosary.
  3. Also choose a time that works for everyone (ie, not when your children are yearning to go outside and play with their friends). Some families pray the Rosary together as a form of family night prayers.
  4. Give each child an active role in the Rosary. They can take turns choosing the general intention, leading a decade, and even making a brief, spontaneous prayer or reflection before or after their decade.
  5. Adjust your expectations to their age level. If the children are very small, do not oblige them to sit for the entire Rosary. Some parents suggest that children from ages 2 – 5 can participate for one or two decades and then go play. Children ages 6 – 8 can join in for three or four decades. And children age 10 and up can participate in all five decades.
  6. Be flexible and reasonable – if the Rosary is imposed on the children by force (especially adolescents), they will come to resent it. It should be encouraged, but not required if they have other obligations at Rosary time.
  7. Talk to other families that pray the Rosary together and ask what has worked for them. Every family is different; not every tip will work for every family, but it always helps to learn from the experience of others.

Note: for step-by-step instructions on how to pray the Rosary, click here.

“Click the following links for mini-meditations on the rosary’s Sorrowful Mysteries, Luminous Mysteries, and Joyful Mysteries.” 



Related links web site
Mission Network
Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center and the Center for Family Development
Changing Hearts
Cancun-Chetumal Prelature
Helping Hands Medical Missions

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