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Rich Columbo

Praying the Rosary

A while back, I started praying the rosary again. Now, I never really abandoned the rosary, I just didn’t pray it on a regular basis. What got me started again, though, was my driving. Recently, I noticed that when I was driving, my irritation with other drivers had begun to move more toward anger. When I realized this, I decided I needed to do something about it. I tried turning off the radio and reciting some scripture verses, but after a few minutes, I found my attention wandering, and I was right back to criticizing other drivers. So, I decided to go back to the tried and true and started saying the rosary. And lo and behold, it has helped.

Now I’d like to tell you that my irritation level while driving has been reduced to zero, but that hasn’t happened. I still get irritated with other drivers, but when that happens I say the next Hail Mary for whatever driver irritated me. And when I do that, I can feel my irritation slipping away.

There is something about the cadence of the rosary that is soothing to my mind and my soul. I don’t have to think, I just have to let the Hail Mary’s, Glory Be’s, and Our Father’s carry me. As the beads slip gently through my fingers and I feel the soft weight of the rosary in my hand, I experience a definite comfort and a sense of peace. What is especially appealing about the rosary for me, though, is its portability. You can pray the rosary anywhere and at any time. And if push comes to shove, and you don’t have a rosary handy, you can always use your fingers to count the Hail Mary’s. The only problem I have is that I get the Joyful, Glorious and the Luminous mysteries confused. So, for now, I am using just the Sorrowful mysteries.

Now, like most forms of prayer, the rosary has some strong advocates and promoters, as well as some critics. My grandmother Degnan was a great advocate of the rosary. She prayed the rosary daily for her grandchildren. And if we were experiencing any difficulties, she doubled her efforts on our behalf. I know I was the recipient of untold decades of the rosary during my college years. As an added bonus—from my grandmother’s perspective—the rosary was a great non-medicinal aid to sleep. She would start a rosary when she went to bed, and invariably she would fall asleep with the rosary in her hand. And if she woke up in the night, as she often did, she would pick up saying the rosary right where she left off.

The rosary is a great form of prayer for some people, but I realize it is not for everyone. The important thing, though, is not how we pray, but that we pray. Prayer helps us to lift our minds and hearts to God and open ourselves to God’s will and work in our lives. Prayer can comfort us, challenge us, guide us, inspire us, enlighten us, and empower us. It can help decrease our stress levels, reduce our tension, and—while driving—can even calm our irritation or anger.

Comments

Glory be, I too began again praying the Rosary not long ago. I did so not for the purpose of coping with irritating drivers, however (although an excellent idea), but to deal my own runaway train of negative, fearful thoughts. Praying the Rosary calms me. The gently repetitive train of Hail Mary's, Our Fathers and Glory Be's gradually brings me around to a better, more hopeful attitude and a saner frame of mind. My grandmother, like yours, prayed the Rosary every night, too, which was no doubt a blessing for her dear grandchildren. Also, like you, while praying the Rosary I tend toward confusion as to which Mystery belongs where. Except for the heartbreaking Sorrowful, they all seem joyful, glorious and luminous.

Many years ago I memorized the scriptural rosary (a bible verse per bead per mystery) and gave up on the fingers or beads. It increased my devotion to this form of prayer immensely. I also added a fourth mystery with quotations on my own long before JP II (with surprisingly similar themes).
And yes when I am stuck in traffic the rosary makes everything more bearable.

please intervene God. I'm hurt inside, i am so tired to cover everything by pretending and no matter how hard I pray nothing seems to be working, please pray for Damianus aditya christie and me. I have been waiting for reconciliation and peace for me and him, everyone tells me to forget and leave it, they keep pressing me. I cried, it's not so easily as they say and imagine. i feel so traumatized, I have been struggling with depressed and suffering for the past 3 years. I know You knows my pain God, You always know what was happened because You see everything a most hidden corner, Father you say, ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. I come with a broken heart, i depend on you and still hope, if God deign, please God soften and touch Damianus aditya christie heart for me, He means a lot to me. I can't touch his heart, only God can change people's hearts. please help me face things that are beyond my capabilities. because God, You have power to help me. if you do not want this reconciliation to happen, please give me strength to overcome the bitterness. Teach me how to remain grateful when the hardest one, teach me to let go, teach me to love You more than anything, teach me to know You more God. please help me with your prayers, I really need a miracle, thank you

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