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!)
Personally I’d say the Glorious are the harder ones for me.
To keep it always interesting, I try to always think of different intentions to focus on with each mystery.
For example, the Institution of the Eucharist I could offer one day for priests, another day it could be for those who receive communion carelessly or those who profane the Eucharist, or reflect on the Eucharist and its relationship to marriage, or those receiving their first communion, or communion/unity within the church, etc. It helps keep it a little different each time and I can alter it as new prayer needs arise. So, while the Resurrection is usually for the intention of “faith” I could also say it for a particular person who has lost their faith, or someone struggling with their faith, or the conversion of unbelievers, or even an increase in my own faith, etc.
Turning to the scripture relating to the mystery can also help with a rut. Usually there is some language there I’ve forgotten about that will spur my meditation further.
Katherine, thanks for those suggestions! Those are great examples!
I found that praying a scriptural rosary helped my prayer life a lot.
Here’s a link to the one I use.
All for Mary also sells cool T Shirts and other gifts.
The scriptural rosary is a great resource! And those shirts…AWESOME!
Thanks so much for sharing those links. Hadn’t heard of All for Mary before.
The hardest Rosary Mystery for me comes from the Luminous Mysteries. The Luminous Mysteries, the mysteries of light, are my favorite Rosary Mysteries. The troublesome point is when I get to , The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God. It is bothersome to me because, right in the middle of my favorite Mysteries, comes the part where I find myself limited in meditating. I wonder what it is I’m supposed to think of.
When I find myself in a Rosary rut, I think of one person in my life that I need to do work on, in terms of relationship. I consider this person in the light of each progressive Mystery. I ask Our Lady to help me to deal or approach the person as Our Lady would. It usually helps. Since our life and purpose of our life not only deals with our relationship with God, but also our relationship with other souls around us, a person finding themselves in a “rut” with the Rosary can always reach out to the aid of another soul by way of the Rosary. In other words, the other soul can help you out of your Rosary “Rut”. If you run out of people to pray for, a group of people suffering, or a country suffering are other alternatives, not forgetting a poor soul in Purgatory, known or unknown.
I forgot to mention, I did find a great site on YouTube, yes youtube, where each Mystery is presented beautifully by Fr Groeschel. The Sorrowful Mysteries on You Tube are my favorite, they are absolutely magnificent!
Thank you for allowing me to share this.
Dawn, that’s such a great tip! Thank you for sharing it!