How the Rosary Can Be a More Meaningful Prayer
The USCCB catechism has a description of what are referred to as the three “modes” of prayer. These modes are
important in understanding how we can pray better. The modes are vocal prayer, meditation, and contemplation. All three are potentially present any time we place ourselves in God’s presence. Vocal prayer is exactly what it sounds like; prayer that is spoken. So when you say the rosary this is a form of vocal prayer. However, many of us, especially if we are trying to pray the rosary frequently, can get stuck here by simply saying the words of the prayers. This can lead to frustration, boredom, and feeling like we are wasting our time. It is the second mode of prayer that really makes the rosary work and that is meditation. Meditation means that while we are saying the words we are trying to listen and hear what God might be saying to us. We are thinking about what the words of the Our Father mean, or the mystery of the rosary, or reflecting more deeply on the call of the Blessed Mother to bring Jesus into the world. From this type of slower more intentional prayer comes an awareness of God’s presence and where He might be leading you. This awareness is called contemplation. An example might be something like this: You pray the rosary and meditate on the Agony in the Garden. While doing so you might begin to think about a family member that you know is suffering a difficult decision or you might allow God to help you experience the suffering of people who are recovering their lives after recent natural disasters. These are thoughts that may not have occurred to you without entering into meditation. These three things: saying the prayers, entering into a mystery, and experiencing something real from God is all part of prayer and should be part of each rosary we offer. Do this often enough and it begins to affect the way you live. You feel more peaceful, become more generous, find and experience love, as God is now able to mold you more into the person he has called you to be!
Join Fr. Kyle and I for an opportunity to learn about and pray the rosary this Monday and Tuesday!
God Bless, Fr. Todd