Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Think you don't have time for the rosary?

I did. For the last month or so, I really thought I was just too busy. You are too, right? All those things that need to be done are more important than prayer, or at least a long prayer, like the rosary.

I became a Martha, rather than a Mary. Or rather, I became mostly Martha and little Mary. A Hail Mary here, a desperate attempt at a decade or two there. A nighttime prayer here, an Act of Contrition there. God will take and appreciate any prayer we offer, but I forgot about the graces I receive when I make a dedicated effort at prayer, especially the rosary. Yeah, me, the rosary maker forgot about how important it is to pray the rosary. I was making them, and other people were praying them. But, I was only make a half-hearted attempt at it.

The other day, however, I thought, "I really need to pray the rosary." It was one of those serious promptings by the Holy Spirit -- one that can not be denied. But because I was still in my Martha mind, I turned to an app I had downloaded months ago and I prayed, not as a leader, but follower, while I made a rosary. The best of both worlds? Well, not best, but a good compromise.

"Remember that nothing is small in the eyes of God. Do all that you do with love." ~~ St. Therese

I am a Martha, there is no denying. I am not a contemplative cloistered nun who spends her days, or most of her days, in quiet prayer. I cook, clean, launder, school, and in between I sew and create rosaries. My days are full to the brim.

But, there is always room for prayer. Maybe you have little ones who don't give you a rosary's worth of quiet time. Maybe you go, go, go all day and you really think there is just not time. Buts there is. You just have to work it in and use the aids that are out there.

The app that I am using now is available in CD form. You can pray in the car, while you're waiting on a dance lesson or soccer practice. You can pray while you're folding laundry, or while the little kids play with their legos on the floor. You can pray while you're hanging laundry (yes, Janette!), or while you're ironing. While the rosary is most perfect in its quiet, contemplative form, it is also good while you are following along with someone else leading. The children can follow along, too. And if your family is not accustomed to praying the rosary, sometimes it's a less awkward start with someone else leading.

The reason I encourage you to pray the rosary, the complete rosary, in any way you can, is because of the beautiful graces given to you when you contemplate the wonderful mysteries of the rosary. By praying the rosary in a week, or really, in just the days of Monday through Thursday, you contemplate the entire life of Our Lord, from the Annunciation to the Ascension, plus the additional mysteries of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Assumption, and the Coronation of Mary. I actually never realized that the rosary is a complete timeline of Our Lord's life until one day several years ago when I was examining this beautiful holy card I purchased at the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation. With the addition of the Luminous Mysteries, thanks to our beloved and oh-so-wise St. John Paul II, the mysteries cover the entire life of Jesus.

click on photo to enlarge -- starting in the upper righthand corner and moving clockwise, the mysteries are illustrated, covering the entire life of Christ

I want to encourage you to try praying the rosary if you currently don't. And I encourage you to use the aids that are available to you. A book, or a CD, or an app for your iPod or iPad. The one I am using right now, is available in CD or app form (also here). The rosary is led by a priest -- a different priest for each day (I think one day might be a sister) -- and though some people may find it goes quickly (or too quickly) I find it to be just right for a mother's busy lifestyle. There is beautiful music playing, but it's not overbearing or annoying, at least not to me. And you don't even need beads to follow along with the rosary, so it truly leaves your hands free if you have to fold laundry, clean up after dinner, or hold a baby.

If you have more time for a rosary and you like a scriptural rosary, I highly recommend The Complete Rosary, which gives an alternate phrase that can, if desired, be used following the words: "Blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus." Each phrase is particular to the mystery. I also love Holy Rosary: Josemaria Esriva and often take that book with me to Adoration.

Whatever your situation is, whether you have time for an entire scriptural rosary, or can barely fit it in when you're following, I promise you will find it worthwhile to fit it in. Many people start the rosary at night and ask their Guardian Angels to finish if they fall asleep. And there is nothing wrong with that. But by actually contemplating the mysteries of the rosary, consciously, the graces of the rosary will be so much more available. I truly don't think Our Blessed Mother minds that we pray the rosary with busy hands, but we must make our hearts open to receive all the graces.


  1. I love this...as I just came in from walking the dog while praying the rosary.
    I have trouble SITTING and FOCUSING when it comes to the rosary. Other types of prayer I am fine...it is rosary specific.
    So...I wear a rosary ring while walking the dog...or listen to the rosary on cd while driving...or folding laundry...totally a Martha. But I would love to get to the point where I can really pray the rosary while not doing anything but praying the rosary. Where I can sit in quiet, at His feet, like Mary.

  2. The Holy Spirit is a-moving and God is a-using you! Beautiful post! You done the Blessed Mother proud, Barbara. Lovely.

  3. A little while ago we had started neglecting to say the rosary as a family. It just didn't feel right, it's a little piece missing out of the day. Besides, Our Lady told us to say it and I'm thinking that if the mother of God tells you to do something, you had better do it! :D I love our family rosary time and we've found that once you make the commitment it really isn't hard to stick to it.

  4. This is so true! I guess it's been three years now that my husband and I committed ourselves to praying the rosary everyday. Most of the time we pray it after the kids go to bed.....we do have a family prayer ritual with them, but this is just for us. It has brought us amazing graces and help in being parents especially during difficult times. As far as individual prayer.....I too was doing the Martha thing. I was up early every morning to exercise and say a few prayers then on to homeschooling and chores. I was having a hard time especially being patient with my teenage son. So I decided I needed to change things for me. I mentioned to my mom an interest in the liturgy of the hours....she prays with it daily. Well guess what I discovered for my birthday. ...my own set. I felt this was the Holy Spirit telling me to quit trying to be a Martha. So now I get up early just for prayer....I've been doing it for over a month now and it has been wonderful! Sorry this response was so long just to say that I believe in the power of quiet prayer! :)

  5. Loved this post and the gentle encouragement for your readers. We are hit and miss on a daily basis. I know I could probably try harder. We do sit on Sunday evening to pray the Rosary as a family after dinner. The peace we feel afterward is amazing. Thanks for the encouragement, Barbara!

  6. Beautiful! I am having a hard time ...finding TIME! We do a lot of family rosary walks...but having older kids...especially this college bound kid really makes it hard. Family life was so much easier when they were little. I do love the rosary and bought some new ones on our trip out to Wisconsin. We went to the Shrine Our Lady of Good Help. We found a beautiful rainbow rosary for Ava who loves rainbows. I will always treasure the one you made and I WON!


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!