praying the rosary
Jesus asks that His disciples to “pray unceasingly.” (Luke 21:36) This is a hard command and requires great discipline in both the mind and body. Essentially to pray unceasingly is to “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect,” (Matt 5:48) for it is constantly keeping at the forefront of one’s mind and heart the twofold commandment: “love God and your neighbor.” (Luke 10:27) Prayer is putting these commandments into action.
To aid in a personal and perpetual active relationship with God, the Church has Mass offered daily; this is the highest form of prayer. Additionally, the Church has laid out holy hours to bring her members into prayer all throughout the day and night. These moments are called the “holy hours” or “Divine Office". These hourly prayers are divided into four categories: morning (lauds, terce), daytime (sext, none), evening (vespers, compline) and night prayers (matins).
“From ancient times the Church has had the custom of celebrating each day the liturgy of the hours. In this way the Church fulfills the Lord’s precept to pray without ceasing, at once offering its praise to God the Father and interceding for the salvation of the world.” – Office of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. more...
Jesus Christ gave the Divine Mercy Chaplet and prayers to Saint Faustina Kowlaska, a polish nun, in a vision in order to encourage participation in His Mercy. Jesus asks that mercy be exercised as proof of love for Him.
There are three ways to practice mercy: by deed, by word, and by prayer. The Corporeal and Spiritual Works of Mercy are commonly accepted list of deeds and words of mercy to imitate. Their origins are found throughout the Scriptures and from innate human every day decency:
Corporeal Works of Mercy: feed the hungry; give drink to the thirsty; clothe the naked; shelter the homeless; comfort the prisoners; visit the sick; bury the dead.
Spiritual Works of Mercy: teach the ignorant; pray for the living & dead; correct sinners; counsel those in doubt; console the sorrowful; bear wrongs patiently; forgive wrongs willingly. more...
Life isn’t easy. Each one of us has difficulties that we must work through in order to reach a place of peace and joy— which ultimately, is happiness. On our own, we can wander around in the desert, say for 40 years, as did the ancient Israelites, or we can follow the maps as received via the Church.
The Rosary being one of these maps will give us graces to persevere, the ability to find solutions to the challenges we face, and will help us reach our goals much sooner. By praying the Rosary, we are making an act of faith that no matter what happens, we will trust in God, do our best, live out our calling, and thus, serve God and others, fulfilling the twofold commandment of love: love God and your neighbor. more...
Prayer is a formal word for a simple action: “conversation with God”. If you wake up in the morning and say, “Hi God,” your greeting is a prayer. Prayer is simply an acknowledgement of God’s existence and His presence in our lives.
“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy!” – St. Therese of Lisieux, Manuscrits and autobiographiques
We converse with those around us —either strengthening or weakening our relationships (depending on how we communicate)— and the same is true with God; it is just as easy to interact with Him.
Since God is perfect, and never erring, He never pushes us away, nor does He ever ignore us, etc.,. Ever patient, He always listens and always answers. He answers in three ways: “yes”; “in time”; or “I have something better for you”. more...
The prayer, Hail Holy Queen, is most known for being one of the ending prayers for the Rosary. It is said after the last decade. It is also one of the four antiphons of Mary.
Traditionally it is divided into three responses. In the first and third part, all participants pray in unison; and then the second part, only the leader responds.
There are different accounts of the origins of the Hail, Holy Queen. However, the general consensus among Catholic sources is that this prayer was composed between the 11-12th centuries. Nevertheless, the titles and honor given to Mary were not new then. Rather, they were beloved traditions that were put together beautifully as a hymn of praise and intercession. Let’s look at the prayer’s scriptural origins: more...
For many people, taking the time to say the Rosary is a chore. The Rosary is very repetitive, and can be boring or tedious; it is hard to find the time, since saying one Mystery can take anywhere between 10-30 minutes. Also, others believe that saying formal prayers is not relevant anymore asking: “isn’t the Rosary an archaic medieval practice for the uneducated? God likes prayers from the heart, spontaneous and not lengthy. He doesn’t want us to pray the same prayers day after day. In fact, Jesus condemns vain repetition: "And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.” (Matthew 6:7)
If we can work through these difficulties and any excuse that we find ourselves reverting to, then we will see that taking the time to pray the Rosary daily will actually influence our lives in a very positive way. We will find that our discipline will improve; the vices that we struggle with will fall away from us; we will be more at peace with ourselves and those around us; and lastly, we will be confident that we are walking with God—not just making our own way alone. more...
Rosary booklets are not necessary for praying the Rosary, but they are a helpful aid as they provide explanatory and even meditation points on the Rosary and Rosary Mysteries. They have a twofold purpose: they are educational, and they help keep the focus on what is being prayed. more...
The Our Father Prayer, also known as the Lord’s Prayer, is the prayer said at the beginning of the Rosary directly after The Apostles’ Creed, and is right before the three Hail Marys. It is also the prayer that begins each decade.
Catholics, and even non-catholic Christians, claim that the Our Father is the most beloved of prayers in the Catholic Church’s treasury; it was taught to the Apostles by the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ. (Matt 6:9-13) Since the Our Father is the response to the Apostles’: “teach us to pray, ” we can be assured that it is powerful and is the most perfect of prayers. There is so much depth to this prayer that The Catechism of the Catholic Church devotes one of its four parts to examining it. Many argue that it is the summary of the gospels. St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas praise it: more...
The Hail Mary prayer is mostly known for being the main prayer in the Rosary, though it is often prayed as an individual prayer. It appears in each decade ten times, and at the beginning, three times, for an increase in the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity.
Besides this, the Hail Mary is a testimony of faith—being the most recognized “Catholic” prayer. No other religion honors Mary to the extent that the Catholics do. Unfortunately, this love for her is often understood wrongly. Catholics don’t worship Mary; she is not God, but they do recognize her role in salvation. It is because of her Fiat, her yes to God, that the Incarnation took place. In other words, she is a key player in redemption. In particular, she is the new Eve, the woman prophesied in Genesis, and the one spoken of in Revelation. more...
The Apostles’ Creed is the first prayer of the Rosary. It is an important prayer in the life of the Catholic Church. Not only is it a summary of the life of Jesus Christ, but an acceptance of the mysteries expressed. It details the core beliefs of Catholics since the first century; the doctrines are fulfillments of the ancient Jewish prophecies. Each word is key and nothing in it is superfluous. In fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church has an entire part devoted to examining the Creed’s depths.
This article is a brief glance at the prayer, which includes key Scripture verses, and cursory explanations. The hope here is to inspire further research. more...
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