Jesus warns us not to pile up empty phrases and babble on (Matt 6:7). Protestants often look at the Rosary and say it is just this. And the truth is we can fall into this trap. 

We can rush to check a box in praying the Rosary or even when reflecting on direct Scripture passages. Prayer at times can seem repetitive and that we are just answering an obligation. 

However, prayer is a conversation with our best friend. It is going into the classroom of silence to learn and grow. It is touching the consciences of God. We need to practice and use all the tools at our disposal to foster and develop this skill. 

Tools for A Better Prayer Life

The first tool is routine. When we build a habit of turning to God, it can open a flood of grace. So even if at first or due to your phase of life, prayer seems inaccessible, scheduling a daily Rosary is an incredible option. 

Praying with a Rosary group is excellent for maintaining accountability, even if this group is just digital in a resource like Hallow. When my “family” group prays a Rosary, and it notifies me and shares their reflections, I am inspired and competitive to make sure I go in and complete my prayer plans!

Once we have built the habit, made it a priority, and have developed some group accountability, it’s time to dive deep into what the prayers mean. We need to understand where the prayers come from and what the words mean. This comprehension and background can have a huge impact, especially in things we constantly repeat like the Hail Mary and the Sign of the Cross

But we want to maximize this time. We want to strive for excellence in our prayer to move from box-checking to the impact. The gift given by the Church to do this is the mysteries. We have been provided 20 critical points in the life of Christ, 20 scripture passages to understand our God better. They have been grouped into four sets to give us something to focus our wandering minds on as we enter into the rhythm of the Rosary. 

Bringing the Word of God into the Rosary

However, it’s easy just to list these right before we start a decade and not even notice, and dive into repeating the prayers. Today, we challenge you to stop and read the corresponding passage before you dive into the rest of the decade and then allow these words to seep into your prayers. Practice Ignatius Contemplation, put yourself into those mysteries, allow Christ to use them to start a conversation. What stood out to you? What is the Holy Spirit saying to you in these words or phrases? 

Another way to use these Scripture passages is to do a Scriptural Rosary that incorporates a verse to reflect on before every Hail Mary, breaking up the passage into smaller sections for further contemplation. I used this very book as I ruck-sacked through a survival training program leaning on Mary to give me the strength when my physical body was failing. She helped bring my mind back to Christ and to deepen my relationship with her Son in my own suffering. 

We might be tempted to think, well wouldn’t 20 passages get boring if I pray with them 1 or 2 times a week? But we need to remember this is the Word of God, and it is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword. Jesus always has something more and something deeper to call you into. Familiar words only allow for further conversation, recalling what these have meant over the years and how they have changed. 

Diving Deeper

We get what we put into these prayers. If we spend the extra time with Scripture, we are guaranteed to get more out of our prayer time. However, we can also look into the virtues or fruits each mystery represents. We can offer each decade for a specific intention or person. 

Yes, it is beautiful to pray three Rosaries a day but what’s even more important is to make sure that it is prayer. That we are allowing ourselves to be open to a conversation to be touched by God, even if this means we only complete one decade. Let’s commit to going deep, and through this slowing down, we will be able to reach new heights and see a new corner of Heaven today! 

Watch this video for more on how to pray the Rosary better and a break down of the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary! 

How To Pray The Rosary Better

The Mysteries Scripture References

The Joyful Mysteries (Monday and Saturday)

1. The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38)

2. The Visitation of Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-56)

3. The Nativity or Birth of Christ (Luke 2:1-20)

4. The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple (Luke 2:21-39)

5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-51)

The Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesdays and Fridays)

1. The Agony in the Garden (Matt 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46)

2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Matt 27:26, John 18:37-19:1)

3. The Crowning With Thorns (Matt 27:27-31)

4. The Carrying of the Cross (John 19:17, Matt 27:32-34)

5. The Crucifixion (Luke 23:33-47)

The Glorious Mysteries (Wednesday and Sunday)

1. The Resurrection (Luke 24:1-12, John 20:11-17)

2. The Ascension (Luke 24:50-51, Acts 1:9-13)

3. The Coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4)

4. The Assumption of Mary Body and Soul into Heaven (Rev 12:1-17, Song of Songs 2:8-14)

5. The Crowning of Mary at Queen of Heaven and Earth (Rev 12:1-6)

The Luminous Mysteries (Thursday)

1. The Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan (Matt 3:3-17, Mark 1:9-11)

2. The Wedding Feast at Cana (John 2:1-11)

3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God (Matt 4:13-17, 23-25, Mark 1:14-39)

4. The Transfiguration of Jesus (Luke 9:25-25, Matt 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-7)

5. The Institution of the Eucharist (Luke 22:14-20, Matt 26:26-28)

Photo by Thérèse Westby on Unsplash