October is the Month of the Most Holy Rosary. If you have not been praying it, there are still 8 days left! If you're having difficulty getting around to it, please read this post and see if any of this resonates with you.....
5 Reasons Why We Should Pray the Rosary
1) The Mother of God has Requested it-What better reason could there be? Our Lady gave the Holy Rosary to Saint Dominic and has continued through history, to request that it be prayed. At Fatima, she implored, "Pray the Rosary every day." She has given 15 Promises to those who pray the Rosary. The following 4 reasons come from her own list!
2) Protection and Graces-The first Promise Our Lady gives is this: "To all those who shall recite my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and very great graces."
3) Armor Against Hell-"The Rosary will be a very powerful armor against Hell. It will destroy vice, deliver from sin and dispel heresy."
4) Improves Earthly Life and Obtains Mercy-"The Rosary will make virtue and good works flourish and will obtain for souls the most abundant Divine Mercies. It will substitute in hearts love of God for love of the world, and elevate them to desire heavenly and eternal good. O that souls would sanctify themselves by this means!"
5) Eternal Salvation-"Those who shall recite my Rosary piously, considering its Mysteries, will not be overwhelmed by misfortune nor die a bad death. The sinner will be converted, the just will grow in grace and become worthy of eternal life."
5 Reasons Why We Don't & the Solutions
1) Time-In this profoundly inauthentic life that we are living today, we are pulled in many directions and the spiritual life is not made a priority. Our Lord said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you." (Luke 12:31) We must place the Kingdom of Heaven first, above all earthly concerns. We all need to examine our lives and ask God how we can do things differently and re-structure our days. Praying one of the Mysteries (5 decades) of the Rosary should only take about 15 minutes. If we really do not have that much time, praying only one decade is an option. It is understandable, some people (think of a mother with 8 children-or any children for that matter!) may be so busy that they cannot find the time and simply fall into bed at night, completely exhausted. Chances are, if this is you, you are also pretty wound up mentally at this point! Meditating on just one Mystery as you fall asleep will be a gift to Our Mother, which she will hold precious to her heart. And it will probably help you fall asleep!
2) Difficulty Establishing Habit-Even though the Rosary does not take much time, it may seem daunting before you have established the habit. If this is the case, starting with only one decade will help break the ice. Get used to praying one decade and then systematically add a decade until you are praying all 5 Mysteries! Take a time of day when you have a relaxed space of time to pray...for some, this may be the morning (if you're an early bird!), for some, mid-day or evening. Just stick with it and know that you've got Heaven on your side!
3) Difficulty Praying Alone-Admittedly, praying the Rosary alone is an intensely internal experience. Of course, you are never REALLY alone, for all of Heaven is at your side. But for some, praying alone is difficult. Many churches have groups which pray the Rosary after daily Mass.....or, pray it as a family. Another option is to start your own Rosary group at your church or home. You can be creative! Rosary praying can be done with children, focused on a particular intention or combined with other activities, such as crafts, Scripture reading or learning religious songs.
4) Lack of Comfortable Space-For some, the problem may be as simple as having no place to pray. If you want to pray during your lunch hour at work, think about finding a quiet spot in another area of the building or perhaps outside. Don't be embarrassed to be seen praying your Rosary! You are giving a great witness to others and may even be instrumental in someone's conversion. At home, there may be constant distractions around you. Your bedroom may be no help if you are not comfortable sitting up in bed. Every home should have a quiet place where prayer can take place. You can devote a small room to this, your basement or part of a room. It's a great place to display statues and other religious art and objects. It should also be a comfortable place to be. Soft chairs and soft light, maybe some floor pillows....an inviting, welcoming, peaceful space. A place your family will want to be, where the spiritual life can be cultivated. This prayer space will stand in direct contrast to all the electronics, bells, whistles and distractions, much of which is unholy, that this culture makes us think we need.
5) Scrupulosity-The reason some of us don't pray the Holy Rosary more often, may be that we feel we don't pray it perfectly. We expect so much of ourselves that we become discouraged and lose motivation. The solution is to accept that no human being is perfect and that includes you. We get distracted, our thoughts wander, we might be sleepy. THAT'S OKAY! Who's to say that these even are imperfections? God uses our humanity to humble us, to break us, to refine us, to learn to trust HIM. So if scrupulosity is your problem: Get over yourself! See "Difficulty Establishing Habit" above. Starting small may help you to get started....and trust in God, not in yourself.
What a better place the world would be if from pole to pole the Holy Rosary resounded from every home to the Heavens!
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Image courtesy http://blogs.nd.edu/oblation/2011/05/06/teaching-catholic-practice-praying-the-rosary-with-middle-school-students/