Reluctant to Regular Rosary Prayer

So… the Rosary is a remarkable prayer tool and devotion and I know many people who credit the Rosary for answered prayer and family blessings. Countless pope, saints and priests have encouraged us to say the Rosary, citing the Graces. Our Lady herself promises that her Immaculate Heart will indeed triumph, especially with increased dedication to this daily devotion. For years, I’ve heard the beautiful graces attached to daily recitation of the Rosary, especially said as a family.

I’ve been reluctant for a couple of reasons…but I have decided that none of these reasons really warrant exemption for me.

Like a lot of people I suspect, I was frustrated by how easily distracted I am in prayer…especially through the repetition of the prayers of the Rosary. Even with the focus of the 20 Mysteries of the Rosary (one for each decade of prayers), my mind wanders and I’m constantly trying to reign my thoughts back in. As in a lot of initiatives in the spiritual life, I’m realizing that the apparent success or leaps in holiness I was hoping for… are really just feeding pride. Our intentions and perseverance, even within distracted prayer… are what open the faucets of Grace. Progress in holiness is not the result of our performance or our accomplishments: progress in the spiritual life is catapulted by God’s Grace and how we choose to accept It as beloved sons and daughters of God.

It’s a little unfortunate that I associate the family Rosary with our family car trips as a kid. Sometimes my parents would crack out the Rosaries when my brother and I were fighting in the backseat. I’ve been fighting a bit of a sinking feeling at the suggestion of saying the Rosary, because it once felt a little like a tool to stop bickering or to sideline a conversation, but that’s starting to change…

After years of exempting myself, I have recently committed to saying the Rosary everyday. Because it’s kind of the way I roll, I have come up with 5 practical tips that have been helping me to make this into a new and lasting habit. I’m well past the habit-making three weeks and I haven’t missed a day.

5 Practical Tips for the Reluctant Rosary Prayer

  1. I think I was a little reluctant to make the commitment to daily Rosary because I thought I would likely just forget one day and then my resolve would be gone and I’d give it up. One day at Mass, reflecting on the homily about the messages of Fatima, I received a little message of encouragement in my heart. If our Blessed Mother herself really wants me to say the Rosary everyday, won’t she prompt me to pray it? I asked her to remind me to pray my 5 decades each day…and she hasn’t missed one yet! The whole Prompt-Me-to-Pray prayer works!
  2. It’s ok to spread out the 5 decades throughout the day. In fact, focusing on just one decade at a time
  • helps us to keep the focus
  • easily fits in with short tasks or chores or times of waiting
  • helps us to practice the Presence of God by weaving prayers into our activities throughout the day

3. The classic string of beads Rosary or other Rosary rings or bracelets or even these Rosary craft kits are all very helpful to keep track of prayers.  It’s good to get kids familiar with using these tools right from the beginning. We do however have 10 fingers, so not having a Rosary isn’t exactly an excuse for not saying one. There are plenty of tasks and times of day where I may be doing some kind of small task, but I definitely can be praying the Rosary while I do it. I do still get a little distracted and find that I’m not saying the perfect number of Hail Marys, questioning myself about which prayer (or decade!) I’m on. If my hands are actually busy doing something else, I’ve been known to use 10 little counters nearby, 10 little checks or doodles in my journal or I’ll end up saying 11 or 14 Hail Mary decades.

If I only have one hand free. I’ll make a fist for the Our Father, extend my fingers one at a time for the first 5 Hail Marys and then close one finger back into a fist for the last 5 Hail Marys.

4. If you are without a Rosary and can’t easily use counters or even your fingers because you’re just that busy, it can be helpful to announce the number of the Hail Mary at the start of the prayer. Announcing the Mystery of that particular decade at the start of each prayer also helps to maintain focus on the Mystery.

5. There are also plenty of Audio Rosaries to listen to …or Catholic apps to keep track of the prayers so that you can focus on the actual prayer and reflection and leave the accounting to someone else.

There are also books with beautiful prayers and scripture to encourage meditation on the Mysteries of the Rosary. My husband can still recite the Mystery summary and prayers from the Rosary Novena to Our Lady that his family recited every day with all 5 kids (plus visiting friends) kneeling around his parents.

Because I’ve also been on a bit of a mission to get better at praying out loud and spontaneous prayer, I’ve been announcing the Mystery of the Rosary (to myself) and adding my own spontaneous prayer summarizing the event of the Mystery and praying into it, looking for what virtues I need to learn from the Mystery and where in my life I need to apply them. If I’m a little shorter on time, I’ll pray “Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner” or “Jesus, I trust in You” before I proceed to the Our Father and the Hail Marys.

Now, to pray the Rosary as a family more regularly…do you have any practical tips that work for YOUR family?

We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Journal Stamps and Craft Kits that will help make the Daily Rosary a here-to-stay Habit!

If you’re a list checker…and you are incented at all by checking off things on your to do list, Prayer Journal Stamps might be a help to you, especially while you establish the daily Rosary as a here-to-stay habit. We’ve just made a NEW Rosary Stamp and you’ll find it in the Prayer Impressions Journal Stamp Shoppe at Arma Dei.

Check out our Rosary Craft Kits at the Arma Dei Shoppe! Great for saying the Rosary with kids!

Available as PDFs with permission to copy!

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