When it comes to the rosary, there is so much goodness, so much grace, and so much that can be said! Last post I gave a very brief history of the rosary, as well as some examples of the power this sacramental has within our world. I intended to show readers that from the time of its origins, the rosary has been a true “grenade of grace,” releasing heavenly blessings into the lives of anyone who prays this devotion faithfully and fervently. In fact, Our Lady has promised that those who pray the rosary with a specific intention will obtain everything they ask for. If this wasn’t reason enough to develop the habit, there are also many other benefits to praying the rosary.
Reasons to Recite the Rosary
In addition to directing St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche to preach the rosary, Mary revealed 15 promises to those who become devoted to this spiritual habit. First of all, the rosary brings about special protection and the greatest graces of Our Lady. She’s even said that “rosary rattlers” are her beloved children, and that she will aide each and every one of her children in all their necessities. Beyond that, those who are devoted to the rosary have the entire celestial court as their personal intercessors, in both life and death. Mary has even gone as far as to say that devotion to the rosary is actually a sign of predestination!
Additionally, the graces of the rosary serve as powerful armor against hell, destroying vices, decreasing sin, and defeating heresies. With all this extra defense against the enemy, one’s spiritual life will always flourish, causing good works and personal virtue to overflow. In this manner, the soul is changed and lifted to desire heavenly things. Even when bad things happen in your life, you will never be conquered, or changed for the worse by your misfortune. This is because Our Lady has assured us that the light of God and the fullness of grace will be with us throughout our lives, as well as the time of our death.
Those devoted to the rosary will not die without first receiving the sacraments of the Church. They will not be chastised by God, and shall immediately participate in the merits of the saints in heaven. Beyond that, they shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven. The graces of the rosary are especially powerful for those souls who find themselves in purgatory.
Based on the protection and outpouring of grace promised by the Blessed Mother, I don’t feel like I can afford to not pray the rosary. That being said, I have always struggled with it. Despite the difficulty, I have always been blessed in my efforts, and the “task” becomes less of a chore and more of a safe-haven as time passes and the habit develops.
Tips for Families
Praying the rosary doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to teenagers (or adults). It can be hard to convince teenagers to pray – and even harder to get them to actually engage and not just go through the motions and say the words. Here are a few tips I use for myself and my teenage students to increase spiritual engagement.
- Pick a Time & Place – Consistency is key! Even if it’s once a week, choose a time
when everyone will be home and make it family prayer time. Get cozy and make it
special. Don’t give up this time, even when things are busy. God cannot be
outdone in generosity: the amount of time we give to Him, He will give back.
The family that prays together, stays together.
- Expect Distractions – Satan hates the Rosary, and he will definitely try to interfere. Whether large or small, you can expect him to bombard you with distractions like drifting thoughts and ringing phones. The bishops actually refer to prayer as a battlefield because of the enemy’s efforts to make our prayer time less fruitful. When a distraction comes your way and you have your moment of realization, simply return to prayer as if you were dodging a bullet and continue on.
- Light a Candle – my mom always lit a candle when we sat down to pray as a family. It really helped to set the mood. As soon as the match struck the wick, it was as if a switch had been flipped internally, and we were all one step closer to focusing on the spiritual. On some occasions, we would turn off the rest of the lights in that room, and out eyes would be drawn to the image of the cross which was illumined by the candle.
- Use Blessed Rosaries – If you haven’t done so already, be sure to have your rosaries blessed by an ordained minister. Having a blessed rosary can make a difference in prayer, as the blessing makes it a sacred object, and all things sacred are connected to the Divine. It helps to bring about just a little more grace.
- Focus on the Mysteries (not the words) – Have your teens google images of Rosary’s mysteries; print them out and fasten them together. Challenge your teens to find images that spark their imagination and make them contemplate the mysteries in new ways. Make sure they know that focusing on the images/mysteries, and not the words, is
okay to do while praying.
- Don’t Go Crazy – When it comes to prayer, quality matters much more than quantity. If your family struggles to pray an entire rosary, don’t force it! In the book The Rosary of Our Lady, Msgr. Romano Guardini offers the following advice: “It is not necessary to ramble through the whole Rosary; it is better to say only one or two decades, and to say them right.”
- Keep a Tally – Since every prayer said during a rosary becomes a rose in Mary’s heavenly crown, keep an ongoing tally of how many roses your family has added. Each rosary has a total of 60 Our Father’s and Hail Mary’s combined. If you have four people in your family, multiply 60 by four each time you pray, then add to your existing number. This practice was especially helpful in my classroom; most teenagers do better when they can see some sort of progress being made.
No matter how you decide to do it, you won’t regret the efforts you put forth in establishing this habit within your family. Our Lady is always generous with those who turn to her for help, so whether you call on her daily, weekly, or monthly, the Blessed Virgin will always pour out an abundance of grace into your life.