Thursday, March 12, 2009

Praying the Rosary

One of the things I've always struggled with is praying the rosary and even Marian devotion in general. I don't have a problem with Mary, but I feel spiritually empty when I pray for her intercession. As for the rosary, I just can't seem to focus on the Mysteries like I know I should. Right now I'm using Father Peyton's Rosary Prayer Book but it doesn't seem to help. The book that benefited me the most was a little prayer book that had a Scriptural verse for every bead; so I would read the verse then say a Hail Mary. However, I can't remember the name of the book and I left it at my house over Christmas break.
So how do you pray the rosary? What works for you? Is there a particular book that helps direct your thoughts to the Mysteries, or maybe a special prayer that helps prepare you? I'm sure I could find books out there (I probably even have a couple) that 'tell' you how to pray the rosary, but I'd rather get your input and see what actually works for you. I remember reading Fr. Michael Scanlan's book Let the Fire Fall and in it he describes a time when he was praying the rosary and he was so absorbed in the Mysteries that he absolutely knew that were he to look up (he was kneeling at the time) he would actually have seen Mary. Whenever I pray the rosary that image comes to my mind. I want to be that absorbed in the Mysteries.


Jacquie Toft Hughes said...

I remember I used to think "how can I meditate on the same mysteries over and over?" I quickly ran out of things to think about! Then I began to think more deeply about how each mystery contained something that applied to my life (selfish, I know!), like a virtue I wanted to cultivate. The joyful mysteries are 'easiest' for me- Annunciation: to be open to God's will, Visitation: selflessness, Mary, pregnant with the Son of God, dropped everything to go and wait on her cousin Elizabeth, etc. The book The Prayer of Mary is really inspiring.

Rose said...

Hmm, well, I don't know how to help you with meditations, because that is something I struggle with as well. I confess my mind wanders far too much when I pray the Rosary, unless I really focus on, well, focusing. I think meditation is something that a lot of people struggle with.

As far as just asking Mary for her intercession though, that's something I'm becoming more and more attached too. Recently I have been looking more to her as my mother and wanting to become closer to her. A book that helped to inspire me to become closer to Mary is "Our Lady of Kibeho" by Immaculee Ilibagiza, I highly recommend it, as well as Immaculee's other books "Left to Tell" and "Led by Faith".

God Bless!

Marcus Toft said...

I will definitely check out those books; I think before I can really 'get into' the Rosary, I have to begin to understand Mary more and deepen my relationship with her. Hopefully those books will aid me. And Jacquie, if that's what helps you pray the Rosary then you should check out Father Peyton's Rosary Prayer Book. Thanks for the insights!

Anonymous said...

The book you are talking about helping you is Rosary Companion by Michael Scanlon, TOR. It is published by Franciscan University Press. I'll put it in the mail to you. Love you, Mom

Elizabeth said...

My husband downloaded images of the mysteries (one for each Hail Mary) from the internet. He put each set of mysteries on a different DVD, to aid our little ones while we pray our family rosary each night. It helps a great deal and there are SO MANY different images...from icons to could make several for each set of mysteries and rotate is also a great art history / church history lesson!
Pax Christi.

Marcus Toft said...

What a great idea for your family! I think having images that correspond to the mysteries would be very helpful. Thanks for the idea!