How to Pray the Rosary Everyday
I had always been told the rosary was a powerful weapon. I didn’t realize how true it was until my one year-old swung one and hit me in the face!
In all seriousness, the rosary was a prayer that eluded both Justin and I for many years. Neither of us grew up praying it, and it was so hard every time we had tried to pray it. So in the early years of our marriage, it was just something we didn’t even attempt.
One Advent, we were challenged by a holy priest we really respected to pray the rosary daily. His exact words were, “The rosary is hard. Pray it anyway. All the saints prayed it. That’s why they are saints. I can’t tell you why it works. All I know is it does work. Pray it daily.”
Well, we definitely saw the logic in that, and because we highly respected him, we decided to take up his challenge. You could say we started it on faith. The faith that he was right. That it would work even if we didn’t know why and even if we weren’t sure we really wanted to do it. Even so, we decided it was too difficult to pray daily, so we began by praying the rosary together only on Sundays.
As the months went on, it became easier to pray once a week. I actually started praying it daily and Justin began to join me more often. Around nine months later, we began to pray the rosary together daily when further challenged by a different priest. And we’ve now been praying a daily rosary for five years. Somedays life happens, and we pray it separately. However, we pray together whenever possible.
While praying the rosary has gotten easier over the years, there are definitely days where it is still difficult – especially with three children running around.
Here are some things we’ve learned over the years to make the rosary easier:
1. Pray with someone if possible
The days Justin and I can pray the rosary together it is typically easier to pray than when I am praying by myself. If that’s not an option, then there’s some great audio rosaries you can download/buy a CD to help keep you on track. While many families we know have a set time to pray the rosary, what works best for us is to simply know that it’s a non-negotiable on our to-do list so we fit it in whenever it works best depending on the day.
2. Minimize distractions
With three kids seven and under, that’s typically easier said than done. Most of the time, the children are underfoot while we pray. However, sometimes we will pray the rosary outside while they run around in the yard. Other times, we will pray it as a family in the car.
Another way to minimize those distractions is to make sure you bring a sense of mental reverence. You may not always be in a place that is physically reverent and conducive to prayer, but one can always attempt to bring a mental reverence.
3. Assign Intentions
Within the past year, each family member has been given a “day” where the rosary is prayed specifically for them. For instance, the 7 year old’s favorite mystery is Mary is Crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth, so Sunday is his day to be specifically prayed for. Monday is for our son, Gabriel, since the Annunciation is one of the mysteries. The four year-old’s favorite mystery is Jesus is crowned with thorns so Tuesday is her day. Wednesday is Justin’s day, and Saturday is my day. The kids get very excited both when it’s their day to be prayed for, and when their favorite mystery comes up. We will also have a child announce the mystery in order to engage them.
4. Visualize the Mysteries
Asking where, when, how, and why and placing myself as one of the people in the mystery really helps me stay focused. I will ask questions such as “How did Mary feel when she realized she was going to give birth to her son in a barn? Would I feel the same way?”
5. Use Images
We try to pray in front of our family crucifix in order to be able to better visually see Jesus’ death on the cross. Other times, we will look at a favorite picture of Mary or pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Each of these can help us “change it up” and enter into a deeper mediation.
6. Start Small
We initially started praying the rosary just one day a week. For someone who wasn’t used to praying the rosary every day, that was difficult enough. After we had worked up those spiritual muscles, it was much easier to add it in more regularly. Instead of doing one rosary a week, you could also begin by praying one decade of the rosary a day and gradually work up to more.
Five years later, we can definitely say the rosary has brought our family many graces and comforted and helped us through some very difficult times. It’s helped Justin and I grow together as a couple, and taught our children the importance of making time (no matter how busy we are) for daily prayer. No matter your state in life, we really encourage all to pray the rosary on a regular basis.