Praying the rosary can be considered a daily “pause for prayer”. Yet, praying it is not always easy, and our praying the rosary is in constant need of renewal in order to keep it from becoming dry and performed out of routine and losing its spiritual fruitfulness.
Perhaps a look at Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter on the Rosary can help us to renew our efforts to pray this beautiful prayer better. Rosarium Virginis Marie was written in October 2002. In it the Holy Father added the new Luminous Mysteries to the rosary and presented a catechesis on this devotion.
The Pope tells us that when praying the rosary it is good to announce each mystery. A biblical passage that is related to the mystery should be read to help meditate and to supply the biblical foundation to this prayer. Long or short biblical passages can be used before each decade. Making use of an icon or picture of the mystery also aids in focusing on the particular mystery.
After the biblical passage is read a short period of silence should be included to nourish listening and meditation on the Word. A pause in order to focus on the mystery is quite appropriate before moving on to the vocal prayers. This way while praying the rosary we are listening to the Word, focusing on the mystery and lifting our minds up toward the Father as we say, “Our Father…”.
The “Hail Mary’s” should be recited with great love and affection for our Blessed Mother. It should be noted that this prayer with its two parts hinge on the name of Jesus. Each time we say the “Hail Mary” we are praising His name and telling our Blessed Mother how much we love her.
The “Gloria” should be given prominence in our hearts. This prayer in praise of the Trinity is the high point of contemplation.
The Holy Father suggests in his apostolic letter that at the conclusion of each mystery a personal prayer be included for the fruits specific to that particular mystery. For example, after praying and meditating on the First Joyful Mystery we can add a personal prayer for the virtue of humility or for openness to God’s will.
The rosary is a beautiful meditation on the Gospels and a path to contemplation. With renewed efforts to praying it well and a commitment to praying it daily, especially as a family, we can grow closer in our union with God.
The rosary is a spiritual aid that shouldn’t be underestimated.
The Holy Father’s Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Marie.
Q4U:Do you have a particular way in which you pray the rosary? A certain prayer or prayers you add? A specific meditation?