“The month of October each year is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary. This is primarily due to the fact that the liturgical feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated annually on October 7th. It was instituted to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in gratitude for the protection that she gives the Church in answer to the praying of the Rosary by the faithful.” (Rev. Matthew R. Mauriello, Source: Catholic.net)
According to Catholic tradition and history St. Dominic received the Holy Rosary directly from the Blessed Virgin in 1206. He had been praying and doing penances because of his failure to defeat the Albigensian heresy. Mary appeared and consoled and encouraged him. She also gave him a mighty weapon, the Rosary. Because this was a new way of praying, our Blessed Lady taught him how to say the rosary and asked him to preach this devotion and to teach others to pray it as well. Since that time many victories, both personal and public, have been credited to the recitation of and mediation on the Holy Rosary.
The power of the Rosary is not contested by most Catholics. We love this gift given to us by our Mother, Mary. Despite this, it is a prayer that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle or pushed to one side. We may tell ourselves that it takes too much time…but it really doesn’t, if we break it down. If five decades all at once is too difficult to fit into the day, maybe try praying one at a time. One decade of the rosary takes about 5-8 minutes to say reverently. Almost everyone can find 5-8 minutes and as one priest told us from the pulpit, “It’s not ideal, but if necessary, mute the sound during the commercials while you watch TV and say your rosary.” (Paraphrased).
Because the rosary is such a powerful prayer, obstacles will crop up to prevent us from saying it. It’s a beautiful, meditative prayer but because it is by design repetitious, we may find ourselves becoming distracted as we pray. We start out focusing on one of the mysteries only to be sidetracked by what we will make for dinner, how we’re going to pay this or that bill, or who will drive Susie or Billy to the dentist or choir practice. Sometimes our minds just wander in spite of our love for the devotion and for Our Lord and Our Lady.
We were discussing this while I was on retreat and a friend of mine suggested an interesting way to refocus wandering minds and attention while praying the Rosary. At first I was a little skeptical because I thought it would become rote, but then I tried it and it worked! This is what she does. Since our minds tend to wander when we reach the Hail Mary’s she would insert a reminder after “…of thy womb, Jesus.” For example, if she were saying the fourth sorrowful mystery and her mind wandered she would say something like:
“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus (carrying His cross). Holy Mary Mother of God …amen”
For the first Luminous mystery she might say something like: “…blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus (baptized in the riverJordan). Holy Mary…amen.”
I hope this will be of help to anyone who may find it difficult to concentrate or meditate on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary (and would love to hear other suggestions to help us say this wonderful prayer more attentively). It has proven to be a powerful weapon and aid in the past. I’m certain it can be again if we only make use of it.
You can learn more about the month of the Holy Rosary here:
May God bless you all…