I have a love-hate relationship with the rosary. In fact, I consider myself Rosary Challenged.
I used to think that being Rosary Challenged was a legitimate reason for not praying the rosary. “It’s just not the devotion for me,” I’d think, after another unsuccessful run at trying to pray it regularly. “I’ll try [insert any other devotion] instead.”
Inevitably, after weeks or months or, in one case, years, I would find myself feeling a loud, unmistakable call to pray the rosary.
“But…,” I’d stammer. “I’m NO GOOD at this!”
The call would get pretty annoying, even to the point of people giving me beautiful rosaries as gifts.
“There’s just NO TIME for a rosary!” I’d protest.
Wouldn’t you know, I’d happen to have a reason to rise at a crazy-early time or be up in the wee hours of the silent night? Maybe I’d find myself with a long drive and no radio.
My response most recently has been rather adolescent, I’ll admit: “FINE! I’ll pray it. BUT YOU CAN’T MAKE ME LIKE IT!”
Don’t get me wrong. The rosary is, and remains, a powerful part of my prayer life. The reassuring path through Jesus’ life and ministry and the insights it holds for my life and my vocation are never-ending.
Since October is the Month of the Rosary, it’s a fine time to spend some time with this devotion. But before you run away screaming or protest that you, too, are Rosary Challenged, here are three tips that help me:
1. Start small.
If you’re not used to praying a full rosary, start with a decade. Or, alternatively, pray fewer than 10 Hail Marys with each mystery. Work your way up to the full rosary, taking small steps.
2. Spread it through your day.
It’s amazing how the decades add up. There are days when I pray a decade in the shower, a decade as I get things ready, and a decade as I drive to town. It’s not hard to find a couple of other times through the day when the other two decades fit right in. It truly gives me a practical way to be constantly in prayer throughout my day.
3. Just do it.
I am the master at coming up with excuses why I can’t do something. I’m too busy. I’m sleepy. My kids need me. And on and on and on. Prayer (and specifically the rosary) is no different. When it comes down to it, I just have to buckle down and pull a Nike: “Just do it.”
Sarah Reinhard is a Catholic wife, mom and author whose nose is probably in a book if she’s not scraping something off of her shoes. Her latest book is A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism. Check out all of her books at http://sarahreinhard.com/writing/my-books/.
Visit Sarah’s website: http://sarahreinhard.com/
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