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BIS LIVES

Praying with Mary through May: Discovering the Rosary

Throughout the month of May, we will be sharing posts focused on journeying alongside the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Share your experiences in the comments or on social media using #praywithmary.

Throughout my life, I’ve gone through phases where I’ve LOVED praying the Rosary, I’ve dreaded praying the Rosary, and where I didn’t pray it at all.

During the times of dread, it was usually because I told myself I didn’t have time to pray, or I couldn’t concentrate on the mysteries without getting hopelessly distracted. A friend of mine told me her Hail Mary usually sounded like “Hail Mary, full of grace, I forgot to turn on the dishwasher and where is your homework and someone let the dog out…” Yep. That was me, too. Thankfully, I solved the problem by learning about the Scriptural Rosary. The Scriptural Rosary is available as a book or audio recording, and it helps me meditate so that I don’t lose focus during each decade. Each Hail Mary of the Rosary is assigned a short Scripture verse that helps develop the mystery you’re praying. I love that even with my short attention span, this prayer aid draws me into each mystery. Once I began using this method, I became mesmerized by the mysteries of the Rosary. No more boredom!

I’d always thought of praying the Rosary as time-consuming, but the average Rosary only takes about 17 minutes to complete. I’ve since discovered that often, it’s the most 17 relaxing minutes of my day. Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote:

“The Rosary is psychologically one of the greatest prayers, because it draws all our scattered human energies, mind, lips, and fingertips, into a single, unifying purpose. To those who find prayer difficult, the rhythmic movement of the fingers induces spiritual thoughts. To those who are used to mental prayer, the spiritual gains a new dimension when it spills over into the body and comes out on the tips of the fingers.”

At the suggestion of friends, I began slowly – a decade per day. I did this a while, then gradually added a decade at a time throughout the day. Over time, my attention span increased. I’m now able to pray a complete Rosary between 3-5 times a week, though my goal is to pray the Rosary daily.

What happens if I get interrupted by a phone call, staff meeting, or bathtime? First of all, I allow myself some grace and recognize that this season of life is one of interruption – but that shouldn’t stop me from praying! On a practical level, I use a Rosary bracelet crafted by my friend Shannon at Organic Mama’s Shop. She includes a removable medal that you can clip anywhere onto the bracelet, saving your place for later.

Whatever small baby steps you need to take to make the Rosary a part of your daily routine, start today. If you need some extra motivation to get started, try googling The Fifteen Promises of the Rosary as given to St. Dominic. You won’t be disappointed.

Remember that bumper sticker – “Call your Mother. She hasn’t heard from you in Decades!”

Wendy, aka “Cajuntexasmom“, is a Cajun-raised, Catholic mom who works outside the home as her family’s sole breadwinner. She and her stay-at-home-dad husband raise their four (almost five!) kids in the sprawling city of Houston.

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