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February 03, 2006



For anyone interested, here's a breakdown on how a 54-day Rosary novena typically works:



I'm with you Michelle. The rosary is a great devotion, but I can't keep my mind focused, and I give up rather quickly. It was, however, a great consolation when I found out that my patron saint (St. Therese of Lisieux) thought the same thing. I knew there was a reason that she picked me. ;)


I have a 40 minute drive to work. So I usually say my rosary a day in the car. It's a good way to go into a day at work,or to unwind and focus on th eimportant stuff after leaving work.


Why don't you go out and get some fresh air instead of walking around in your livingroom?


I'm the same way. But for my New Year's resolution this year, I resolved to say a daily rosary. I had heard that if you do something for 17 days in a row, it will become a habit, and that is TRUE. Sure, sometimes I put if off until I'm in bed, but I have managed to pray a rosary every day, and here it is February!

And Barbara, ditto. (:

Francis DS

"I have a 40 minute drive to work. So I usually say my rosary a day in the car."

Don't you get dangerously distracted?

John Hetman

About 18 years ago, I came down with sporadic and excruciating (male) cluster headaches (diagnosed much later by a neurologist). The pain started in the right eye and traveled across my head...lasting 20-30 minutes.
After several years of waking suddenly in the night when I felt the onset of these little demons, I took to pacing the family room and eventually praying the rosary as I walked the 24 feet each way across the room. While no miracle cure happened, I found that I could tolerate the pain and that it ususally vanished by the time I had finished the Memorare at the end of the rosary.
Gradually, I begin saying the rosary even when no headaches were there and now it is a daily practice--whether or not I feel like it. Sometimes, I will divide the decades through portions of the day to better focus upon the meaning of each.

Tim J.

I pray the rosary while driving, too. I keep count with my fingers.

It can be too distracting for city driving, so I mainly do this while driving on the interstate here in rural Arkansas.

I think it makes me a more charitable driver.

I am a big fan of the Rosary, but I don't pray it as often as I should.


I began praying the rosary daily about 2 months ago. I do it with the folks on EWTN at 6:30am cst while riding the recumbent bike which provides exercize for the body AND soul. I also pray the rosary when driving, and I've developed a way of chanting it out loud, which I find particularly soothing during times of stress.

Jill Sawyer

You don't have to say all of the rosary all at once. As long as it's all prayed on the same day, it counts. These days, it's hard to find prayer time. Do the Joyful Mysteries, take a break and do something else, do the Sorrowful Mysteries, etc. Through the Catholic websites (Leaflet Missal, Aquinas and More, etc.), one can buy CD's and cassettes of recorded rosaries. I'm an inveterate multitasker, so I play them in the car and also at home (takes my mind off how much I hate housework!). I highly recommend "The Gospel Rosary of Pope John Paul II" by Vinny Flynn and Still Waters. Chaplet recordings are also available: "Prayers of Intercession for the Holy Souls" (Father Groeschel), the Divine Mercy Chaplet (Still Waters or EWTN), and the Precious Blood (Sisters of the Precious Blood). Finally, there are prayer compendiums: "Treasury of Catholic Devotions" and "A Catholic Prayer Companion." Like St. Paul said, "Pray without ceasing." Or at least until the batteries in the CD player run out.


For those of you having trouble with the rosary, try roping someone else into it with you. I too have trouble saying it every day, but when the family's willing, it makes it easier.

Of course I have two small children, which can make it hard anyway.


I've never found the Rosary to be a particularly efficacious discipline, myself. When I pointed this out to my spiritual director he noted that he had run into this before, and encouraged me to consider the Liturgy of the Hours.

I try to get the major hours, and as many of the little hours as I can each day. It has provided a rhythm to my day, week, and year that the Rosary never did. And I don't feel so frustrated.

For those whom the Rosary has not yielded the benefits that some, including out late Holy Father, have experienced may I suggest some of the other great devotions that give the Catholic landscape such depth and beauty.


My own approach to the Rosary has been erratic over the years, and has participated in the wackiness of my own spiritual life. But I can second Andrew's recommendation about roping someone else in to help; my girlfriend and I pray it together as many days per week as both our schedules allow, and wouldn't you know, I've gotten much better at saying it on those days when we can't be together.

And, being as I am a musical chap, listening to the Biber Rosary Sonatas has also been of great assistance.


I too use my rosary to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy (which I usually sing while driving or doing the housework) more regularly than the prayers of the Holy Rosary.

In fact, the only way that I can pray the rosary properly is either by praying it in church with my fellow Catholics before Mass, or by putting on my JPII Rosary CD (his voice can soothe me into focusing on the mysteries within seconds) and praying along with him. Of course, when he prays it in Latin I just lsten because I can't speak it as quickly as he does on the CD.

We used to pray the rosary as a family every week, but if I'm honest, it became a bit of a chore for the children and now we're are all far more comfortable with praying a decade as and when. It's not the quantity but the quality that counts, after all.

God Bless.

Jamie Beu

I have to give testimony about the Rosary novena.

My mother-in-law had done this rosary novena when my wife moved to Orlando (this was before we were married), with the intention that my wife gets a good job. Within the first half of the novena, my wife had interviewed for, been offered, and taken a job with a major bank in the area.

A few years later, my mother-in-law was concerned about her daughter's dating prospects, so she started another 54-day rosary novena that God would send her a nice Christian (didn't specify Catholic - she thought that might be asking too much!) man who would fall in love with her. The day she started the novena, I was introduced to her by a mutual friend. The rest is history - we've been married for just under 5 years now and have a 1-year-old daughter.

The only drawback was that the rosary novena is set up as 27 days (3 novenas) of request and 27 days of thanksgiving. For my mother-in-law, it's more like 1 day of request and 53 days of thanksgiving. :-)

NW Clerk

It used to be hard for me to say the rosary until I learned how much JPII loved it. It then occurred to me that rather than the rosary being tedious or boring, maybe it was myself was was tedious and boring! :-) I saw pictures of our beloved late Pontiff walking outside in the mountains and other outdoor spaces, fingering the rosary,and decided that walking outside is a great place to say it.


When I came back to the Church my freshman year of college, I had three blessed years of grace that kept me from a few sins that had been plauging my dead soul for yaers, granted this grace had been stored up from my Confermation (they didn't tell us we had to go to confession before so I didn't go) Anyway, after three years that grace seemed to run out. I started to pray the rosary everyday and it worked! I was once again protected by God's Grace through Our Lady. I also take walks abd pray the rosary sometimes, now I've fallen out of the habit. Thanks for reminding me to start it up again.


I used to find the Rosary really overwhelmingly helpful. It was very easy to pray it, and praying it with somebody else was the distraction.

But these days, I find it very difficult to concentrate on anything. So I'll say it along with the TV or whatever, but it's so dry that way. Oh, well, it's not like dry spells of prayer are all that unusual, if you've read any biographies of people who pray a lot.

Tim J.

Dryness in prayer really bothered me for a while.

One thing that helped me a lot was when I realized that the emotional component of prayer, while a great thing, is not necessary for the prayer to be "real", and efficacious and a source of grace.

If I have the will (to please God), and I perform the action (prayer), then God accepts the prayer at full face value (so to speak). While my emotions or imagination may fail to kick in as much as they should, that doesn't change the nature of the prayer.

Ironically, once I fully grasped this idea my prayers became more meaningful and joyful. At the same time, I now find that I am much less dependent on a strong emotional or imaginative component to my prayers.

Occasionally, if I feel that my mind was just totally "checked out" during a prayer, I will repeat it for my own benefit. But we should resist the temptation to think that if we were not fully engaged that the prayer "doesn't count". That's just wrong, and not helpful.

I still struggle with dryness, but it doesn't bother me now like it used to.


I never liked the Rosary much until I started praying Scriptural Rosary. (This one is my favorite.) Before, I was totally unable to meditate on the mysteries, and all that the Rosary was for me was relaxation if in a group and boredom if by myself. For me, the Scripture snippets help me so much with the mysteries, and time doesn't seem to drag as much (even though it takes a bit longer to pray a Scriptural Rosary.)

Gene Branaman

Before I changed jobs & moved, I lived in a little town in No Cal called Newcastle that's got a number of hills. I've had some problems with my left knee so I can't run for exercise so I'd walk very briskly up & down the hills of Newcastle saying the rosary. Out loud. Why? 'Cos it helps to build one's endurance & increase oxygen in the blood. So, as others have pointed out above, we can work out our bodies & souls at the same time!

Alas . . . there are no hills where I live now that are condusive to walking.


Great to see an article about the 54day novena. I've been doing them back-to-back for over 5 years and the blessings have been huge. I find it best to ask the Lord for the next intention a few days before the end of the last. He has given me a whole range of areas in my own life as well as those concerning others in which, through the novena, there has always been at least some blessing and often much. I highly recommend it.
I used to pray the rosary while driving which works quite well ( never had a problem mixing the two) but I try to give up time in the evening instead now. I have tried to pray the rosary and ride a bicycle - not a good combination!


Just a note about the distinction between public and private devotions:

1) The Rosary is probably the most widespread and frequently practised private devotion, which coupled with the First Saturday devotion has grown until it almost assumes a public character. However, the Church does not teach exactly how one is to practise the devotion and certainly does not consider its practice mandatory.

2) The Liturgy of the Hours is an essential part of the communal worship of the Church. It is fundamentally different in that its observance is mandatory for most religious orders, and its practice is strictly regulated as both to form and substance. The Divine Office is the bedrock foundation of the Church's nonliturgical prayer everywhere and always around the world.

Over the past century or so, the Church has made concrete and ongoing efforts to encourage the spread of the observance of the Divine Office in a way it has never championed the Rosary or other private devotions.

3) Having said that, there should almost never be a conflict between the two. True devotion to the one in practice encourages devotion to the other.



Actually, I shouldn't even call the Liturgy of the Hours non-liturgical, but rather non-sacramental prayer.


Art W.

I love the Rosary. As a Jewish convert 30 years ago, I have found it, outside of the Mass, to be the most complete prayer in Christendom. It's cadence and meditative aspects, often lead me off into contemplative prayer. It has also been the occassion of learning that the initial grace of my conversion came directly from the intercession of Mary...

I pray it in the car, combining chaplet of Divine Mercy on Tuesdays and Fridays. I sometimes wonder how I safely arrive at my destination.



Over the past century or so, the Church has made concrete and ongoing efforts to encourage the spread of the observance of the Divine Office in a way it has never championed the Rosary or other private devotions.

I understand this is your opinion, but may I ask what you are basing it on?

Take care and God bless.


Kevin Jones

I've had a bad illness for the past two years, and I always felt too fatigued to do much physical activity. Then it occurred to me to revive my old practice of saying the rosary while walking in a nearby park. The mental activity keeps fatigue at bay, and the spiritual benefits are plenty. I even met a nice elderly Catholic gentleman on my walks, who I now chat with a few times a week.

I'm a bit worried about distractions while saying the rosary outside, especially in the daytime. Anybody have advice on staying focused while walking?


Mr. Jones: the Little Flower had the same problem concentrating on the Rosary. It bothered her, until she realized that Our Lady is our mother, ignores our inadvertant lapses of concentration, and sees the love behind our devotion. She stopped worrying.


Is it giving too much information if I admit that I sometimes pray the rosary in the shower? :)

"I understand this is your opinion, but may I ask what you are basing it on?"

20. The liturgy of the hours, like other liturgical services, is not a private matter but belongs to the whole Body of the Church, whose life it both expresses and affects. [91] This liturgy stands out most strikingly as an ecclesial celebration when, through the bishop surrounded by his priests and ministers, [92] the local Church celebrates it. For "in the local Church the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church is truly present and at work." [93] Such a celebration is therefore most earnestly recommended. When, in the absence of the bishop, a chapter of canons or other priests celebrate the liturgy of the hours, they should always respect the true time of day and, as far as possible, the people should take part. The same is to be said of collegiate chapters.

21. Wherever possible, other groups of the faithful should celebrate the liturgy of the hours communally in church. This especially applies to parishes - the cells of the diocese, established under their pastors, taking the place of the bishop; they "represent in some degree the visible Church established throughout the world." [94]


Additionally, the work of Pius X to revive chant and Paul VI's Apostolic Constitution introducing the new General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours both explicitly expressed the hope that the Divine Office would be more fully embraced by the laity.




mulopwepaul said that "the Church has made concrete and ongoing efforts to encourage the spread of the observance of the Divine Office in a way it has never championed the Rosary..."

Many popes have encouraged the practice of praying the Holy Rosary.

In his encyclical Mense Maio (In the Month of May), Pope Paul VI urged Christians to pray to Our Lady Queen of Peace for world peace. He laid special emphasis on the Rosary, "the prayer so dear to Our Lady and so highly recommended by the Supreme Pontiffs."

I wanted to know what basis or documentation mulowepaul using to compare the two.

Take care and God bless.


Paul VI recaps the various 20th century reforms of the liturgy in the Apostolic Constitution "Laudis Canticum":


"The office has been drawn up and arranged in such a way that not only clergy but also religious and indeed laity may participate in it, since it is the prayer of the whole people of God. People of different callings and circumstances, with their individual needs, were kept in mind and a variety of ways of celebrating the office has been provided, by means of which the prayer can be adapted to suit the way of life and vocation of different groups dedicated to the liturgy of the hours."

The full liturgy of the Church is both the sacraments and the Divine Office, and an integral part of lay inclusion of the 20th century was broadening access to the Divine Office and challenging the notion that it was only for the ordained while everyone else kept to their private devotions.

Make no mistake: there's nothing wrong with private devotions, but the Liturgy of the Hours is the public and communal prayer of the entire Church.




Pope JP II opened his Apostolic Letter with the words "The Rosary of the Virgin Mary...is a prayer loved by countless Saints and encouraged by the Magisterium."

I think you would agree both are wonderful forms of prayer. I just think the Holy Rosary has been just as recommended, if not more than the Divine Office.

Take care and God bless.



Make no mistake: there's nothing wrong with private devotions, but the Liturgy of the Hours is the public and communal prayer of the entire Church.

I never said it wasn't. I guess I wasn't clear in my question. Sorry for the confusion.

Take care and God bless.



Many Popes have encouraged the Rosary, but it has never been mandated for anyone. Most religious orders are bound to recitation of the Divine Office.

There's a reason for this; not that the Rosary is not admirable and its recitation creditable, but rather that the communal prayer of the Church is the basis for the many private prayers and devotions which flow from them.

The Rosary itself is an offspring of the Divine Office, resulting from the recitation of the Rosary prayers by those near to monasteries who did not know the psalter in accompaniment to the monks' recitation of the Divine Office.

This is why there are 10 Aves in 15 decades--parallel to the 150 Psalms of the Divine Office.



Oops. I guess I should say WERE 10 Aves in 15 decades. Now we have (unofficially) 20 decades.




Again I never said it was mandated, neither is the Divine Office for the laity. I was just asking why you thought the Divine Office was being "championed" in a way the Holy Rosary never was for the laity.

What in your opinion would make it officially 20 decades?

Take care and God bless.



The Rosary is not officially defined by the Church. There are all sorts of ways of praying it, varying by local custom. Some people include the Fatima prayer, some do not. Some pray all 15 decades, some pray 5 a day. Some people pray a decade at a time.

And that's the difference I'm trying to point out. The Liturgy of the Hours is the public prayer of the whole Church.

The Church is never going to define how individuals should pray privately, but she has defined our public prayer.

Popes Pius X, Pius XII and Paul VI worked throughout the last century to make the Liturgy of the Hours more accessible to the laity, but the great majority of the faithful still pass by it without recognition or participation.




You're talking about abstractions. Can we really compare the traditional Divine Office of the church to the Novus Ordo ICEL English Liturgy of the Hours? Not everyone is super-keen on making New American Bible psalms the center of their spiritual life. Perhaps the lack of interest is a sign of the diminished value of our "reformed" prayerbook.

I concede that traditionally speaking, the Divine Office was always held up as the most excellent prayer this side of the Mass. But will that always be the case? Is that so today? How is that empirically the case? Simply because it's the "official book"? I'm not so dogmatic as saying people have to say this prayer or that prayer, if they want to be good observent Catholics. If people like the Rosary more than an ICEL prayer-book, I'm not going to argue with them. I think there's room to differ.

Simply making a prayer book "the official public prayer-book" does not make it an automatic treasure. Maybe the ICEL translation is bland and the book watered-down.

Certainly it would be inapproriate to take lyrical praise for the grandeur of the Tridentine liturgy and apply it to the English rite. The two may have a difference relevant to the former praise. Perhaps a similar situation is there with the Liturgy of the Hours, which is why people aren't so hot on replacing their Rosaries with it.

If we want to encourage the laity to try the Liturgy of the Hours in hope they'll find value in it, great. If the laity have to be told, "this prayer is great" now go enjoy it, something seems amiss.


I do too walk between the kitchen, den and living room while saying the Rosary at home. As I started doing it more often, I recalled that I had seen this before at an Opus Day center where I met my spiritual director.

FWIW, I share some of my expriences praying the Rosary daily for almost a year now in my blog, http://rosary-novice.blogspot.com.

God bless.

Franklin Jennings


Do you think you could try answering the question that has been repeatedly asked here, namely on what basis do you claim that "...the Church has made concrete and ongoing efforts to encourage the spread of the observance of the Divine Office in a way it has never championed the Rosary..."?

No one is asking why you claim it is public devotion. We all know the answer to that, and don't dispute the point. We want to know how you quantified the efforts to spread the Divine Office versus the efforts to spread the Rosary? It seems a little odd, since Pope after Pope has championed the Rosary, but the scope of the obligation of the Divine Office hasn't changed for a very long time.

We just want to know the basis for the particular assertion quoted above, so that we may consider the claim ourselves.


I have posted the Apostolic Constitution Laudis Canticum. I recommend the following article, which points out the value of the Liturgy of the Hours in the view of the Church leaders of the last century and its importance to the revival of the liturgy envisioned in Sancrosanctum Concilium:


At a certain point, I'm just going to conclude that some people don't want to hear about it, not that the participation of the laity in all of the liturgy isn't vitally important.



Again, I don't think anyone disputes the value of the Divine Office (I don't I have greatly enjoyed it) or that it is part of the public prayer of the Church.

My point was only asking why you thought it was being "championed" more than the Holy Rosary.

I am sorry if after looking at the Apostolic Constitution Laudis Canticum and the article you posted I don't come to the conclusion that the Divine Office is being "championed" in a way that the Holy Rosary has not.

I could fill this combox with quotes of popes "championing" the merits of the Holy Rosary as much if not more than the Divine Office.

Both are excellent forms of prayer and provide great graces for the Church.

Take care and God bless.



It's fine to differ with the argument, but let's not try to pretend the argument doesn't exist.

I have put the evidence forward for the Vatican's encouragement of the participation of the laity "wherever possible" in the Liturgy of the Hours.

I don't think you'll find a papal document calling for participation in the Rosary "wherever possible."

Not, again, that the Rosary isn't good and valuable.



Saying the Rosary during exercise is hardly unique. I talked to Fr. Mitch Pacwa once and he said he often said it during exercise reps (he lifts weights). I also ran into a Marianist at Immanuel Church in Dayton and he said that he says the rosary while he jogs. I've said it too while I've exercised.

One idea is to get a portable MP3 (flash kind) and move a rosary CD over to it. That way you can always stop and start it.



INGRUENTIUM MALORUM (On Reciting the Rosary)
Pope Pius XII

Encyclical Promulgated on 15 September 1951

This meditation on the Divine Mysteries of the Redemption will teach the adults to live, admiring daily the shining examples of Jesus and Mary, and to draw from these examples comfort in adversity, striving towards those heavenly treasures "where neither thief draws near, nor moth destroys" (Luke 12, 33).


I highly recommend reading this encyclical.

"There is no surer means of calling down God's blessings upon the family . . than the daily recitation of the Rosary" (Pope Pius XII).

Both the encyclical and the above quote shows that Pope Pius XII encouraged daily participation.

Take care and God bless.




I think Pope John Paul II said it best in his Apostolic letter ROSARIUM VIRGINIS MARIAE.

In my Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte I encouraged the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours by the lay faithful in the ordinary life of parish communities and Christian groups;(39) I now wish to do the same for the Rosary. These two paths of Christian contemplation are not mutually exclusive; they complement one another. I would therefore ask those who devote themselves to the pastoral care of families to recommend heartily the recitation of the Rosary.

Take care and God bless.



My point, initially and finally, is that the amount of work done in the last century by the Vatican to revise and promote the Liturgy of the Hours for the laity simply dwarfs any other work on prayer the Vatican has been doing concurrently on other matters touching prayer, including the Rosary.

No offense is meant to anyone's private devotions.


Tim J.


"No offense is meant to anyone's private devotions.".

I think what some people were responding to was the implication in your posts that praying the Liturgy of the Hours should be preferable to praying the Rosary.

In other words, that while we are free to pray the Rosary, we really should be praying the Hours first.

This may not have been your intent at all, but it kinda came off that you were hinting strongly in that direction.


What I was responding to was the notion that the Liturgy of the Hours is some sort of quaint alternative private devotion for those who can't hack the Rosary.

Its importance is far greater than as a substitute for the Rosary.




Fine if you think that the amount of work done in the last century by the Vatican to revise and promote the Liturgy of the Hours for the laity simply dwarfs any other work on prayer

Again, I could fill this combox with quotes of the popes of the last hundred years promoting the recitation of and benefits of the Holy Rosary.

But, Pope John Paul II comment still makes it clear that both are important and compliment each other.

I still do not see how the document you pointed to "dwarfs" the effort of the Popes to promote the Holy Rosary.

Take care and God bless.



The Liturgy of the Hours simply dwarfs the Rosary in length. Revising it was task of dozens of people working for years. Added to this is the work which went into the papal documents introducing the revisions and instructing people on their implementation.

Why is it so difficult to acknowledge the amount of work in the Vatican focusing on the Divine Office in the last century? What threat is this to anyone's devotion to the Rosary?




Who gave the impression "that the Liturgy of the Hours is some sort of quaint alternative private devotion for those who can't hack the Rosary."?

Before your comments only Flambeaux mentioned the Divine Office and he stated, "It has provided a rhythm to my day, week, and year that the Rosary never did.

And again I have never questioned the Divine Office's importance or place in the life of the Church.

I only disagreed with your comments that the Vatican has "championed" the Divine Office in a way that "dwarfs" its promotion of the Holy Rosary.

Take care and God bless.




This post was about the Holy Rosary.

Take care and God bless.



The Vatican has in fact been championing the Divine Office for the laity. The Divine Office had slipped into the nature of a private devotion for the clergy, which is not its true function. For the last hundred years, since Pius X, various Popes have expended an incredible amount of energy to revise it and make it accessible once again to the laity.

When this is pointed out, the fact that the Vatican has indeed spent more energy on this in the past century is not meant to threaten respect for the Rosary.

I'm just not going to concede that the Vatican in the last century has spent even one quarter the manpower on issues related to the promotion of the Rosary that it has on the Divine Office.

This is what I mean when I say the Vatican has championed it.

Of course, the Rosary was never in such dire straits as the Divine Office, so in one sense the comparison weighs the weakness of popularity of the Divine Office against the strength of the appeal of the Rosary, but the comparison of the relative commitment of manpower is straightforward and should be non-controversial.




I just wanted to know why you said the Vatican was "championing" the Divine Office in a way that in never had the Holy Rosary, when it was clear popes have been recommending or championing the Holy Rosary for centuries.

First you pointed to the document Laudis Canticum by Pope Paul XI which does encourage the praying of the Divine Office as "a source of devotion and nourishment for personal prayer,"

Then you said "I don't think you'll find a papal document calling for participation in the Rosary "wherever possible."

I pointed out two that I know of recommending daily participation of the Holy Rosary among many documents and speeches given by popes.

Next you said the amount of manpower the Vatican has spent "dwarfs" any effort to promote the Holy Rosary and yet each document I quoted asks the bishops to promote the recitation of the Holy Rosary.

INGRUENTIUM MALORUM20. We do not doubt that you, O Venerable Brethren, with your usual burning zeal, will bring to the knowledge of your clergy and people these Our paternal exhortations in a way which will appear most appropriate to you.


ROSARIUM VIRGINIS MARIAE I turn particularly to you, my dear Brother Bishops, priests and deacons, and to you, pastoral agents in your different ministries: through your own personal experience of the beauty of the Rosary, may you come to promote it with conviction.

Whether you concede it or not it is clear from Pope John Paul II's quote that both are important and being recommeded at least equally.

Rather than go on I will leave you with the final word.

Take care and God bless.



I'm a university student and so at the end of every day, when I'm sick of studying and stressed out I call up a close friend of mine and fellow Catholic student and we go out for a rosary walk. I must admit, we walk longer than it takes to pray the rosary. We spend the first half of our walk talking about our day, our struggles, and our joys and then we discuss what intentions we want to pray the rosary for and then pray together. It's a wonderful way to put the day in perspective, find peer support in your spiritual life, draw closer to Christ through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and bring before God the joys and trials of your day. Through spending the time talking before hand we also help each other recognize others or situations that need our prayers. This practice of nightly rosary walks has been a huge blessing in my life!


John Paul II said:

"There are some who think that the centrality of the Liturgy, rightly stressed by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, necessarily entails giving lesser importance to the Rosary. Yet, as Pope Paul VI made clear, not only does this prayer not conflict with the Liturgy, it sustains it, since it serves as an excellent introduction and a faithful echo of the Liturgy, enabling people to participate fully and interiorly in it and to reap its fruits in their daily lives."

The question I put to the reader is: "how does the Rosary introduce and echo a part of the Liturgy in which most people, indeed even of those devoted to the Rosary, never take part?"

Has the Liturgy truly been promoted "at least equally" with the Rosary then, in the normal experience of the American Catholic? Is the Liturgy indeed then central in our practice?

If it is possible that American Catholics have not heard the call to centrality of the Liturgy, then it is possible that the Vatican's efforts on behalf of the Liturgy have not received full attention and the assessment of the relative effort devoted to the two by the Vatican might not be fully informed.


Tim M.

Hi all... as one with a diagnosed attention disorder, I was truly grateful and blessed when an acquaitance mentioned how I might better concentrate while praying the Rosary, and keep my mind from wandering while meditating on the mysteries during each decade.

I was introduced to a small booklet titled "Praying the Rosary Without Distractions." It includes a sentence, or thought if you will, for each Hail Mary of the rosary, so instead of meditating on a large, sometimes amorphous event, I had specific things on which to meditate for each bead. It has helped me immensely.

The booklet is now available online at http://www.rosary-center.org/howto.htm.

Simply click on the Glorious, Joyful, Luminous, or Sorrowful Mystery headings at the top. I pass it along to you, as it was passed along to me, in the hopes that you may benefit from it as much as I have.

I have come to love praying the Rosary.


for what it is worth...

every Catholic priest is not required to pray the Rosary, is not required to say daily Mass, but they are required to pray the Liturgy of the Hours.

walt k.

I have prayed the rosary everyday for nearly a year now.At first I found it long and hard to concentrate on the mysteries and at sometimes felt uneasy saying the 5 decades but I have grown into saying it daily.I pray not for myself but for my children,family,and everyone in the world and all those not with us.I pray for all mankind. I ask that God's will be done and for the Holy Spirit to enter into all of us and guide us. I am Catholic and was never very religious but I know deep down that some divine force caused me to pray the rosary which I fully enjoy saying and look forward to saying it each and every day.God Bless you all..You are in my prayers all the time.


Hey! I found this great computer rosary http://www.virtualrosary.org, which I carry on my PDA; I have it set up for Latin prayers and scriptural rosary medidations.

I also have a single-dacade rosary that I use in the car; I too sometimes pray my beads while driving, and it's easier to use a single decade than the whole thing because a full rosary could get tangled while driving. There are a number of single, auto rosaries, and such out now. I also keep a couple rosary cds in the car.

Pax et Bonum!



For those who have been comparing the venerable Rosary (non-liturgy) to the Divine Office (liturgy), I offer my two cents worth:

"Rightly, then, the liturgy is considered as an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. In the liturgy the sanctification of the man is signified by signs perceptible to the senses, and is effected in a way which corresponds with each of these signs; in the liturgy the whole public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and His members.

From this it follows that every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and of His Body which is the Church, is a sacred action surpassing all others; no other action of the Church can equal its efficacy by the same title and to the same degree."

Taken from #7 of Sacrosanctum Concilium of Vatican II

Rodney w. Spahn

Is the Rosary only for Catholics?
I believe Mary intended the Rosary for all christians and non-catholics. She never once
mentioned the word "Catholic." She said "Christians." To allow all christians and
non-catholics to pray the Rosary the Catholic
Church could change the words in the Apostles Creed to read "one holy Church" for christians
and non-catholics and "One Holy Catholic and
Apostolic Church" for Catholics. This way it will open the Rosary to all.



I have always loved the Rosary and the Blessed Mother. I have received numerous favors after saying the 54 fay rosary novena. Its effects are almost miraculous, and I see the Blessed Mother answering my paryers and obtaining my request even before I finish the novena. It has never failed me! I will continue to say a daily rosary for the rest of my life.

I am very happy for those who have had their petitions granted saying the rosary. I have said the 54 day novena. Unfortunately, my prayers have not been answered. I have a hard time with promises that some people claim have been made by Jesus or the Blessed Virgin Mary. I love them both. But I do not believe God is a slot machine or genie in a bottle. "Say this and tyou get that..." I know many people who don't care about God or anyone else and skip through life doing whatever they please. This is not justice. This is nopt fair. This is not whay I expect from a God who says we are all His children. Apparently some are. Some are not.

Tim J

"I know many people who don't care about God or anyone else and skip through life doing whatever they please."

This is not a new problem. Read the book of Ecclesiastes.

You are right, though, that God is not a vending machine.

God never promised to protect His church from suffering. Look at what His own Son suffered! And we, His disciples, should be exempt from suffering because...?

God has promised to His children that they will be blessed *through* their suffering, if they keep faith with Him.

Our treasure is not of this world.

Do not envy the wicked.

David B.


I know that that God's answers to Job in the book Job have helped me understand better when things aren't going well.

This is not whay I expect from a God who says we are all His children. Apparently some are. Some are not.

You must have had some great suffering come upon you to come to this conclusion. I can't imagine. I know that sometimes it does seem like one has been abandon by all. But I think it would help to remember that Jesus became Man and died for us even though He had no obligation to. Jesus chose to suffer unspeakable torments in order to show you how much He loves you, and to save you. If you were the only person on earth, Jesus would still have died for you. If He hasn't answered your prayers the way that by reason you deem best, He may be withholding his answer until you can be given a better answer. Please don't allow doubt to convince you of otherwise: Jesus loves you and your loved ones more than you can love yourselves. He will never abandon you.

J.R. Stoodley


Tim J. and David B. have given good anwers.

Another thing to consider is what St. Augustine wrote in City of God. If God so arranged it that in this life the good suffered terribly and the wicked lived happily, then in eternity the good went to heaven and were perfectly happy for ever and the evil suffered in hell for ever, could we really complain? Would we really see it as unjust? But as it happens everyone's life has a mixture of happiness and suffering. Some suffer more, some are more happy, and which you get more of seems to have no direct relation to how good or bad you are. But for the good whether you suffer or are blest with temporal happiness it turns to blessing, because you react rightly so it draws you closer to God. By contrast for the bad whether they suffer or are happy it turns to a curse for them, because they react badly and it brings them still further from God. "To him who has, more shall be given, and to him who has not, even what he has will be taken away."

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