Pope Francis recites the Rosary – POLL

POLL BELOW

The Holy Father is, as I type, at Santa Maria Maggiore for recitation of the Most Holy Rosary.

Do you say the Rosary?

Some shots from the live feed.

In Italy it is customary to end the Rosary with recitation of the Litany of Loreto.

Some will prefer that Francis use a stole or a cope.   But in the past Popes have some times used them, sometimes not.

Now for the poll. Anyone can use the poll, but only those who have registered (and whom I have approved) can comment. I cannot tell who you are or how individuals “vote”.

I say part or all of the Rosary (privately or with others)

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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107 Responses to Pope Francis recites the Rosary – POLL

  1. Imrahil says:

    What’s the entry for “daily, but sometimes I forget about it or only manage one decade”?

    Being somewhat lax which for non-obligations is a good thing, I voted “daily”.

    Nevertheless, it is usually not in the utmost of devotion, but during sports or on a train-ride. In case of the latter thing, perhaps too bad that there’s these smartphones now.

  2. mamajen says:

    I’ll admit it, I struggle greatly with the rosary. My mind wanders terribly when there is a lot of repetition. Looking around online recently, I found that many people have felt the same, and there were some really good suggestions for learning to love it and making it a habit. One of my favorites was dedicating each Hail Mary to a person or cause that you want to pray for. I know I should pray it whether I particularly enjoy it or not, but it would certainly be better if I enjoyed it and could focus better.

  3. Gail F says:

    Mamajen: That’s what I do (dedicate each Hail Mary to a person or intention). But I only manage a decade, maybe two, at a time, and I hardly ever pray it, although I do so every few weeks now. I wasn’t brought up to pray it and I also have a lot of ADHD tendencies, so I find that another thing that helps is to pray it while I walk on my treadmill or around my block. Yeah, call me crazy. But the walking steadies me. I don’t think God cares one way or the other, whatever works! Weirdly, I have no problem with Eucharistic adoration — I love to sit or kneel quietly then.

  4. yatzer says:

    Distractions all over the place, but I have a little book with pictures in it that helps keep focus. My protestant friends are dismissive of the Rosary, but it marks a time, gives me something to think about besides myself, and reminds me of what Christ has done for us.

  5. wmeyer says:

    I ensure the time for the rosary by praying it before breakfast. Still, it can be a challenge: distractions are a part of life, and often the things which I must accomplish that day will contribute to the distractions. However, I believe that perseverance pleases our Lord, and that making the effort will also tend to build the discipline which should be a part of our faith. Whatever else may be true, I know that on the rare days when for some reason, I have failed to pray the rosary, I feel the lack throughout the day.

  6. acardnal says:

    With or without a cope or stole, I am always pleased to see the Holy Father pray the rosary publicly. It sets a good example for all of us – especially men who are many times reluctant to do so.

  7. iPadre says:

    I love the rosary, although I struggle through it. Kind of like your sermon in Boston, as worship is not easy, so our devotions are not always easy. [Thanks for even remembering the sermon!]

    In the last picture of Francis, he resembles Pius XII. Viva Maria!

  8. Philangelus says:

    About seven years ago, I asked my guardian angel to help me make the time to say the rosary every day, and, yeah. Every so often I’d find myself suddenly realizing how quiet the house was and that all my children were occupied, and I had the gift of 20 minutes right there. And yes, once I got awakened at 11:15pm because I hadn’t done it that day. :-)

  9. Priam1184 says:

    I know that this will sound counterintuitive but my suggestion for those who are easily distracted praying the rosary (and this was an issue I had for several years) is to learn enough Latin to pray it in that language. It is hard to explain but it puts your mind in an entirely different place. The Ave Maria, the Pater Noster, and the Gloria Patri are fairly simple to learn. The Salve Regina is a bit more of a challenge and the Credo will probably be the most difficult, but it is well worth the effort to be able to recite the Creed in the language it was originally composed in. Take your time, learn the meaning of the words you are reciting, and do it. It is, as I said, well worth the effort.

  10. StJude says:

    I dont remember the last time I said the Rosary. I just cant concentrate.
    But I have a CD in my car of the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy… that I love.. and I say that all the time.
    I have been recently looking for a good Rosary CD.

  11. StJude says:

    I have Rosary blessed by Pope John Paul and one blessed by Pope Benedict. They are my most treasured things.

  12. PA mom says:

    I imagine that there are scattered pieces of my rosaries all over Heaven. Nearly every day I start them, but I probably finish twice a week. A decade here in the car, a decade with a child at bedtime, another while rocking the baby to sleep, one while falling asleep…
    The Ave Maria and Gloria Parti I learned during Lent, and the way the words roll around is so beautiful. It definitely added to the enjoyment. Even the rare times I get to hold beads while praying is extra special.

  13. Imrahil says:

    And a very good way to memorize the Latin Salve Regina is to sing it in Gregorian chant. In fact, I’m never so sure about it in prose (either Latin or German), but chant works always fine.

    That said, where in the Rosary is the Salve Regina?

    (I guess at the ending. That was a half-jest, but I actually try to pray the Oration from the feast of the Holy Rosary, EF, which is given in the CCC-Compendium at the Rosary’s ending.)

  14. Marie says:

    Lately I’ve been reciting the Rosary twice a day – once before work in the morning (the usual intentions: the Church, the suffering souls, the Holy Father, the dying, the conversion of poor sinners, my family, perserverance, etc.) and once on the way to work/home (usually for someone specific – a family member, a priest, a bishop). I always had a hard time with the Rosary, but after completing a 33 day Marian Consecration (which was done on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary), it has slowly but steadily become easier and the desire to recite it has increased dramatically. It is now something I love, even though sometimes – admittedly – it can still feel torturous – but on the days when it is especially hard, I just remind myself of the promises which comfort me the most: 1) that the souls who faithfully recite her Rosary will not perish, and 2) that she will defeat heresy. Keeps me going!

  15. jbas says:

    I would be interested in knowing why a pope, or a priest for that matter, would ever wear a stole for the Rosary, Way of the Cross, etc., since these are not liturgical exercises. There must be a good reason for doing so, since it is sometimes done.

  16. VexillaRegis says:

    Like Priam I find it much easier not to get distracted if I pray the rosary in Latin. Being a musician I sometimes sing the Pater Noster (gregorian) and then Ave Maria (Bach-Gounod or so) and end with a Gloria Patri. I like to imagine that counts as a decade. :-) If not, it’s still prayer, timeless prayer.

  17. backtothefuture says:

    If you’re not praying it daily, you’re going to war with a butter knife. The rosary is the scourge of the devil. As father Amorth said, each hail Mary is a blow to the devil’s head. The rosary is the weapon for our times-St. Padre Pio

  18. Andkaras says:

    In our house we have learned to pray the rosary in several languages, beginning with Latin.We use all manner of techniques to keep it fresh, especially visual helps. On the internet there are all manner of rosaries in every language under the sun .In some, the videos alone without the sound occasionally accompany us as we pray in whatever language we have chosen for that night. for instance ,The feast days of St. Theres’ ,the Cure de Ars, St. Joan of arc,etc. are done in French. I utilize pictures from the Magnificat, Catholic magazines, old church calenders, anything where the faith can be conveyed in a more efficient manner. Sometimes a line of scripture is read for each bead. I get a lot of flack for the level of rosary devotion in our house but I sincerely believe that someday they are going to hook up somebody who prays the rosary well to some kind of brain monitor and find out that something wondrous is happening .-bet some of you are smiling knowingly right now.

  19. Bosco says:

    This may or may not be the most opportune posting to which submit this particular request but it is rosary related.
    I am trying to find a nice statue of the Most Holy, Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Mary which depicts her Heart surrounded by thorns in one hand and a rosary in the other.
    Whenever I search for the Immaculate Heart of Mary I always have offerings of Our Lady of Fatima statuary not the particular representation with Mary’s Heart in one extended hand surrounded by thorns and the other extended hand holding the rosary.
    Can anyone direct me to where I might be able to purchase the particular statue I’m looking for?
    God bless.

  20. Crucesignata says:

    Yes, I pray a daily Rosary. I heard somewhere that the Rosary is “a spiritual machine gun aimed at the Devil.” I really love that idea, and it is very true! =)

    (By the way, I and a friend have a rosary crusade going: we are trying to have 1,000,000 rosaries said for the intention of consoling Our Blessed Mother. If you would offer this intention up with your Rosaries, we would be most grateful. :) Here is our website: http://rosecrownsforourlady.wordpress.com/ )

  21. TKS says:

    If I read the Manual of Indulgences correctly, to say a rosary in church in a group with devotions, is a plenary indulgence. (Along with the other requirement, of course.) So I go to daily Mass and the rosary is said before the Mass. What amazes me is that I printed out the information from the book and gave it to the head of the people who lead the rosary and they were not the least bit interested. What a waste of an opportunity for an indulgence. They were already there and going to Mass.

  22. melanie says:

    I have been praying the Rosary daily for about 6 months, after being invited to become an auxiliary member of the Legion of Mary by our very holy curate, who is the spiritual director for our parish praesidium. It has been such a blessing for me to feel so close to Our Lady and I would definitely recommend it to everyone. Make the time – you will receive abundant blessings!

  23. AngelGuarded says:

    I only recently started praying the Holy Rosary daily. Two things help me: when I am at home, I recorded from EWTN on my DVR all of the Holy Rosary recitations for each of the Mysteries. I find it much easier to focus and not get distracted when I am reciting it with Mother Angelica and her sweet-voiced nuns. During the week, I have an hour-long commute on the train and I have a bead-by-bead Kindle app (highly recommended to Kindle owners) that allows me to pray the Holy Rosary each day. Since I began this, my life has changed. I now start work so serene and calm. I don’t think there is a better way to start the day than saying the Holy Rosary, save a good cup of coffee. :-) I too get distracted but find if I move my lips and whisper the words, it keeps my mind on it moreso than if I am saying it “in my head,” so to speak. I also find that the distractions are sometimes a gift, bringing to mind something I can add to my intentions. Btw, love that the Holy Rosary is an assault weapon aimed at the evil one. Thanks for that visual, Crucesignata.

  24. Jack Regan says:

    I go through phases of being really good at praying the Rosary, but it wanes from time to time. Right now, it’s actually been a few months, so I need to get back on it.

    I love the Chaplet of Divine Mercy too. A powerful prayer.

  25. future_sister says:

    In high school, (about a month before I joined the Church actually) I started praying the Rosary daily. My 20 min bus ride was perfect. But for some reason after I joined the Church I got out of the habit. :( I’m back to about 1-4 times a week but that’s it. I plan on getting back in the habit this summer. My prayer life has collapsed since college started, I need to fix that.

  26. Elizabeth D says:

    I pray the rosary once or twice per week, usually with others, but I do not find this a very fruitful way to pray, which is to say that my praying the rosary is often not really very prayerful nor loving, regardless of whether alone or with others. I struggle (very weakly) to pray the mysteries. After repeated experiences of trying to pray with others and doing so badly, weary, distracted, getting irritated over prayers people add, that I feel morally certain it is not possible to get a plenary indulgence, I just think it makes more sense to normally choose a different way to pray. I entirely do not agree with those who try to claim that “every Catholic should pray the rosary daily”, it is clearly a very excellent way of prayer for some or even many people, and worth some struggle, however there are some people who should pick a different way to pray that does help them grow in faith, hope, and charity.

  27. I mostly pray the rosary in the office, at work. Part of my work involves creating computer graphics and I can pray while I’m drawing. Another part of my job is analysing data supplied by others and at such times while I’m waiting for pieces of data to come in, I cannot do any other work, so I pray. However, as I often get interrupted, I have a special “office rosary” that I made myself. It is a small piece of wood with 11 holes drilled into it (picture). A match fits into the holes and as I say the rosary I move the match. If the phone rings or I get interrupted in some other way I just stop and resume when I can – and because of the matchstick I always know where I left it off. No one in the office knows what the little piece of wood is for (it is so inconspicuous that no one has asked yet). I often get through 5 decades during the day (and none on other days) and I offer it by decades, 2 usually for the 2 priests to whom I regularly go for confession and the other 3 decades for other causes or people. I also pray the rosary when going jogging but I can only do 3 decades (can’t run more). I hate running so I always think the effort of it (calling it “suffering” sounds too pompous but that’s what it feels really) adds to the intention.

  28. The Sicilian Woman says:

    Awhile ago, I joined the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary (administered by the Dominicans), for which you promise to say one Rosary each week, one Rosary being at least the original three sets of Mysteries – Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious – with the newer Luminous Mysteries recommended. While membership does not bind one under sin in not saying the Rosary, I find it keeps me honest so that for as long as I have been a member, I’ve recited all four sets of Mysteries weekly, with three exceptions, at most.

    However, praying the Rosary (and doing anything which requires concentration) has always been a struggle for me, given what is likely undiagnosed ADD. The Dominicans sell several booklets to help one concentrate while praying the Rosary; they have helped a bit, as has reciting the Rosary in another language, but once I got used to the second language, the wandering kicked in again.

  29. tealady24 says:

    Many many years ago I decided to recite a Rosary a day for Lent. Well, the Blessed Mother had other plans! (We all know about plans.)
    I could not make it through my day without saying a Rosary. It’s not always in the same place or time and occasionally I break up the decades if my day is disjointed as well; BUT I must say my Rosary. I even say the prayers in Latin when I’m so inclined.
    Mary trods a hard and narrow path and all I wish is to be right there with her. Days can be difficult yet with Mary there is a peace which surpasses all understanding. I can’t explain it to you; you either know it – or not.

  30. mamajen says:

    Wow, I’m glad to see that so many others struggle and are willing to admit it! There are some great suggestions here–thanks, everybody.

  31. Matt R says:

    Almost never…I struggle with my other daily prayers as well as of late.

  32. Bill Foley says:

    mamajen,
    Your struggles are not uncommon. Even St. Therese of Lisieux had trouble with the rosary. My saintly wife who died May 7, 2009, used to say several rosaries each day; of course, she and I said one together daily. I still say one each day with my sister-in-law and with my brother-in-law, but if I had to say one by myself each day, I would really have to struggle.

  33. Bill Foley says:

    Father Z,
    Please allow me to make a comment re Pope Francis and his Jesuit spirituality.
    If one wants to get a good read on this topic, there are the Spiritual Exercise by St. Ignatius, but there is also another possible source, The Spiritual Doctrine of Father Louis Lallemant, which is on the Internet. Father Lallement was born in 1588, took final vows as a Jesuit in 1621, and died in 1635. He is truly one of the great spiritual masters of the Jesuit Order; in fact, he was the novice master for St. Isaac Jogues. His writing is often quoted by subsequent spiritual writers, for example, Marmion, Arintero, Garrigou-Lagrange.

  34. majuscule says:

    When I first committed to praying the rosary daily it was a struggle. A friend who prayed daily told me that it gets easier with time and she could not go to sleep if she had not said her rosary that day. Well, I’m almost to that point…if I have only a decade to go I can leave it and finish it before I start next day’s rosary.

    I can’t explain how wonderful it is. I guess that feeling is what you call grace.

  35. lydia says:

    I pray the Rosary twice a day . I also make use of EWTN and many different small books of rosary meditations. Will be making my 33 day consecration on mothers day. The Divine Mercy chaplet is quick and easy to complete while waiting to pick up grandkids at school.

  36. MikeM says:

    I love communal recitations of the Rosary, but when I’m praying alone, I have to admit that it’s just not my thing. I try to pray night prayer each day, and I intersperse prayerful reflections into my daily religious reading. I’m also somewhat drawn to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

    When I had a friend who lived next door and said the rosary every morning, I used to join her for it (almost) daily. By myself, though, I don’t pray it very often.

  37. JohnE says:

    I made it a New Year’s resolution in 2012 to pray a rosary every day. I didn’t think I could do it, but I did, and I’ve continued into 2013. Most of the time I pray a decade or two in the morning and the rest in the evening, and I rarely actually use a physical rosary — I either keep track on my fingers or mentally or with silverware (when I’m doing the dishes). Some days I feel like there’s nothing better my heart and mind and lips could be doing and I’m grateful for little insights and consolations. At other times it is dry and/or distracted and I can’t wait to be done with it. But as wmeyer mentioned, I think our Lord is pleased when it’s difficult but we do it anyway.

    If I do the whole rosary at one sitting, I like to do the scriptural rosary, where a verse of scripture is read before each Hail Mary, or a scripture passage is read before the decade.

    I have a special love for Mary after the Jubilee year in 2000 when I went to the cathedral one Friday that I had off from work. I had finally gotten around to going downtown for confession, the indulgence that was offered at the cathedral for the Jubilee year, and Mass. There were some serious sins I was struggling with and I had begun praying the rosary during the weekdays during my commute. Since that day, I have not had to confess those sins again. I also read in the paper that the priest who heard my confession died later that same month, so I prayed for him to intercede to keep me guarded from those sins. I was impressed with the number of people there for confession and Mass on a Friday. Unbeknownst to me until Mass started and the cantor announced it, it was the feast day of the Immaculate Conception at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. I fought back the tears for the rest of Mass, because I knew that Mary interceded for me in a most touching way that day.

  38. Jeannie_C says:

    I have a number of scriptural rosary books, small sized publications which can be held in one hand. I rotate them to keep the meditations fresh, use one of several different rosaries depending on what is going on in my and others lives. When my mind wanders, as it always does, I explore where it has led me to, because sometimes there is a revelation to be received, some clarification I would not have otherwise clued into, then redirect or incorporate the thought back to the meditation.

    On a busy day I pray the rosary in stages so that by the end of the day I’ve completed the entire devotion. It is tempting for me to give up and declare myself too busy/tired/lazy, but it is time well worth investing as eventually your relationship with Mary will develop to the point where you will sense her drawing you to your prayer time, and ultimately to Jesus. For anyone who needs to stay focused, I’d strongly recommend looking online or in a Catholic book store for scriptural rosary meditation books, usually inexpensive and a great help.

    As for protestants who chide Catholics over their use of the rosary, they are doing what they do best, protesting our faith when they, too, should be praying. I really appreciate everyone’s input on their rosary devotions, lots of good suggestions!

  39. FXR2 says:

    Fr. Z,
    I hope this is not too far off topic. I am a member of the KoC 12833 and we say the scriptural rosary alternating verses and prayers before every meeting. The scriptural rosary has a Bible verse pertaining to the mystery attached to every Hail Mary. Praying the rosary in a group of men is unusual and very rewarding for for me. Here is the link:
    http://www.kofc12833.org/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/scriptural_rosary.pdf

    If anyone is interested. I have found this as a great proof to protestants that Roman Catholics read the Bible and that the Rosary is Christian. I also find that this helps center my often wandering mind on the mystery at hand when I am alone. You can’t say it like this while driving though.

    fxr2

  40. OrthodoxChick says:

    I had to vote occasionally. I try to say it with EWTN at 9:30pm every night, but I almost always fall asleep during the rosary. Guess I’m too old to hang anymore. But at least I contribute to EWTN’s wee hours ratings by falling asleep with my T.V. tuned in to them.

    When I was little and couldn’t fall asleep, my mother used to tell me to say a rosary in bed. She said that if you fall asleep while saying the rosary, then Our Lady finishes it for you. Mom was Irish. I wonder if that was something the Irish used to say, or just her way of keeping me in the bed at night.

  41. FXR2 says:

    Jeannie C,
    We must have crossed posts. Great point well made!
    fxr2

  42. OrthodoxChick says:

    Bosco,

    There are 20-something of them for sale on ebay. Maybe you’ll be able to rescue one of them and give her a nice home.

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=lady+of+sorrows+statue

  43. Jeannie_C says:

    FXR2, yes, I agree it is necessary to combat the protestant fallacy that Catholics don’t read the Bible. With the exception of two meditations (the Assumption and the Crowning) every meditation is straight out of the New Testament. That we have a schedule of daily scripture readings surprises my protestant friends as well. They never tire of persecuting in big and small ways.

  44. Marg says:

    If you can commit to one decade every day, why not join the Universal Living Rosary Association.
    Your decade is joined to 14 others so you get the advantage of a whole rosary. The strong support the weak (distracted) in prayer. Every one is assigned a mystery of the rosary to recite each day.
    This wonderful devotion was started by Ven. Pauline Jaricot along with The Society of the Propagation of the Faith. Patron saint is St. Philomena. Many people start with their decade and go on to say another rosary. My children love it because of time constraints they have in work schedules. Twelve million members world wide. http://www.philomena.org

  45. Lori Pieper says:

    MikeM, you could be me! I am accustomed to saying the Rosary out loud with fellow Secular Franciscans at our monthly meetings. I get on better with this because saying it out loud focuses me (and you do have to at least be alert to know when your turn comes to lead it), otherwise, when alone I have a multitude of distractions, and can’t even keep track of how many Hail Mary’s I’ve said, even with the beads! I am going to look for a Rosary app for my Android. . .

  46. Deo volente says:

    I say the Divine Mercy Chaplet daily at close to 3 PM followed immediately by the rosary. If I’m traveling, I say the rosary in the car. In fact, I began to say the rosary daily by listening to an old rosary tape given to me; I now have a version of a CD in Latin so I can recite it in both languages. As a result of this habit, I rarely listen to anything on the radio in the car; I’m usually focused on prayer. One nice effect is that I don’t speed as much as I once did! ;-o)

    D.v.

  47. Bea says:

    I love the rosary. My favorite prayer.
    My goal is to say the fifteen mysteries. Since I’m retired it’s a possibility to do, unfortunately I don’t always make it but I usually manage 2 complete rosaries.(if I’m lucky).
    We are 7 in our family so when the “children” reached college age, I made a little schedule/chart so that each person would be praying for another on a different day.
    I say the rosary for one of them on that day.
    My second rosary is for a decade each for:
    1. The Pope
    2. Cardinal Raymond Burke
    3. FSSP Confraternity
    4. Fr. Z. and this blog.
    5.That we get a Latin Mass.
    Third rosary (If I make it) is a decade for a variety of needs in the family, local parish, the Church or other things that come up (Right to Life, etc.).

    I too, get distracted. It’s a struggle. One of our granddaughters made us a drawing/picture binder of the mysteries and this helps me get a little focused. I often break it up by decades but sometimes I’m able to complete the whole one in one lump sum.
    When I worked at a clothing store, besides my bookkeeping duties, I also did machine-sewed hems for customers. I piled 10 bobbins on one side and transferred them to the other as I completed a Hail Mary. Theres always time for a rosary if we sandwich it in between our comings and goings.

  48. Bea says:

    @ Priam1184:
    What a great idea. I know my prayers in Spanish. Maybe I’ll try that, maybe I’ll do the Latin bit, too.

  49. PostCatholic says:

    So is Bernard Law, who I spot in one of those photos, still the Archpriest there?

  50. robtbrown says:

    PostCatholic says:

    So is Bernard Law, who I spot in one of those photos, still the Archpriest there?

    He retired as Archpriest in 2011 when he turned 80

  51. Suz. from Oklah. says:

    I’ve read only a scattering of comments here. I might repeat things that others have said. My husband and I began to pray the Rosary in 2003 and we pray it daily, sometimes together with the kids, but sometimes separately. In 10 years, we have only missed maybe 20-30 days because of either having a baby, or getting home really late from somewhere or just plain forgetting (that doesn’t happen lately, though). I have heard that if someone prays the Rosary 17 days straight, he or she will never forget to pray it. At first, it was a tremendous struggle to meditate on the mysteries. The St. Louis de Montfort book on the Rosary is great for helping with meditation. I CANNOT pray the Rosary with the nuns on EWTN!! Too slow! I have DVRd Fr. Pacwa’s Rosary in the Holy Land and “The Rosary in Stained Glass” from EWTN. Those are good and we sometimes pray with those programs. There is also comepraytherosary.org which is good. Keep trying, because it is the best prayer!

  52. xsosdid says:

    A pray a rosary every day, plus fragments. It is for me a necessity as I am challenged with attacks that let up only with prayer. writing this will, itself, bring the adversary. I recommend it as a means of gaining strength and consolation.

  53. priest up north says:

    I pray the Rosary at least once daily…and have a personal story that I often share in encouraging the praying of the Rosary:

    In 1998 (as a seminarian), I was privileged to meet John Paul II with my diocesan bishop and a couple of others during the Ad Limina visit. During the brief meeting and photo time with JP II, he gave to each of us a rosary. As he handed me the case with the rosary, he looked at me and said in very direct words: “Use this.” Though I had been more committed to the rosary in years prior to this meeting, I had been slacking off at the particular time of meeting the Holy Father. While I admittedly did not follow through on his words immediately, I have not forgotten that meeting. Since the Year of the Rosary in 2003, I have rarely missed a day…

  54. JohnW says:

    I too say the rosary in Latin . This seems to help me to enter into the mystery ‘s I would also like to tell everyone about explaining the rosary to a Protestant He was amazed when I showed him the rosary is about our Lords life ,death and resurrection .

  55. Bea says:

    PostCatholic:
    Yes I spotted Cdl.Law, too. I had read that though he no longer is the archpriest there, he still has a residence there.

  56. monmir says:

    I started to pray the rosary by tuning in to EWTN every evening. Then I saw a cartoon showing a man who had counted sheep during insomnia and was waking up with all the sheep around his bed. I started to say the rosary when I wake up during the night, lest all the sheep I count during the night be around my bed in the morning.
    I suppose it is better to do part of the rosary and continue later than not do it at all. Very often I found out that I am able to finish it. Transportation is delayed, the Mass starts a few minutes late ….Just start.
    I say the rosary more faithfully since I have visited the Holy Land and I can place myself at the sites.

  57. Kathleen10 says:

    I took Bastiat’s recommendation the other day and immediately ordered the Rosary in Latin. I’m looking forward to using that because I love Latin and think it will be more contemplative anyway. Sometimes words get in the way, and I definitely lose focus.
    Thanks all for the reminder of how wonderful the rosary is and how necessary for the spiritual battle. So true.

  58. Rosary is my favorite daily prayer.

    I recommended my parishioners to pray at least 15 decades in one week: 2 decades for 6 days, and 3 decades on the 7th day.

  59. av8er says:

    @priam. I’ll give it a try. Starting to pick up latin in my free time.

    Started a near daily rosary habit, from zero, this lent. It definitely has made me feel more at ease in all aspects of my life, personal and professional. I am introducing it slowly with my kids. We started with decades and have completed several full rosaries. Please pray for my wife. She has a hard time with it. I was praying a few nights ago when I was falling asleep near the end of the forth decade when I bit my tongue! That woke me right up and I finished strong. Had to laugh at the end and say thanks for the kick in the pants.

    As for the assault weapon analogy, don’t forget it comes with a high capacity magazines that holds 50 rounds!

  60. Gregg the Obscure says:

    I prayed the rosary intermittently from 1999 to mid-2004, but had frequent difficulties with it then. When I changed jobs and added a long driving commute, the habit failed. I started again in September 2011. Now I pray it while walking the dogs in the morning. I pray sotto voce in Latin and use the “Bavarian” method: mentioning the corresponding mystery after the Holy Name in each Ave. That helps me avoid distraction. (Details on both Latin and “Bavarian” method here.). I generally pray five decades on all mornings but Sundays, when I pray ten. It has changed my life for the better. However it still isn’t my favorite prayer. My favorite prayers are the Angelus, the Magnificat and the Memorare.

  61. PostCatholic says:

    Thank you robtbrown and Bea.

    I continue to think it would be a more appropriate retirement should Law take up watercolors or spoon collecting in some distant and rustic town. Perhaps the new pope will find him a more fitting sinecure.

  62. kiwitrad says:

    I say the rosary for priests as I go my daily 30 mins walk. I can get distracted but I try very hard to stay focused. I reckon Our Lord would prefer us to keep on trying rather than giving up..

  63. Priam1184 says:

    @Bea If you can say the Rosary in Spanish then the Latin shouldn’t be too different. Latin has a different grammatical structure, but most of the words will probably be very familiar to you! Just remember to pronounce it like Italian though.

  64. Pray the Rosary daily. When all else failed, it was the means by which St. Dominic conquered heresies and converted the most hardened sinners. And every Hail Mary is a prayer for final perseverance.

    The Rosary is entirely biblical, right down to the number of Hail Marys, which is equal to the number of Psalms. That is the answer to the Jimmy Swaggart Theorem, which holds that, since the Rosary contains 10 Hail Marys to one Our Father, that proves Catholics prefer Mary to Jesus ten to one.

  65. FeedieB says:

    What?? Less than half of Fr. Z’s readers recite the rosary daily??? Come on, y’all. We are in the middle of the fiercest spiritual battle – perhaps of all time – and you all complaining because you just can’t do it. It’s too hard. You get too distracted. BOO HOO. I pray it at least once a day, and I’ve got seven kids, the youngest a nursling. Like I tell my kids, our prayers are ammunition for St. Michael and his army. Here we are on the verge of perhaps total social collapse. Homosexual “marriage” on the verge of being the law of the land (God forbid). Religious liberties being lost daily. And you all can’t say one little rosary a day! Please, please, pray the rosary every day.

  66. Imrahil says:

    As to becoming distracted, three points:

    1. I’ve been told (not in these words, but that) to become distracted is somewhat the point of the Rosary – as long as the topic of the distraction is the mystery you’re praying, or (perhaps with caution, because everything is connected to everything, but still) something connected with it.
    2. A distraction, even a real one, in a non-obligatory prayer is no sin, and the Rosary does normally make sure that sometimes one comes back to lift up one’s soul towards God; which is better than nothing at any rate.
    3. For all things with exception of the plenary indulgence (which you don’t get alone outside a Church, anyway), you can stop a Rosary somewhere in the middle and then resume it, e.g. if you are jogging and meet some people on the way to shortly say hello to, or if you are in a train and a friend comes into the compartment and sits next to you.

  67. Littlemore says:

    OrthodoxChick 4-5-13 @ 16.11
    I was going to say that I had heard if you fall asleep saying the rosary the angels finish it for you. I try to say a decade when I`ve got into bed (I keep my beads under the pillow) & frequently fall asleep before I`ve finished and then on awakening in the morning imagine the angels have sent my rosary heavenward. Either Our Lady or the angels ,heaven is receiving the onslaught against the Devil.

  68. Cafea Fruor says:

    @FeedieB, that’s a HUGE assumption to which you’re jumping there. It’s faulty logic to assume that all of Fr. Z’s readership responded to the poll, and there may be a great many readers who chose not to.. So, it’s less than half of those who answered the poll who pray the rosary daily. Perhaps the majority of Fr. Z’s readers really do pray the rosary daily but didn’t respond, and thus the poll was weighted in favor of those who don’t pray it every day. Or perhaps some who answered the poll pray the rosary daily 99% of the time but feel that few missed days make it not quite daily, and so they could have answered with the “More than Once a Week” crowd.

  69. Tradster says:

    Three comments, if I may…

    When I pray the rosary privately it is only in Latin because, as mentioned by others earlier, it helps to focus and also to make the time distinctly sacred. The best resource I had for learning the Latin prayers was the CD by Father Daniel Perez (http://shop.promultismedia.net/The-Most-Holy-Rosary-Recited-in-Latin-CD-RIL-CD.htm). The pace and pronunciation was perfect as I mastered each prayer literally one sentence at a time.

    As for fighting distractions, I try to envision the scene for whichever decade I am on, adding little different aspects each time, even non-Biblical but likely events. For example, The Resurrection: Jesus appearing to Mary; The Visitation: Mary helping with the birth of John the Baptist and holding him, etc. Of course, the easiest scenes to envision are the Sorrowful Mysteries by referencing The Passion of the Christ.

    Lastly, there are two TLM churches I attend, alternating between them as personal needs demand. Both have public Rosary (English) before Mass, which is good. But, oddly, neither include the prayers for the Pope’s intentions at the end, which are required for the indulgences. I have tried mentioning this to those who lead the Rosaries but to no avail. So many of the special graces of a public Rosary are going unmerited.

  70. Cafea Fruor says:

    I’m a daily rosary prayer, but I’ve indeed struggled off and on with either getting it finished or with focusing. Some things I’ve found that work for me:

    -A wise priest once told me in confession always to pray to the Holy Spirit for assistance when beginning any prayers, whether that be the rosary, meditation, Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, whatever. So I got into that habit of asking Him to help me pray better, to be more focused, to be more attentive to the Lord’s voice, and so on. It’s entirely changed my prayer. Fewer distractions, more focus on God and less focus on me. The Holy Spirit will not let you down if you ask for His help!

    -Kneeling helps immensely. I have a little prayer spot in my apartment, and I kneel on the floor instead of sitting in a chair. This has made a huge improvement in cutting distraction, partly because it’s much harder to doze off while kneeling. Some days, my work day is so tiring that sitting down = prayer time is doomed. The dedicated prayer corner helps, too.

    – If I’m super distracted and I’m at the point of needing to just say it, even if I’m not focusing, I’ll put on the rosary online via comepraytherosary.org, and recite it with the recording while I do dishes or clean. I prefer silence, but it’s hard to count with occupied hands, so the recording helps. My religion class in high school eons ago spent an afternoon helping the Missionaries of Charity at a homeless shelter they ran, and as we did the residents’ laundry together, the Sisters recited the rosary aloud, and they said they do that all the time (partly because it keeps them from the temptation to idle chatter). So, if the Sisters pray while working, we lay people sure can!

  71. mamajen says:

    Who cares if FeedieB’s assumption is accurate or not? It was a rude and unhelpful comment.

    I, and others, decided to put ourselves out there and own up to our failure to do something we know we ought to do. It wasn’t easy to be honest like that, and when I first commented I was afraid I would be the only commenter that had a problem with the rosary. I knew I would get some good advice here. I’m grateful for all the very good suggestions, and the knowledge that I’m not alone in my struggles. I want to do better.

  72. Bosco says:

    @OrthodoxChick Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll have a gander at what is on e-bay. Can’t find any on-line Catholic Shops that offer what I’m looking for here in Ireland.

  73. ReginaMarie says:

    mamajean,
    I agree & appreciate your honesty. Although praying the Rosary is not a common devotion in the Eastern Catholic Churches (where it is more common to pray Akathist prayers), we do pray the Rosary as a parish while Father is at the table of preparation before the Divine Liturgy each Sunday. I find that Akathist prayers & the Jesus Prayer (Prayer of the Heart) resonate more with me & thus come more naturally (but by no means do I pray as often as I ought to). I agree with FeedieB that our prayers are ammunition & are very important…but I don’t agree with the notion that one must pray certain prayers (or practice specific devotions) in order to call out to God or ask the intercession of the Theotokos & the Communion of Saints. May God bless all those who pray faithfully as well as those who struggle in their prayers! May Your mercy be upon us, Lord, as we place our hope in You!

  74. VexillaRegis says:

    FeedieB: I too think your answer wasn’t helpful and agree with Cafea Fruor and mamajen. Ouite a lot of people pray other time consuming prayers, like the Divine Office, daily. That’s great spiritual “ammo” too! And you can’t do it while working with something else.

    Kudos for bringing up seven children, though! :-)

  75. robtbrown says:

    If I might point out the obvious: The Rosary is a multi-faceted prayer. It is usually done unsupported (i.e., without books), with memorized material–the announcement of various Christian mysteries, combined with important prayers, including the repetition of the Ave Maria.

    Considered in light of the above, it is relatively unimportant whether someone has distractions while saying the beads. There is still praying going on, distractions or not. In fact, being too concerned about distractions can disrupt prayer (try smarter, not harder) One principle of Spiritual Theology (from St John of the Cross) is: If you can’t meditate, don’t try. To do otherwise has been compared to trying to sound out every letter of a word when you already know what the word says.

    For many years I have preferred taking a walk while saying the Rosary.

  76. MissOH says:

    I went with more than once a week since I have all too often let distractions or other matters take precedence. I have have decided to work on a consistent daily Rosary with our daughter being that it is May. I know how powerful a prayer is the rosary and I know I can do better.

    There are some good suggestions above especially Philangelus’ comment about asking the assistance of his guardian angel.

    I have also learned to pray the rosary in Latin and I have the CD and DVD from Pro Multis Media of The Most Holy Rosary in Latin and I also have the English version. The DVD in Latin has the words on the screen and beautiful pictures. Tradster referred to those above. Also, The Boston Catholic Journal has free downloads of the Rosary in Latin (spoken). There is also another web site , The Age of Mary, that has several version of the Rosary including an audio in Latin with Bl. John Paul II.

  77. Jeannie_C says:

    When I was a kid (back when the dinosaurs roamed) there was a Saturday evening rosary on the local radio station. I have a vivid memory of neighbours sitting on their porches in the heat of summer, the radio on the windowsill and the family gathered, sitting on chairs, kids on the steps, praying the rosary while traffic went by, other kids played noisily in the adjacent lane. I used to sometimes sit with my friend and listen as she prayed with her family, an early introduction to praying the beads. I’m sure I was a distraction, but they motored on, words unintelligible to me, but obviously something important taking place.

    Maybe the distractions we encounter as we work our beads are meant to be part of the experience? God knows our hearts and hears all our prayers, perfectly formed or not.

  78. Janol says:

    Over the years, I’ve searched for recitations of the Rosary in mp3 format and the series I like best is found on the Discerning Hearts website, recited by a man and woman. Except for the Sorrowful mysteries, there is no ongoing background music, which I prefer. Here’s the link: http://www.discerninghearts.com/?page_id=1021

    BTW, there are some very good podcasts available on that website.

  79. Charles E Flynn says:

    Thanks to FXR2 for posting the pdf of the scriptural rosary.

    Another variation on that approach, with illustrations by Fra Angelico for the traditional mysteries and Giotto for the Luminous Mysteries is in a booklet:

    The Rosary with Fra Angelico and Giotto
    ISBN 0818909749

  80. JKnott says:

    @ Regina Marie said: “…but I don’t agree with the notion that one must pray certain prayers (or practice specific devotions) in order to call out to God or ask the intercession of the Theotokos & the Communion of Saints.”

    It is definitely true that personal prayer is between the soul and the Lord and He sees the heart.
    However, Our Lady has asked us to pray the rosary every day, both at Lourdes and at Fatima. There are also the promises that she made to those who do.
    One can be a gifted contemplative and still pray the rosary every day. We have a perfect example in Saint Padre Pio. Someone once asked him how he could possibly say so many rosaries in one day and he responded; “How come you can’t.”

    I love mamajen’s comments but in defense of FeedieB, I see a legitimate “exhortation” challenging us onward, rather than a rude statement. In the religious life, it is common for the superior to give an exhortation of this sort in the chapter meetings. It is truth in love.
    Anyway, here are the promises of Our Lady to those who pray the rosary.
    http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/prayer/15promise.htm

  81. mamajen says:

    I am kind of a hormonal and oversensitive wreck in these last weeks of pregnancy, and I want to apologize if I seemed too harsh toward FeedieB.

    Yes, the rosary is a powerful weapon, and Mary asked us to pray it. That’s why it bothers me that I don’t do so regularly. And, yes, I should tell myself “Suck it up, buttercup!” and just do it. I just know that if I could find a way to make it more meaningful, maybe even enjoyable, I would be more likely to get in the habit. I would like to love the rosary rather than feel like it’s a chore, but I know I can’t let that delay my trying harder.

    The more I try to be a good Catholic, the more I realize what I’m not doing, and it feels completely overwhelming sometimes, especially combined with my perfectionist personality.

  82. Marg says:

    JKnott and Mamajen…Amen! My feelings too. It’s easier to pat ourselves on the back, than kick ourselves in the pants.

  83. StJude says:

    JKnott says: here are the promises of Our Lady to those who pray the rosary.
    http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/prayer/15promise.htm

    Thank you for that… I needed reminders of how important it is. Someone else said above they recite it as they walk.. well, that is a good idea for me.
    FreddieB is right.. we are under attack as a church. Just read yesterday a girl was raped at an abstinence retreat in Indiana. (Catholic Church retreat).

    Perhaps this post by FatherZ is a wakeup call to us sent by our Lady to pray the rosary.

  84. PA mom says:

    Mama Jen- not to worry! Hospitals stays are a great time to catch up on prayer. ;) Not much else to do, no where to go….
    Good luck, by the way. Prayers for all to go smoothly.

  85. wmeyer says:

    mamajen, however much we may fall short of what we know we should do, it is far better that we know our failings, than deny them. May the Holy Spirit fill you with his grace, and enable you to grow ever stronger in your faith, and to live it ever more deeply.

  86. Cathy says:

    I have to pray the Rosary daily. I am often distracted, overwhelmed, and unfocused. I don’t think of this as, hey, I’m a great prayer, I’m very weak. I don’t know what Our Lord does with all this weakness offered to Him through Mary, all I know is the days I miss I recognize a particular frustration in my heart regardless of how well the day goes.

  87. OrthodoxChick says:

    mamajen,

    “The more I try to be a good Catholic, the more I realize what I’m not doing, and it feels completely overwhelming sometimes, especially combined with my perfectionist personality.”

    I struggle with these same feelings from time to time. I try to reassure myself with the thought that maybe it consoles Our Lord to know that some of us are struggling to please Him; that we are aware of and unhappy with our shortcomings, but offer such to Him despite our weakness. I hope such offerings console Him, considering there is a world full of many souls who barely give Him a thought, let alone anguish over how they fail Him.

    Enjoy the last few weeks of pregnancy as best you can. All 4 of my pregnancies were high-risk and managed by a maternal fetal specialist, rather than a regular O.B. I know these final weeks can be extremely stressful until baby enters the world safely and soundly. The few times in my life that I have come the closest to “praying without ceasing” were the final weeks of my pregnancies. Your prayers will bear much fruit, whether you choose to say the rosary or any other prayer.

    Difficult as it may be at times, try to let the Lord carry the stress for you. I’ll be praying for you too.

  88. Ann Roth says:

    Mamajen,
    Don’t give up. Don’t be discouraged. Set small goals for yourself

    I think the best advice I have ever received about praying the Rosary is this :
    1. it is o.k. to start and stop a Rosary
    2. it is o.k. to pray while you work. try to keep track in your head but better to ask your Guardian Angel to count for you. If you miss any Hail Mary’s , your Guardian Angel will do them for you. That is what my friend said so I am going with it. Of course, I should ask my Guardian Angel for help more often.
    3. If you have a nursing baby, count the Hail Mary’s on the baby’s toes-10 toes, 10 Hail Mary’s. Kinda perfect. Do you think God planned it that way. I wish I had thought of this when my children were babies.

    What I have learned on my own:
    1. Don’t worry about the distractions-the harder I try for perfect prayer time the less often I pray
    2. Turn the t.v. and radio off, get off the internet. Even a great blog is a big distraction.
    3. Make the promise to Our Lady to pray the Rosary daily and then include the lapse of prayer in my confession (I broke a promise…) -it really helps to have a routine with set time and place for prayer.
    4. ask the Holy Spirit and my Guardian Angel for help. God wants me to be a prayer warrior so the help will come.
    5. at first a whole Rosary seemed rather daunting so I started with one decade per day. I would pray all the introductory prayers and the first decade. After a while that became easy and I slid right into the whole thing and again it is o.k. to break it up during the day.
    6. turn off the radio in the car and pray. Pray while waiting anyplace-in the car, in a doctor’s office.
    7. It is very disheartening when I fall out of my routine and I forget to pray. How can I forget? Changes in my routine really throw me off.
    8. I wish I had started family prayer when my children were babies. Our routine now is to pray on the way to school in the morning but we struggle in the evening with so many distractions.

    It is time for me to limit my internet exposure. I should do my daily prayers first and then read great Catholic blogs. How much of my problem with prayer is that I do other things that are not urgent like this comment? Better get going……

  89. Jeannie_C says:

    Mamajen, we had a discussion back in the autumn concerning baptism, private or public, etc. and you and I debated the topic of parents who are applauded for baptizing their infants and who most likely would not be seen again at Mass. At the time you felt I was criticizing/accusing you of being unwelcoming. I felt badly at the time because that wasn’t my point, but didn’t apologize to you out of embarrassment and also not wanting to reignite the hurt I caused. So, I want to take this opportunity to apologize for upsetting you back then. It’s been on my mind all these months, and as you have had the courage to apologize today for coming off as “hormonal and oversensitive” (which I don’t think you are) please accept my sincere apology for my inability to express myself properly in writing and causing you hurt back then. I’ve been praying for you throughout your pregnancy on one particular rosary dedicated to the unborn and will continue to do so.

    On the topic of “should” and the praying of the rosary, I believe that while it’s clear the Church encourages us to do so, it is not a “must”. Additionally, the apparitions of Lourdes, Fatima, while approved by the Church are still private revelations – we are not required to believe them, nor to carry out instructions given in them. To say we “should” pray the rosary because Our Lady instructed the children during the apparitions does not translate into our having to, rather we are instructed by Mary in the Gospel to “do as He tells you” – and what did “He” tell us? To pray without ceasing, including the Our Father. Whatever devotions we employ, whatever prayers we use, whatever works for us in helping us to grow spiritually is what we “should” be doing. Yes, we should try out new (Church approved) methods, but the beauty of our faith is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all.

    If I can use Mamajen as an example – a young mother with a little child and another on the way, obviously someone who loves Christ and His Church, admits to struggling with distraction in this particular form of prayer. I, on the other hand, grey haired middle aged with the luxury of more free time – my distraction level is probably lower, but that doesn’t translate into having mastered anything. We are all still growing, everyone struggles with some aspect of faith and development, and anyone who claims to have a perfect handle on everything is either deluded or in denial.

    I’d like to encourage anyone who feels overwhelmed by prayer and meditation to be patient with yourself, don’t give up, but don’t beat yourself up over it. Remember, you never pray alone, there is a Communion of Saints praying with and for you along with others here on earth. Try out different forms, just make sure they are Church approved for your spiritual safety.

  90. mamajen says:

    Father Z has the best readers in the world, I’m convinced. Thank you for your kind and supportive comments, and especially for your prayers which I truly believe have helped.

    @PA Mom – you’re right, the hospital is a great opportunity for some rest, quiet and prayer. I look forward to that part!

    @wmeyer – you said that so beautifully, thank you.

    @OrthodoxChick – goodness, I can’t imagine you going through that four times! I’ve been on pins and needles because the hospital I need to get to should the baby decide to arrive before the scheduled c-section (next Friday) is 30 miles away. All our preparations are done, though, so I will try to relax now.

    @Ann Roth – thank you for your encouragement and helpful advice!

    @Jeannie_C – I feel bad that you have felt guilty about that all this time! I appreciate your apology, but please know that I didn’t hold that against you. I can be very fiery in a debate, and I know others are the same way, but that doesn’t mean we’re nasty people. No hard feelings. Thank you so much for your prayers!

    I hope I didn’t miss anybody. I’m going to bow out of this thread now so it doesn’t become The Mamajen Show :) Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support. Even the people I disagree with get me thinking, and for that I am grateful. God bless you all.

  91. Bea says:

    @Priam1184
    Thanks for the idea in the first place. Yes, Spanish does help with the Latin pronunciation and I grew up with the Latin TLM Mass, so that helps too.

    @Gregg the Obscure
    Thanks for posting that Latin Prayer link. I’m printing it out to use for saying the Rosary in Latin. Would you know where I could find the Fatima Prayer after each decade? “Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins……” never mind, I just got the idea to google it and I found it here: http://www.chanttherosary.com/prayers/fatima-prayer/
    Thanks for the push in the right direction

  92. wmeyer says:

    mamajen, if my comments brought comfort, I am glad. If they make you reflect, and realize simply that we are called to do the very best we are able, always striving to be better, then I am happier still.

  93. StWinefride says:

    JeannieC you say: “To say we “should” pray the rosary because Our Lady instructed the children during the apparitions does not translate into our having to, rather we are instructed by Mary in the Gospel to “do as He tells you” – and what did “He” tell us? To pray without ceasing, including the Our Father…”

    Our Lady appeared at Fatima because she was sent there to deliver a message from Heaven, she did not, and could never have gone there by herself. We can assume therefore that her words, are not her words – she passed on the message that God wished the Church to receive.

    So we do in fact obey Our Lady’s instruction to “do as He tells you” when we take seriously Holy Mother Church’s strong encouragement to pray the Rosary every day, because as Pope John-Paul II said on 13 May 1982:

    The appeal of the Lady of the Message of Fatima is so deeply rooted in the Gospel and the whole of Tradition that the Church feels that the Message imposes a commitment on Her.” L’Osservatore Romano (English Edition), May 17, 1982, p. 3.

    That’s my understanding anyway!

  94. MouseTemplar says:

    Daily. For me, it’s best done while still abed in the dark hour of the morning before the alarms start ringing and the dogs start begging. I too vary the language to help me stay engaged.

    Our Parish always says a public rosary before Mass led by the lector. Our Dominican Laity group says one together each month. With all those rosaries getting said in my life, it still isn’t easy.

    I wonder if it isn’t a mark of the spiritual effectiveness of the prayer that I have so much difficulty with it, not to mention all the times I find the beads themselves in mysterious knots or the crucifixes detached…..

  95. JKnott says:

    @ mamajen, I knew dear priest who would always say, “Pray as you can and not as you can’t.”
    St. Francis de Sales, that wonderful gentleman saint and spiritual director, teaches that we must try to be very gentle with ourselves in prayer and never harsh or discouraged. He is a great inspiration.
    I have been wondering when the baby was due. So glad you let us know. Count on my heartfelt prayers at this joyful time.

  96. lana says:

    Mamajen,
    A good scriptural rosary with one verse per Hail Mary is great to overcome distractions. And St Therese wrote that sometimes all she could do was pray one OurFather or one Hail Mary very very slowly. And as some other saint (deMontfort?) said, when the 15 minutes are up, consider it done!

    God bless

  97. Seamus says:

    Does anyone know what Francis’s practice is (and Benedict’s practice was) with regard to the Luminous Mysteries? Does/did either of them regularly lead them publicly?

  98. chantgirl says:

    Almost daily, aloud with my children. Sometimes I substitute a litany. When I first decided to try to live my faith seriously as an adult, I started to say the rosary. I was completely unprepared for the distractions that would come, as they were not normal distractions, but grotesque images of Mary, priests, and saints engaging in unchaste behavior. They horrified me so much that I stopped saying the rosary for awhile. The images stopped. Then I figured that the devil had gotten what he wanted, so I started saying the rosary again after about a year. The images began again, but this time I tried my best to ignore them and after a while they stopped.

    Now that I have children, they do cause distractions while we say the rosary, but they also seem to keep me more faithful to daily prayer, because I know that if I don’t pray the rosary with them, no one will (my husband has never been able to sit through the rosary). My responsibility for them is a frightful thing, and keeps me focused. When I’m feeling lazy or tired and don’t want to say the rosary, I try to remind myself that Our Lady told Francisco at Fatima that he could go to heaven only after he had said many rosaries. I figure he was only a kid, so I’d better step up my game. Fr. Z had a post about lukewarm Catholics the other day. In my own case, I am usually more fervent and more courageous when my prayer life is more disciplined. When I’m lazy in prayer, I don’t exercise the virtues the way I should. Thanks for lighting a little fire under us, Fr. Z.

  99. Henry says:

    St. Louis de Montfort’s Secret of the Rosary is yet another resource that recommends a gradual praying of the rosary to anyone without the time to pray five decades together.

    Years ago, I realized that the number of decades in a 15-decade rosary isn’t far from the number of waking hours in a “normal” day. If one’s schedule and discipline allow, praying one decade each hour or so–obviously, flexibility is possible!–results in praying the entire 15 decades by the end of the day.

    If one wishes to pray at least one set of five decades together (for instance, to participate in a communal recitation or to gain the plenary indulgence), then one may pray the remaining decades throughout the day.

    One may even pray 20 “traditional” decades in a day by praying both a course of 15 decades throughout the day and an additional set of five decades (such as the traditional set of mysteries for the day of the week or whatever the communal recitation is using).

    “Years ago” was before the expanded 20-decade rosary that many people now use, but thinking of adaptations shouldn’t be very difficult.

  100. trespinos says:

    Similarly to commenter StJude above, I have found the Chaplet of Divine Mercy to be my recourse after utterly failing, over the course of decades, to muster the minimum meditative concentration necessary to say the Rosary. So, I consider the Chaplet a God-send.

  101. sawdustmick says:

    Daily say fifteen mysteries. Occasionally say Mysteries of light. BUT do I struggle to stay focused / concentrated !!!

    I use Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis De Montfort, The Holy Rosary by St. Josemaria Escriva, but I STILL struggle with LONNNNGGGG distractions !!!!!

  102. The Masked Chicken says:

    “I hope I didn’t miss anybody. I’m going to bow out of this thread now so it doesn’t become The Mamajen Show :)”

    Well, I would rather see that than almost anything on t.v. :)

    Are there any prayers for a safe delivery that anyone knows of?

    As for distractions – eek! Original Sin.

    You know how, sometimes, you have a song you can’t get out of your head, well, that’s because it doesn’t take much brain activity to do most of the thing we do during the day and there is a lot of reserve room for neural activity. Those song occur because you really are only using about 10% of your brain to fold sheets, cook a tomato, etc. The rest of the brain is just keeping busy playing songs, etc.

    Now, as to distractions in prayer, the same thing is happening. Really, how much brain power does it take to say the same prayer fifty times? The rest of your brain just isn’t being engaged, so it goes off on its own thing. Anything that forces you to use more of your brain in the activity will turn off the distractions. People just learning the Rosary almost never have distractions, because they are engaged in the activity in many different aspects.

    Interestingly, playing anagram puzzles has been shown to shut off repetitive song playing in the brain. It would be an interesting experiment to see if doing a JUMBLE puzzle (those mixed up word puzzles) before saying the Rosary might help.

    Ah, I could write an article: a neuroscientist prays the Rosary.

    Anyways, the quickest way to get rid of distractions, (I say this in jest), might be to hold an ice cube while saying the Rosary.

    The Chicken

  103. John 1 14 says:

    On the bus on the way home from work. My ride is long enough that I have time for all 5 mysteries for the day. This is the pattern I was given when I came through RCIA six years ago: Monday-Joyful, Tuesday-Sorrowful, Wednesday-Glorious, Thursday-Luminous, Friday-Sorrowful. Sunday is Glorious, and Saturday is Joyful, but, I don’t usually pray the rosary on the weekend (mia culpa, mia culpa, mia maxima culpa…).

    Are the Luminous Mysteries “official?” I don’t here them mentioned much, and a lot of what I got in RCIA turned out to be a little iffy, so I hope I’m not praying the rosary improperly.

  104. Henry says:

    John 1 14,

    Are the Luminous Mysteries “official?” I don’t here them mentioned much, and a lot of what I got in RCIA turned out to be a little iffy, so I hope I’m not praying the rosary improperly.

    They first appeared over ten years ago in a 2002 Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, as “the mysteries of light.” The term first appears in section 19, and section 21 (between the similar section 20 for the joyful mysteries and section 22 for the sorrowful) elaborates on these mysteries.

    If you wanted to call this standard set of luminous mysteries “official” because they are standardized and well-known, you could do that. In other words, if you are using this set, you are using the same mysteries as millions of others do.

    At the same time, they are not required to be used, as a related discussion here in 2011 relates (“QUAERITUR: Do we have to pray the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary?”). According to it (and I was happy to see that my relatively uninformed perspective agreed with it), the luminous mysteries are optional, not mandated. The continued use of only the more established 15 mysteries is not superseded or otherwise obsolete.

    In other words, “official” there would not mean that any Proper Recitation of the rosary nowadays requires the luminous mysteries at some point.

    Nevertheless, at least in my limited experience, current practice is more likely than not to include them. If I run into a bunch of people saying a public five-decade rosary with the usual announcements of the mysteries, or if I look at recent and not-that-traditionalist online guides on how to pray the rosary, they are most likely to follow this “new” pattern:

    This is the pattern I was given when I came through RCIA six years ago: Monday-Joyful, Tuesday-Sorrowful, Wednesday-Glorious, Thursday-Luminous, Friday-Sorrowful. Sunday is Glorious, and Saturday is Joyful,

    In fact, it comes from section 35 (“Distribution over time”) of the same Rosarium Virginis Mariae.

    The same section also mentions one version of the older usual pattern, which appears as

    Monday – Joyful
    Tuesday – Sorrowful
    Wednesday – Glorious
    Thursday – Joyful
    Friday – Sorrowful
    Saturday – Glorious
    Sunday – Glorious

    I’m most familiar with a seasonal variation, which uses the joyful mysteries on the Sundays of Advent and Christmas (and in some versions until just before Lent), the sorrowful on the Sundays of Lent, and the joyful on the Sundays of Easter and throughout the year.

    Other than a few variations related to seasons or feasts, I’m unaware of any common patterns that differ markedly from these.

    P.S. About those variations:

    I’ve heard of a custom of praying the sorrowful mysteries daily in Lent. (I have never heard of analogous customs for 0ther seasons.) If I chose to do so, I would not choose to omit or neglect the other sets of mysteries all the way through Lent, but otherwise I can see the appeal.

    I also like the idea, which for some reason I have never heard mentioned much, of praying the relevant set of mysteries on the associated feasts. So if I were to pray only one set of mysteries this Thursday or on Thursday, August 15, I’d probably go with the glorious ones for the Ascension or the Assumption, not the joyful or luminous for “Thursdays.”)

  105. Medjugorje Man 07 says:

    As a Convert to the Faith from fundamentalist origins you can’t imagine how difficult it’s is to grasp the”Mary thing”. As it turns out, She lead me to Jesus–oh the irony. YES I pray the Rosery!

  106. Skeinster says:

    Daily Rosary prayer. It was part of being enrolled in the Brown Scapular, but had done it for years anyway. I credit its regular recitation as an Anglican with my conversion, as the method I used had a request for a particular virtue at the end of each decade. Pray for “Faith” for years and…
    Just to demonstrate that there’s no “one way” to do this: I can’t say it in a group as well as I can alone. Waiting for our “cue” is too distracting for me and impedes meditation.

    And yes, it’s wonderful to pray it daily, but Church teaching on private revelation still trumps our own opinions. The Church is our wise mother, too. She and Mary are not in competition.

    Prayers, MamaJen!