I still consider myself to be a beginner at the rosary and in the beginning I had all the time to pray as many rosaries as I wanted in silence and without much distraction. Now that I am married I find that I rarely even pray it once a week and when I do it always seems to be in my bed at night. I keep making promises to myself that we can all pray it as a family when the kids are older, its just too difficult to do that now when they are young and running wild. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses but my weakness happens to be actually praying the rosary in a group. I am aware that praying in the a group strengthens the prayer but I can’t find any peace in it. I much prefer to pray it on my own in silence. I will ( to please Our Lady ) pray it in a Group setting if I really must but I don’t enjoy it.
So how to pray the Rosary? I guess after listening to just how bad I am at it you probably would rather hear someone else explain it right?
When I started the Rosary I hadn’t prayed it since I was eight years old. So when my dad sent me a rosary from Medjugorje through the mail in an envelope I thought I would give it a go. My life was mainly spent as a non practicing Christian so I thought perhaps the rosary will help. I had however forgotten how to pray the Rosary and all the prayers in between. I even forgot to pray the Creed at the beginning. So I. Simply prayed on the large beads one our father and ten Hail Marys and left out all the rest ( I wasn’t even aware there was anything else to it ). Even so, having learned how to pray it in full later, I felt this simple way of praying it kind of weaned me on to it gently.
This is how I feel we should approach prayer today albeit rosary or Jesus prayer, that is, with baby steps and in a gentle and patient manner. I found myself praying it all the time and everywhere. I often went into the nearby woods to sit and pray it there because I found silence there.
When I came home to Ireland from Scotland I would pray it at night in my bed to avoid the business of downstairs and all the commotion. I tried to integrate myself into Rosary groups but I guess I had become so accustomed to praying it by myself that I would often not attend these groups unless invited or it was mandatory like on a pilgrimage in Medjugorje or in a tlig prayer group ( http://www.tlig.org ). Also many groups without a structure…. they always are adding prayers and detracting all the time and you never know where you are and I upset myself over it and find it irritable.
So anyway, my prayer of the rosary seemed to sadly fade away when I got married. This is to be expected. The marital vocation makes many demands and for me I just can’t pray it in this situation where I get through half a decade and someone needs my attention such as my Wife or kids. So I have left the rosary for now and only pray it on occasion. I will when the kids get older, begin a structural group in the home. But for now I find that if I pray the rosary and I am irritated because I can’t start or even finish it properly I will grow to dislike it even more.
If you are beginning the Rosary I would invite you to simply recite just the Creed, one Our Father, three Hail Marys, one Gloria, One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, when your finished the ten Hail Marys pray one Gloria before moving on to the next our father and ten Hail Marys. Leave out everything else. And after about 3 months of doing this move on to learning it all in full. Even to this day I don’t pray it exactly in full. I simply pray it the tlig way and keep it simples. You can learn how to pray the rosary here : http://www.tlig.org and this is the way I pray it.
What kind of Rosary you should buy:
I would avoid diamond rosaries and emerald stone ones or ones made from the thousand year old tree and considered an “antique”. I remember being in New York and in St.Patricks Cathedral shop there was a rosary there for $200. I find the focus on the material of the rosary greatly diminishes the prayer itself. By all means get the simple rosaries made just out of simple wooden beads, or even cheaper material like plastic and thread. Doing this will help us understand that although the Rosary is a blessed sacramental, it nevertheless is just a guide to help us keep track or count of what we are doing.
St.Gregory of Sinai advises us to whisper our prayers. Whispering has he said the calming effect on the soul and it calms the soul down. Beginners should always whisper their prayers. I whisper still to this day.
Pray just one decade a day:
If you find yourself really hard done by because of the length of the Rosary and you are not really ready to commit your 20 minutes to it just yet, then be gentle on yourself. Just pray the creed, one our father, three hails Marys, one Gloria, one Our Father, ten Hail Marys and then leave it at that. D this every day for a Month, then increase it to two decades for a month and so on and so forth.
I hope you found my post helpful. How do you pray your rosary? Have you any advice for me?