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A Few Questions On The Rosary

by Anonymous

I have a few questions to ask about the Holy Rosary and I'm hoping you guys would answer them all:

1st: I try to pray the Rosary as best as I could everyday. But there are times when I feel kind of sluggish to pray it. It's a very sublime prayer to be devoted to, but how do I get out of this unbearable laziness that I occasionally feel when I begin praying the Rosary?

2nd: Whenever I research about the Holy Rosary in the net, I always find these "blessings and benefits". How will you be able to obtain these blessings and benefits. I mean, the promises are very understandable, but I'm having a difficult time understanding how you get the blessings and benefits. But I guess what's more unclear to me are the blessings. What does it mean by sins are forgiven, souls that thirst are refreshed, and etc. I mean, because technically, sins are forgiven by the Sacrament of Reconciliation, right?

3rd: Sometimes, I find it hard to meditate and pray at the same time. It is because when I meditate, I sometimes forget what I am praying (vocally). And when I pray (vocally), I miss out on meditating. I need help particularly on this because this kind of difficulty can be the cause of my 1st question. Also, when I separate the vocal and meditative prayers, as in I begin meditating first, then vocally praying, I become even more sluggish! And so, I tend to not understand the vocal prayers anymore.

That's all. I do hope that when I go back to this website, I would receive answers regarding my problems. Thank you.

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On Keeping Attention in Prayer
by: Jerald Franklin Archer

The Rosary Confraternity offers a few small works on the aspects of what you are experiencing.

Check out their website (under the page "catalog") and you will find a great deal of useful information. Dominus Vobiscum.

This is Still 'Anonymous'
by: Anonymous

Hey guys,

I hope my questions would be answered because I'm in the middle of having a difficult time and I just wish to receive at least a comment to answer all my questions. I desperately need inspiration. Thank you.

I hope I can help
by: J.F. Archer

There is a 3000 character limit, so I will apply this in segments.

I hope I can help here and bear in mind that I am not an expert. I believe everyone experiences what you are experiencing, and each must deal with it a little differently. Here is just a general way I deal with the problems sometimes and my understanding of the other aspects of your question.

The first situation is common. Try not to get frustrated, just accept that maybe at that time, other prayers or a short chaplet may be better than attempting to recite 5 decades in one sitting. You could break the decades up into 5 separate sessions during the course of the day, if that is possible. The main thing it that you are at least trying and are aware of it. Our Lady knows this and it is a great sign of love to Her just the same. She would rather you give Her what you can and it be your best, rather than something less and just willy-nilly. Believe it or not, this does happen with many who ?say? the Holy Rosary and forget to ?pray? the Rosary. You should plan your prayers at a time when you are better awake, as I fully understand about praying the Rosary when you are tired or late at night. I have actually fallen asleep during the prayers.

This is common and should never be construed as one being bored or indifferent. Mental prayer is not as easy as some believe, but done regularly, will soon become second nature. You will reach a point where holy thoughts and prayer will be with you all through the day and this is a great and wonderful thing to experience in your life. Be patient with yourself and persevere and Our Lord and Blessed Mother will not be disappointed.

I hope I can help (2)
by: J.F. Archer

The second situation as to where the benefits and blessing come from, or when you will see them is a very common question. I urge you not to actually expect a noticeable manifestation of them, but realize that many of them are of a nature that you will not even recognize as being blessings or benefits. They are simple graces and will always be for the benefit of your salvation or the souls in purgatory. I am not saying that you could not receive material graces and benefits as well, but they would have to be something that furthers your salvation and not your personal comfort. This is a matter of what God wants and is impossible to really know, but rest assured that your prayers are always answered, even when they are not answered. Remember the Sacrament of Reconciliation is primarily intended for the forgiveness of mortal sins. The Sacrifice of the Mass covers your venial sins, and devotions (like the Holy Rosary) are others means to forgive venial sins, as long as the heart is contrite.

I hope I can help (3)
by: J.F. Archer

The third situation is also common. Everyone meditates differently. Many use pictures to focus on for concentration. Also concentrate on the grace that is associated with the particular mystery (i.e. The Nativity-Detachment from the World, The Crowing of Thorns-Humility, and so on). Additionally, one can play soothing music to aid in concentration (my favorite for this is Gregorian Chants or Palestrina?s works). There seems to be no hard rule that the Rosary needs to be vocal, but can be mental just as well, gaining the same graces. I find that mental prayer is better for concentration purposes, but it is different for each person.

I hope this was of some help.Dominus Vobiscum.

#1. A Dark Night Of The Soul
by: The Rosary Team

Thank you again Jerald Franklin Archer. Your answers are thoughtful and very helpful.

Dear Anonymous,

We would like to try to address your questions as well and will do so in three parts. In the future feel free to ask multiple questions in individual comments so as to make the answers clearer and easier to follow.

1. Many of the saints write about and have experienced this same "darkness of the soul" while praying. It is the most difficult time of their lives and the struggles they endure are a great suffering to them indeed. But when they have overcome the obstacle, the spiritual growth that they have undergone is equally great.

St. John of the Cross wrote about this experience in The Dark Night Of The Soul. Even Mother Teresa talked about her own personal experience with this phenomenon. You may want to google the dark night of the soul and see what you come up with.

We here at are not experts either. But this is our understanding of what is occurring in a person while undergoing this kind of trial. Prayer is the lifting up of our minds and hearts to God (Baltimore Catechism). Uniting with God in prayer will always produce happiness and often times will be accompanied by pleasure. But you must not confuse the two. Happiness and pleasure are not the same thing and do not always go hand in hand.

The Catholic understanding of happiness is perfect union with God. You will not be truly happy until you are eternally in His presence in Heaven. While on earth, the things that bring about this happiness are not always associated with pleasure the way we would think. Things that bring about happiness are often not pleasurable: sacrifice, suffering and even at times prayer. When someone is experiencing a conversion, they have many feelings associated with pleasure.

Acts of sacrifice and prayer at this stage are new and usually very pleasurable, but the purpose of these things (prayer and sacrifice) are to draw you closer to God not to give you pleasure.

It is quite common to experience this so called "darkness of the soul" and it will be temporary. Your job is to persevere and offer up the sufferings it causes you in reparation for the sins committed against the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts and for the conversion of sinners.

Ask Our Blessed Mother to send you all the graces you need to persevere during this challenging time.

#2 The Use Of Sacramentals And Graces
by: The Rosary Team

Your second question seems to deal with the use of sacramentals and how graces are distributed and how they work within human souls.

Yes, you are correct. Sins committed after Baptism are forgiven in the sacrament of Penance. But the Rosary promises "sins are forgiven, souls that thirst are refreshed, etc." are not referring to the sacrament of Penance in the strict sense but rather that those devoted to the Rosary would seek sacramental Confession more often and would would be open to the many graces that can be otained from the reception of this sacrament.

That being said, let's move on to the matter of what sacramentals like the Rosary and other devotions are and how they obtain graces for those making use of them.

Here are some definitions from the Baltimore Catechism.

Sacramentals are holy things or actions of which the Church makes use to obtain for us from God, through her intercession, spiritual and temporal favors.

The chief benefits obtained by the use of the sacramentals are:

1. actual graces;
2. the forgiveness of venial sins;
3. the remission of temporal punishment;
4. health of body and material blessings;
5. protection from evil spirits.

Grace is a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us through the merits of Jesus Christ for our salvation.

Actual grace is a supernatural help of God which enlightens our mind and strengthens our will to do good and to avoid evil.

The principal ways of obtaining grace are prayer and the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist. (Baltimore Catechism)

In order to receive more graces, that will help you live a holier life and attain heaven, the Church encourages you to make use of sacramentals. These include devotions like the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross and objects like the scapular, rosary beads and holy water.

The Rosary is a sacramental through which God sends many graces. The way you can receive these blessings and benefits is by praying the Rosary with great faith and devotion.

#3. On Combining Mental Prayer
by: The Rosary Team

J.F. Archer had some great ideas on how to meditate. Here are some additional ideas. Prepare yourself to meditate in three steps.
1. Clear your mind.
2. Give yourself some food for thought about the subject you plan to meditate upon.
3. Keep your mind focused on the topic you have chosen and try to allow your mind to wander.

This takes discipline and practice but soon you will have trained yourself to meditate and it will become second nature.

The most important step is to clear your mind. Find a quiet place. Bring to mind all your worries and concerns, then let them go one by one. Ask God to take care of them for you. This is the most important step because if you're busy worrying or thinking of all the things you need to do or what's for dinner or whatever, trying to meditate will be very frustrating. Finally, you must force yourself not to allow these thoughts to enter back into your thinking. If they sneak up on you throw them out immediately.

Let your mind wander only on the topic you have chosen to meditate upon. Remember keep all other worries or distractions at bay.

Before you let your mind wander you must give it some food for thought. Read a short Bible passage or prepared meditation. Imagine what the scene may look like. Who are the characters? Look at a picture of the event. Pick a virtue you would like to work on. Do not do all these things. Try them all on for size at different times then decide which works best for you.

But this doesn't completely address your question because you are having a hard time combining the two, vocal and mental prayer.

You don't have to do both at first. Rather try just praying the vocal prayers for a while (weeks), paying attention to the words. At another time during the day, perhaps as you drift off to sleep, practice meditating on different Rosary mysteries. When you are ready try combining the two. This takes practice.

Thanks for your questions and we hope these answers help.

Thank You!
by: Anonymous

Thank you for the great comments. They were all helpful. Again, I thank you very much.

About Your First Question
by: Celesta


Don't give up on praying the Rosary. If you feel 'sluggish' at times, then it is at that time wherein your Rosary will be of more merit. Take heart and pray it as best as you can without fail. It is only the devil that gives you the lazy feeling. Defeat him by praying the Rosary with much devotion.

by: Josemaria, MMHC

Always remember praying is an effort. You need to really develop or exert ways for you to really focus well on meditating upon the mysteries of this wonderful prayer. I would always consider praying the rosary as somehow eating delicious chocolates, you need to really taste the chocolates to feel the ecstatic sweet flavor in your mouth. Taste the sweetness of every prayers in it.
Before praying know first that you will pray and do not allow the devil to distract your love for God and the Blessed Mother Mary.

Jesus and Mary loves you!
In omnibus Amare et Servire Domino!

Ambulatory Rosary
by: CPRay

Concerning a dry period with the rosary.....I am training as a retired person for the Camino de Santiago and one of the things I must do on a daily basis is the rosary.
My daily ritual consists of centering prayer very first thing in the morning followed by my daily devotional - bible reading and commentary. This can take up to an hour.
The very last thing I do before retiring is the rosary. Following one of the many books 1 have read about walking the Camino - actually by Kevin Cudd, a catholic priest - is to say the daily rosary while walking.
So I have developed my rosary by walking around the room where my shrine is at home. The pace of the walk - I describe it as my 'sacred walk' - is around 25 to 30 paces a minute. So my rosary takes around 30 minutes with the reflection for each mystery. I have found this most beneficial and heartily recommend it as an alternative practice to sitting or kneeling.

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