October is the month of the Rosary. I was taught how to pray the Rosary in Catholic school, but it wasn’t until I was in college that I really learned the beauty of the prayer. I still don’t pray it every day, but I know I’m not the only one struggling with that. This list will help you if, like me, you want to pray the Rosary every day but aren’t exactly sure how.
1) Start with just a decade a day
If you have kids or are just learning how to pray the Rosary, start with just praying a decade a day. When I was teaching Catechism, I taught the kids to pray the Rosary by praying a decade at the end of class. Once you get comfortable meditating on one decade, you can move on to add more.
2) Use scripture as a companion
Mark Hart said that the Rosary is his favorite Bible Study. I asked him “Which mysteries?” He said “All 20 offer us something unique…that’s the best part – depending on the day or where we are on our faith journey, the Spirit will reveal something different to us.” Great Mathemetician’s Answer there, Mr. Hart. There are sites out there that provide scripture verses that you can meditate on with each Hail Mary such as this one.
3) Pray throughout the day.
You can pray one decade in the morning, pray the second one during your mid-morning coffee break, add another one in the mid-afternoon, pray the fourth one before dinner, and the last one as you get ready for bed. It’s a good way to pray constantly.
4) Pray as you walk/jog/run
Some people pray the rosary as they walk as part of a moving meditation. I realize that jogging and running may leave one out of breath for prayer, but if you’re jogging or running at a slow pace, you can have enough mental energy to meditate and pray. Offer up a Hail Mary when you feel like you’re about to feel exhausted.
5) Pray during the morning/rush hour commute/road trips
Most commutes are about 30-40 minutes depending on where you live. Instead of complaining about the traffic, pray the Rosary and offer up a Hail Mary for anyone who cuts you off. I won’t say it’ll cure you of your road rage, but it’s a lot nicer than making crude gestures or angry remarks. Lighthouse Catholic Media has a wonderful Rosary CD that you can pray along with.
6) Pray during Adoration
Back in college, I would spend the first half hour of Adoration praying the Rosary. And even when I can’t make a whole hour, I would stay long enough for me to pray at least a decade. The Rosary helps you focus your mind and keep you aware of where you are in the present. If you pray the Rosary long enough, you might make it last for the whole Holy Hour.
7) Pray before you sleep or as you sleep.
This was a tip given to me by my dear friend Fr. Keon. If you’re afraid of falling asleep before you finish praying, Elizabeth Scalia says that she asks her guardian angel to finish the Rosary for her if she ends up falling asleep.8) Pray with family/friends
Praying in a group is always a good way to pray because you don’t have to do the whole Rosary by yourself. Group rosaries often happen in retreats, but you can pray the Rosary with your family after dinner or get some friends together and pray a Rosary in the chapel or in front of an abortion clinic. October is also pro-life month, after all
9) Pray during storms or times of anxiety
When Hurricane Issac was storming close to Texas, I prayed the Rosary as it passed through my town. Praying the Rosary during thunderstorms helped me to calm down. The same calming effect happens when I pray the Rosary during anxiety attacks. It’s a great grounding exercise because you can see the Rosary in your hands, feel the beads between your fingers, and hear the prayers you pray. Some Rosaries even have a nice scent to them.
10) Pray with intentions and gratitude.
One way I pray the Rosary is that I dedicate each decade with a special intention. Most people would start out the Rosary by offering the first Our Father for the intentions of the Holy Father, followed by offering up the first 3 Hail Mary’s for an increase in faith hope and love. What you choose to meditate on is up to you, but here are some suggestions.
For the Joyful mysteries, pray for family members, people you know who are travelling, friends or family who just had kids, students who are graduating or children being baptized, and for missing children.
For the Sorrowful mysteries, pray for people who are undergoing anxiety. Pray for people who struggle with addictions. Pray for those who are persecuted for their beliefs. Pray for those who suffer depression, and pray for the souls of the faithful departed.
For the Luminous mysteries, pray for conversions and reversions. Pray for people who are discerning marriage or about to be married. Pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Pray for those who are already priests/nuns/monks and pray for a greater devotion to the Holy Eucharist.
For the Glorious mysteries, pray for people you love who’ve passed away. Pray for the souls of aborted children. Pray for children who died in miscarriages. Pray to have a closer relationship with Christ. Pray for a happy death.
It’s also a good idea to pray with gratitude. Give thanks for something with every Hail Mary, no matter what mysteries you’re meditating on. “How exactly do I do that?” you ask.
For the Joyful mysteries, pray with gratitude for all the small things in your everyday life. Pray for your family, your friends, the places you go to, and the things you do on a daily basis.
For the Sorrowful mysteries, pray in gratitude about what you learned from a bad situation. Pray for the times that God helped you in a time of great need. Pray in gratitude for the people in your lives who have passed on. Pray in gratitude that people are being a witness to their faith, even at the cost of their lives.
For the Luminous mysteries, pray in gratitude for the big events of your life, things that you’ve accomplished through God’s help. Even if it’s something as small as graduating high school or passing a test. Pray in gratitude for the moments that changed your life for the better.
For the Glorious mysteries, pray in praise of the holy men and women who are interceding for you. Pray in gratitude for the victories you’ve overcome with God’s help.
I hope this helps you in praying the Rosary.