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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Any Rosary Will Do

Sister, how do you pray for somebody else, especially when it's a case as big as this? I'm serious. I never know what to pray once I get past, "Lord, help So-and-so," or, "Lord, help the victims of the tsunami in the Pacific," or whatever the event is. Because it seems so presumptuous of me to tell God what to do--HOW to help--and because their needs are so overwhelming, whatever I ask for won't be enough and I'll miss something important, or get something wrong. Besides, won't a loving God help those people without me asking? I'm Protestant, but this is where I've found a Rosary has come in handy in the past, even though I'm sure I'm using it "wrong." I'd work through a section of beads while saying Hail, Mary's or Lords Prayers with my mind on one aspect of whoever I was praying for's suffering or need, then move on to another aspect with the next section. That way I didn't have to worry with getting the words right and could vary and waver with my intention, and God got my point(s).
Mary giving you the "Jesus doesn't like it
when you're not nice to me" look.

The Apostles asked Jesus the same thing.  In less detail. They just said, "Lord, teach us to pray." And Jesus came up with what we call the "Our Father".  Of course the Protestant version is slightly different than the Catholic one. You'd think it would be one thing on which we could agree.  

Dream on.

We're delighted you're saying the rosary!  Really. I can't tell you how that tickles us! For one thing, the biggest and most endless argument I've had with the Separated Brethren is the dismissal of Mary as a person of any importance, let alone someone to whom we turn for intercession. You saying all those "Hail Mary's"?  Stellar. 


Four gold stars.

It is possible to pray "wrong", but you are not praying "wrong".  Technically, you're saying the rosary "wrong", but don't let that stop you.  Asking you to stop saying the rosary in the fashion that you are is like asking an sober drug addict to stop drinking coffee because caffeine is also a drug.

But because we're Catholic and we love nothing more than to split theological hairs, I will tell you that the rosary is a meditative prayer.  That's why it has those mysteries attached.  There are four types of those and to say a complete rosary you would go around the beads four times and meditate on one of the four sets per lap.  But we know most people don't have time for that, so the Church has broken it down to which set of mysteries to say on each day of the week, but sometimes that changes, based on what time of year it is.

Don't cry.

It's much easier than it sounds and it's just a guide line.  You can meditate on any set you'd like, any time you'd like.

So, for example, if you're on the Sorrowful Mysteries (a good pick if you're praying for people in turmoil), you meditate on one mystery per decade of the rosary.  You think about these events, and see Jesus through His mother's eyes.  Isn't that lovely?

It's especially lovely to us if you're doing it. Any way that you do it.


Anonymous said...

As a Converted Catholic, I had problems with the Rosary too. I use this website, because it gives you every part of the mystery you are meditating on.


Hope it helps!

Ladytats said...

to the original commenter, I usually ask that God bless them in whatever way He knows they need help.... "Lord please bless so&so, you know what she/he needs the most." or sometimes I will make the request like this "Lord I am asking for healing for so&so, physical, mental, emotional, spirtual, whatever they need the most."

Thanks for the kick start sister, I have been very lax lately in praying the rosary. I will try to do better

Cassi Mosher said...

To your original correspondent: Take a lesson from the Blessed Mother at Cana (the changing of the water to wine). She didn't come to Jesus and tell Him what to do, or how to fix the problem. She merely presented the problem. "They have no wine." And even when her Son seemed to brush her off, she instructed those in charge of serving at the event, "Do whatever He tells you to do." She didn't tell Jesus HOW to solve the problem. She merely laid the problem at His feet, with quiet and steady faith that He would do SOMETHING.

Sophie Miriam said...

I regularly use rosary beads as a way to pray for basically everybody I know--I go around and each person gets one bead. It prompts me to pray for the people who probably need my prayers but I am not close enough to that it would occur to me to pray a whole rosary for them, like classmates and neighbors.

Meg said...

This is another nice rosary site. sometimes my mind wanders off topic, and this "pray along with the congregation" format helps me stay on point. I also enjoy looking at the pictures of the holy land while praying.


Jennifer said...

Cassi Duncan - that is brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing that!

I'm also a convert, was raised Baptist, and the first thing I prayed using a rosary was the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.


Now I make rosaries, knotted twine ones (http://rosaryarmy.newevangelizers.com/) and I also find that the rosary is one of the best "weapons" in my prayer arsenal (Bible, prayer books, Icons, etc...) for intercessory prayer.

john konnor said...


modris said...

You can do exactly what you're doing...ask God to give them what they need. That's "give us this day our daily bread". Padre Pio called the Rosary his weapon, it's very powerful.
Whenever someone asks me to pray for something or I see a person who needs prayers, I ask the Blessed Mother to put that on "the list". Then I when I pray the rosary or offer up my (small) sacrifices and sufferings for, I tell her they are for the list.. She keeps the list the way my small children ask me to hold things and keep them safe. I can't usually remember for long who's on the list, but she knows, and she knows what they need, like a good mother.

That way I can focus on what's on my plate(like my small children) and let her worry about what other people need, because I don't usually know anyway. I can meditate on the mysteries (or sometimes let her bring people to mind) when I pray the Rosary and not try to remember all these intentions, since I can't any way.

Works for me. The Rosary is a great way to intercede and meditate. It's a powerful remedy for anything.