Welcome to the month of October—the month of the rosary! The rosary is one of the most powerful prayers that we have. Through the rosary, we can intercede for others, ask Mary’s intercession for us, and draw closer to Mary and to Jesus.
The rosary is also a powerful prayer for vocational discernment. The reason for this is simple: the mysteries of the rosary lead us through the life of Christ, from the annunciation of his birth, to the crowning of his mother in heaven. And it is by drawing close to Christ, getting to know him, and entering into his life that little by little God reveals our vocation.
Pope John Paul II used to say that the rosary is Christocentric: “The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer…it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium. It is an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb. With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love” (“On the Most Holy Rosary,” no. 1).
Bl. James Alberione, the founder of the Daughters of St. Paul, had a lot to say about the rosary! He instructed us to pray the rosary well and often. He gave it to us as a part of our Eucharistic “Visit with Jesus” (Hour of Adoration). In his autobiography, he said, “Without the rosary, I felt I was incapable of even giving an exhortation.”
What do you think about the rosary? Do you pray it? Maybe you’d like to start praying it…or try to pray it better! Here are a few ways to enter into the rosary as a contemplative prayer of vocational discernment:
- If praying the whole rosary is too much for you, try praying just one or two decades.
- Begin by taking a few minutes to reflect on the mystery you’re praying. Read a Scripture verse that relates to the mystery. Close your eyes and visualize the scene; even imagine yourself in the mystery.
- Place an intention for each mystery. Ask to grow in a virtue, or pray for a specific person.
- Pause on the name of Jesus. Say it with love, just as he says your name with love.
- You can find resources for praying the rosary here.
One more thought on the rosary from Bl. Alberione! “What is the rosary? It is the object of our hope. Afflicted sons and daughters, as soon as they hold the rosary in their hands, feel a new hope arising again in them, a hope which is strong and serene. After the cross I do not know of anything which can give comfort to a soul more than the rosary. The Church recommends the rosary to everyone, and desires that religious have it always with them so that they may live under the continual protection of Mary.”