The Rosary is one of the most powerful prayer tools we have. It can be such an incredible gift, an extraordinary intercessory prayer, and a beautiful way to connect with our Heavenly Mother. So why is it that it can be so difficult to pray consistently? Is it the repetitive nature of the prayers - does that make it feel impersonal? Is it the time commitment, knowing it might require a solid 15 minutes of uninterrupted time? Maybe it feels too formal, like something you have to complete once you start, like it's cheating to only say a decade or two.
One thing I know for certain, is that the Rosary has always been and will always be, a powerful weapon in the spiritual life. I've seen and heard countless times, just how life-changing it can be to consistently pray the Rosary. I've heard of its ability to bring healing, to transform families, to comfort those in need, and to bring about conversion.
If you're anything like me, you've tried (and failed) to make the recitation of the Rosary a more significant part of your prayer life. It is my hope that these few tips might help you form this habit and stick to it, or at the very least inspire you to pick up the Rosary and try again.
1. Just start. The first part of building any routine or forming any habit is to just start. Grab a rosary, or use your fingers, and just start praying.
2. Make it convenient. Keep rosaries spread throughout your house or workplace. Carry one in your purse or in your pocket. Keep one in the car. If you have a dedicated prayer space, keep a rosary there - you can even put it in this handy Bible pouch for easy access. The key is to make it harder to forget to pray. If you surround yourself with visual reminders, and literally place the Rosary in the places you frequent the most throughout the day, it will be that much harder to ignore.
3. Set realistic expectations. I'm a firm believer that there is no one right way to pray, and this includes praying the Rosary. Sure, it may be organized in such a way that enables you to reflect deeply on each mystery, or to lose yourself in contemplation during each Hail Mary. Perhaps you are able to pray it in this way during a Holy Hour, or for 10 minutes before Mass begins on Sunday. But is this the ONLY way to pray the rosary? I don't think so. Maybe you do a decade or two on your drive to work or school, a decade during lunch, and finish it off on your ride home. Maybe you pray it aloud to yourself while you wash the dishes or fold the laundry. Maybe you make it through 1.5 decades as you're falling asleep at night, and never finish it. I don't think any of these scenarios are wrong or bad in any way. The important piece is that you are making it a priority to spend time with the Lord and His Mother. They don't ask for perfection, they just ask for us - for our time and effort to just be with them. There is beauty in this imperfection.
4. Utilize other forms of praying the Rosary. There are countless podcasts and audio recordings of the Rosary - this can be such a simple and practical way to work the prayer into your day. It can be hard to keep track of which Hail Mary you are on while your hands are busy doing something else. Audio recordings, podcasts, and even Youtube videos (we have some here) can solve this problem. Just pray along with them, and let them keep track for you.
5. Find an accountability partner. Find someone to pray it with you, or to ask you at the end of the day if you got it done. Maybe it's your spouse, and you each begin your Rosary on your own, and end it together at the end of the day. Maybe you take 15 minutes before bed and pray it together. Maybe you have a friend send you a text to remind you. Or maybe your phone can do this - set an alarm reminder at whatever time is most convenient for you to stop and pray.