I’m back in a prayer routine that is comfortable and well-worn: getting up really early and spending the quiet, dark time in my kitchen, refilling my mug of coffee while using Divine Office, iPieta, and a variety of rosary resources.

A couple of weeks ago, as I struggled, yet again, with mental distraction while praying the rosary, I had a moment that had to be inspired by the Holy Spirit: why not journal while praying the rosary? When I go to Eucharistic Adoration, I have been in the habit for years of writing my prayer–it feels more natural, more like a real conversation instead of me sitting there and dozing (because that is what happens when I sit still).

Why not use my writing-praying technique for my morning rosary?

It does make it take longer. It is a little unwieldy for an admitted klutzy-type person. It’s changing my prayer experience, though, and it’s also helping me pay more attention and battle those mental distractions. (For now, anyway. It seems I have to change it up and keep it fresh or lose my mind while trying to pray the rosary.)

It has also helped me as I’ve continued my rosary meditations on Catholic Moments. I’ve been struggling with the set I’m working on right now, the Glorious Mysteries. While I was battling writing a reflection for the Ascension last week, I wondered “out loud” (on Twitter and Facebook, since my three-year-old was the only one with me and her answer is likely to involve horses and pink sparkles) what the hardest mysteries are.

Turns out, with the people who responded, that it’s a tie between the Glorious and Luminous Mysteries.

Ah! I thought, so it’s NOT just me!

This also reminded me how isolation–that feeling that “surely no one else struggles with x or z”–can lead me to abandon something that I really just need to buckle down and tackle (like a self-imposed writing assignment).

My morning rosary writing is helping me, though it was in Adoration that I found myself able, finally, to write about the mysteries I still had to prepare for my upcoming Mary Moment segments. (Often the case when I’m stuck. Adoration: only Jesus can break the block when I find myself blocked.)

I’m curious: what do YOU think are the hardest mysteries of the rosary? And what do you do when you find yourself in a rut with the rosary? How do you change it up? (I’m always looking for tips!)

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