Last weekend in my homily I talked about how focusing on sacred scripture in prayer is one of the ways St. Paul suggests that we overcome anxiety in our lives. I did not have enough time to get into how to pray in this manner because it is a very vast topic. Praying with scripture can be as simple as picking out a passage in the Bible, reading it a few times and then focusing on the passages that God is leading you to focus on. This method is known as Lectio Divina and I have written about it before. However, in my own experience often the most simple things are hardest to do at the beginning and that people need a little more structure. So, I would like to talk about a prayer that I have been praying every day since I became Catholic: The Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Rosary is one of the most popular devotions in the entire Church. According to legend, it was given to St. Dominic directly by Our Lady in order to convert a heretical group known as the Albigensians back to the faith. While there is very little need to do that now, we still need our Lady’s help to face the many problems that we have in this world. There are many reasons why the rosary is so popular. First, it is incredibly effective in answering the holy intentions of those who pray it. Second, it works on a surface level of just reciting the prayers in vocal prayer. Third, it leads one to contemplate the mysteries of Our Lord through the eyes of she who loved Him most: His own mother. In the rosary, Mary helps us to love Christ and she reminds us that we can approach Him. Fourth, it is a good prayer to pray alone and really focus on the words and the meditative aspects. Fifth, it also works in large groups since different people can guide the mysteries and it always feels good to pray in a group, especially with friends and family. Lastly, the Rosary was recommended by Our Lady directly who appeared in Fatima in 1917. She requested the rosary to bring peace to the world and that’s something we greatly need.
One form of the Rosary I particularly enjoy is the scriptural rosary. That means that before each Hail Mary, you read a verse from scripture about the mystery you are meditating on. I find that this helps me keep focused on that mystery and allows me time to reflect on the Word of God.
I hope you find this helpful no matter how you choose to pray.