Monday, October 11, 2010

Rosary Tricks

I’ll admit it.  When I pray the Rosary, my mind often decides to take a metaphorical coffee break and drift far from the meditation at hand.  There are a few “quick tricks” that help me focus during Rosary, though.  They’re nothing fancy, just little guided meditations that gently pull my mind back from its wandering and into reflection on the wonderful mysteries of our salvation.

Trick #1: Focus on the day’s category of mysteries.  If, like today, you’re praying the Joyful Mysteries, ask yourself what makes each mystery joyful, and allow God’s joy to fill you with every Hail Mary.  You can do the same with the Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries.

Trick #2: Choose a word that seems to describe the heart of each mystery and focus on it throughout the decade.  For instance, as you pray the Joyful Mystery of the Nativity, you might concentrate on the word “peace” and ask yourself how the Nativity brought peace to the world through the gift of God’s own Son.  There are countless possibilities here, so ask the Lord to guide you.  Remember, too, this word isn’t some kind of mantra to be chanted; it is meant to guide you into deeper meditation on the mystery.

Trick #3: Imagine a scene from each mystery and try to fill in as much detail to it as possible.  You might picture our Lady kneeling in prayer during the Annunciation as the angel Gabriel speaks to her of the coming of Emmanuel.  Try to capture their postures and the expressions on their faces as they converse.  Envision each scene as closely as you can.  You’ll find that you notice something different every time.

Trick #4: Use one of the many Rosary guides available online or at Catholic book stores.  These can often direct your meditation in ways you would never expect.  Online you might try the meditations at (based on the Catechism) or (from Mother Angelica).

Hopefully, these four little tricks will enrich your Rosary experience and help you enter ever more deeply into the mysteries, and through them, into the very heart of God.

1 comment:

  1. When I pray the rosary, I actually create a mental picture of the mystery, reconstructing the sights, sounds and smells in my head. Not just as if it were a mental picture, but rather as if I were standing right there in attendance.

    I mean, really meditate on it; feel it with the eyes of the heart: feel the sand in the garden in the toes, and hear the angels voice; hear the hammer strike the nail through the Hand, and listen to the rope stiffen as it lifts the Cross into place; the tears start to build at the words 'it is finished.' I feel ashamed for men when they beat Christ with the reed about the Head, and I feel anger at the cries from the crowd, 'crucify him!'

    What I have found by doing so is that the ten Hail Marys between each decade seem to flow by, and the rosary itself goes very, very quickly. At the end of the rosary, I feel drained sometimes.