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Anni Ink Slingers Prayer Rosary

Five Ways we Benefit from the Most Holy Rosary

FiveWaysweBenefitfromtheMostHolyRosary

I recently made a meal for new parents, pouring attention, prayers for the new baby, and love into all of the dishes. As I was preparing the meal, I was listening to Christian music, soothed with being able to cook and bake only being interrupted occasionally by the toddler, rather than the two older kids who were at their respective schools. Cook times meant I had plenty of time in the kitchen with my music, and at one point, I briefly considered praying a Rosary with one of my apps. But, I was enjoying the lack of spoken word, and basking in the joy of song and the random groove to the music, and didn’t recite the Rosary that day.

As we fought through traffic to deliver the meal post-school pick-up, my oldest asked why we “always” make a meal for a new family. In a subtle way, he was trying to figure out why the baby didn’t get a new toy. His question made me think of the mystery of The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, and I reminded him that, in the same way that Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, I find it very good to visit new parents and drop off a meal so that they only have to focus on eating and the baby, rather than preparing a meal.

Yet, as the days slipped by, I began to consider the Rosary in a new light. I began to see how the Rosary, as a devotion, brings us close to Christ – and, in an equally amazing manner, radically transforms us into doing what He desires. And, while I can’t say I picked up the Rosary and began praying it immediately in the aftermath of the conversation with my oldest, I can share some of the reasons the ways we have an opportunity to benefit from frequent, if not regular, recitation of the Holy Rosary.

We find ourselves transformed to be more Christ-like. When we sit with the Rosary and contemplate the mysteries and the fruits of the mysteries, we begin to see the Rosary change our own outlook. We stop living in our own world and start seeing those around us in a new light. We have a tendency to begin to look for and recognize the little ways we live out the mysteries in our daily lives. This challenges and encourages us to extend ourselves, even when we doubt our own abilities. We begin to make life about others, rather than about ourselves.

We are brought closer to Christ. The monotony of the memorized verses of the Our Father and Hail Mary affords us the opportunity to get to know the mysteries and the fruits of the mystery a little better. When we pray the Rosary, we are meditating on the life of Christ – significant milestones in His life, from conception through Assumption. While meditating on those, we are able to see parallels in our own lives, that show us the splendor of Christ’s fully human and fully Divine nature. We recognize the frailty of our own humanity, as we meet the perfect nature of love and sacrifice through Christ.

Christ and His life come alive. Sure, we all know the story of the angel appearing to Mary, but how frequently have we contemplated that unique, historic, glorious occasion? We have all read about Anna and Simeon approaching and honoring the baby Jesus in the Temple, but how often have we contemplated the fidelity and faith they held in order to wait year after year for the Savior? We all know the Stations of the Cross, but how often do we have the courage to rest with the events of that fateful, yet necessary for our salvation, day? When we pray the Rosary, we begin to view the events of Christ and His life in a different light. We begin to be active participants in the bible stories we either read as children, or heard aloud read at Mass. In any case, we begin to experience the “stories” of Christ’s life in an altogether different way.

Our relationship with God becomes deeper and richer. As the events of Christ’s life begin to truly unfold, we find ourselves brought deeper into a relationship with a Father Who loves us so much, He sent His only Son to ensure a salvation for our souls. Those who have hardened hearts will slowly start to see them soften, as they begin to recognize the magnanimous love that God holds for each of us. Our souls begin to take refuge in knowing God and loving God, and our actions begin to orient toward God and His will.

We become more confident and courageous. Have you ever noticed small children have confidence that makes them act quickly, surely, and without excuse? As our hearts soften and our relationship with God deepens, we begin to display the confidence we see in little children. We become confident in our role as beloved children of God, and as our faith life becomes richer, we find ourselves leaning more on God’s will, rather than our own. With that comes the confidence to seek, know, and do God’s will, without excuses or remorse.

Praying the Rosary will lead to the most aggressive spiritual attacks, as we begin to find ourselves bombarded with self-doubt, with self-criticism, and even with attacks against our character by other people. The goal of these attacks will be to derail us from reciting the Rosary. It is important that we recognize these attacks for what they are – a mission to drive us further from God.

Yet, even hidden within the first Joyful Mystery, we find the antidote to the attacks that will inevitably come. We will find our source of strength from the humongous fiat uttered by a “small” human girl. If Mary could help us defeat Satan by agreeing to carry our Savior in her womb, then she can certainly help us defeat Satan every time we are tempted to put aside the Rosary for any length of time.

Change is absolutely scary. Praying the Rosary will change us. It will transform each of us, and this transformation in turn transforms the world. In the end, a world transformed for love of God is beautiful.

So, if it has been a day, a week, or even a decade since you last picked up the Rosary, I invite you to join me in picking it up again today. If you can’t commit to praying a daily Rosary, I invite you to join me in starting small. Pray a Rosary once a week – specifically this Month of the Holy Rosary (October), with your goal to truly, radically transform into being the most loving Christian you are able to achieve. Call upon your prayer partners, your Guardian Angel, your patron saints, and more to help you dedicate a greater portion of your prayer life to unfolding the deep mysteries and treasure contained in the Rosary.

As you present a rose to the Blessed Mother with each Hail Mary, and your life begins to radically transform, know that your reward will be great in Heaven. No matter where you are beginning, join me in having faith and trust that with God, all things are possible – especially when we grow with Him through the Most Holy Rosary.

 

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Ink Slingers

October- The Most Holy Rosary

October is the month dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary!

One of the most popular devotions ever conceived in the Church has to be the Most Holy Rosary. Developed relatively early in the Church and promoted by various saints including St. Louis de Montfort and St. Dominic, it gives devotees a wonderful opportunity to grow closer to Our Lady. In fact, Our Lady appeared to children in Fatima (an apparition that resulted in another name for Mary– Our Lady of Fatima) to advise praying the rosary every day.

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For those unfamiliar, the rosary is a set of beads strung together in a circle, with an extra set of beads dangling down with a cross at the end. The prayers used include O, My Jesus; Hail Mary; Our Father; Glory Be; Apostle’s Creed; and Hail Holy Queen. Each rosary entails 5 decades of Hail Mary’s in which the person is to reflect on a particular mystery of our faith relating to Jesus or Our Lady.

The mysteries of the Rosary are divided into four categories, three original (Sorrowful, Joyful, Glorious) and one added in 2002 by Pope John Paul II (the Luminous mysteries). When praying the Rosary, typically one category is chosen for reflection during that Rosary.

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

Sorrowful

  1. The Agony in the Garden
  2. The Scouring at the Pillar
  3. The Crowning with Thorns
  4. The Carrying of the Cross
  5. The Crucifixion and Death of our Lord 

Joyful

  1. The Annunciation
  2. The Visitation
  3. The Nativity
  4. The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple
  5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

 

Glorious

  1. The Resurrection
  2. The Ascension
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
  4. The Assumption of Mary
  5. The Coronation of the Virgin

 

Luminous

  1. The Baptism of Jesus
  2. The Wedding at Cana
  3. Jesus’ Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
  4. The Transfiguration
  5. The Instititution of the Eucharist

 

How to Pray the Most Holy Rosary

There is a suggested order for when to pray different sets of mysteries, though it is merely a suggestion, not a requirement. The suggested allocation is:

Monday            Joyful
Tuesday           Sorrowful
Wednesday     Glorious
Thursday         Luminous
Friday              Sorrowful
Saturday         Joyful
Sunday           Glorious

A versatile type of devotion, the rosary can be prayed by focusing on singular sets of mysteries, or can be prayed with all 15-20 mysteries by adding together all the decades. It is common to add some form of prayer intention, and you can even do a shortened 1-decade prayer.

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Praying the rosary can feel really daunting because of the large number of prayers. But it is good to keep in mind that you do not have to pray it all at once. In fact, you do not even have to remember all the prayer sequence or mysteries to get started! You could have a printout and a physical rosary, or you could use a cell phone app such as Laudate (available for both Android and Apple users), which has an interactive rosary feature allowing you to select the set of mysteries to focus on (it also lets you know which is typically prayed that day of the week), and you tap the bead as you go along. If you don’t know the prayer, or want a reflection on the given mystery, you can tap the prayer next to the labeled bead image and it will provide that for you.  There are also a variety of apps that will pray the rosary aloud for you to follow along. EWTN has a televised rosary as well.

Any way that you choose to pray the Most Holy Rosary, I hope you benefit from the wonderful meditation reflection it provides!

Craft

There are tons of crafts and coloring pages available to illustrate and teach the rosary to children. Here is a wonderful one from Catholic Icing.

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Faith Formation Ink Slingers Kerri Mary Prayer Rosary

8 Reasons I {am trying to} Pray the Rosary Daily

I have one memory of praying the rosary as a child. I don’t know how old I was but I’m going to guess it was sometime around my confirmation (8th grade for me). The only thing I remember is being in the church with lots of other students, feeling bored, and wondering just how long this rosary thing was going to take. It made an impression on me. Unfortunately not a good one.

I don’t recall ever praying the rosary again until I was in my 20s. I was coming back to the church after a few years hiatus, and I was in a better place then because I was more interested in learning my faith and trying to find ways to connect to it. Group rosaries were a great introduction at the time and those times were wonderful ways to learn the rhythm of a rosary. I enjoyed praying it and could see the merit in making it a regular habit. For several years I had varying levels of success with keeping up a regular devotion to the rosary. Unfortunately, again, I never developed that daily habit.

Then last year, during late summer/early fall, I participated in a 54 Day Rosary Novena. I was impressed with myself for keeping up with it. I had some accountability, which helped, and when I did miss a day I would often find a way to “catch-up” by saying two rosaries the next day (or within a few days to eventually catch-up with the rest of the group). After 54 days I had hoped it would be a habit that would be easy to continue. But prayer is not easy, it’s a struggle at times due to distractions placed in front of us and the busyness of life. That’s when I decided that a daily rosary was going to become part of my Lenten promises this year.

8 Reasons I {am trying to} Pray the Rosary Daily
Photo Attribution: By Daniel Tibi (Dti) | daniel-tibi.de –  (own work), Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

 

I may not have a great track record, but I’m trying. If this is you too, maybe these reasons that I am trying to say a daily rosary will be encouragement to you too.

~1~ Deep Contemplation on the Gospels

If prayed rightly, the rosary should lead us into deep meditation and contemplation on the major events of Jesus’ life. The rhythm of the rosary is predictable, constant. While we say the prayers we should be reflecting on the mysteries, putting ourselves in Mary’s shoes as we watch Jesus carrying the cross or as she searches for him following their visit to Jerusalem. I feel like I have gained a lot more understanding of the Gospels from praying the rosary and that is a good reason to continue doing it.

~2~ The Perfect Companion on Long Car Rides

Or even short ones or any time we can pray while doing something else. My husband used to commute an hour each way to work before he finally moved to the city where we eventually met. During his car rides he would say a rosary. One time, on a drive down to visit my parents, 6 hours away, I put a rosary CD in my car and prayed all 20 mysteries on the ride. I also used to pray a rosary (with the help of a CD) while bottle feeding my twins. My hands were both occupied with bottles and I had nothing else to do at the time. I could have turned on the TV, but the length of their feeding actually worked out perfectly for praying a rosary. A Rosary app (there are lots of them out there) is a great way to say a rosary while taking a walk, on your commute to work, or any time that you have a free 10 minutes or so.

~3~ Powerful Intercessor for Souls

This is the biggest reason I decided on a daily rosary for Lent this year. This Lent I am praying a rosary specifically for those close to me whom I would like to see return to the Church and bring their families with them. The rosary is a powerful prayer!

~4~ Get on Mary’s Good Side, She’ll Nudge Jesus for you

He’s her son afterall! We all know that if you want to get an “in” with someone, befriending their mom is a great way to do it. Yes, we can go directly to Jesus, but why not also have his mother talking you up, too? Seriously though, Mary’s a powerful intercessor. Praying the rosary, something she often encourages and is seen with in reported apparitions around the world, makes us a friend of Mary’s. She’s our mother, too; get to know your mother, pray the rosary.

~5~ Mary said to

Related to #4, Mary has told us to say the rosary. Daily. So basically, mom said we should.

~6~ Great Way to Fall Asleep

The rosary should always be said with the right intention. As long as we intend to meditate on the mysteries of Christ’s life and put forth that effort, it’s okay to use it at the end of our day even if we might fall asleep while doing so. The calming, meditative, consistent rhythm of the prayers can certainly cause you to nod off if you’re not careful. And that’s okay. If you think about, we usually fall asleep with some thoughts going through our heads, they might as well be centered on our Lord as we drift off to sleep at night. And I’ve heard that if you fall asleep while praying a rosary, your guardian angel picks it up where you left off and finishes it for you.

~7~ When You Don’t Know What Else to do

Are you mad and can’t think? Pray a rosary. Are you too upset to string your own words together to ask God for a special intention? Pray a rosary. Are you angry at someone or something and don’t know how to handle it? Pray a rosary. Do you need healing from hurts, mental, physical, or spiritual? Pray a rosary. Are you wired up from an exhilarating day and need a way to calm your body and mind? Pray a rosary.

~8~ I Can’t be More Busy Than Him!

Who? The Popes of recent memory (and I’m sure many, many others as well). Pope St. John Paul II was known for having a deep devotion to Mary and the rosary. He was a busy man! I may complain about my busy life, but if he can pray a rosary (or 3) every day, I can certain fit one in as well. Pope Francis also has a devotion to Mary and the rosary. Again, he’s a busy man. I really can’t hold a candle to the schedule of a world leader. So … I think I can do this!

More inspiring posts and resources on the rosary:

From the website The Most Holy Rosary.com: The Fifteen Promises Granted to those Who Recite the Rosary (also includes all the prayers you need, tons of other information, and so much more!)

From the website Spiritual Direction: My Message from Heaven to Stay Awake and Pray the Rosary by Patti Maguire Armstrong

From Young and Catholic: 5 Reasons Why Young Catholics Should Pray a Daily Rosary

From a blog, Held by His Pierced Hands: I Don’t Like the Rosary-6 Reasons I Pray it Anyway

And two posts from Catholic Sistas on the Rosary: Rosary Walk by Rachel M., and From Loathing to Loving the Rosary by Misty

8 Reasons I {am trying to} Pray the Rosary Daily

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Domestic Church Erika D Homeschool Homeschool Raising Saints Reviews

Virtues Program Review & Giveaway for the {Catholic} Home & School

Rosary QuiltThis is not your normal homeschooling article as this program can be used by any Catholic parent, a Catholic Virtues Program integrating the beautiful Holy Rosary into it!

About a month ago I noticed my children ages 4, 6, 8, 9, and 16 were bickering more than usual!  It was a little upsetting to see them act this ugly way towards one another as we do all the “right things” as a Catholic family.  We pray the Rosary daily right after lunch, we read about the lives of the saints, we use a Catholic Curriculum which incorporates the Faith across the board (OLVS), and we go to Mass every Sunday as well as often as possible during the week!  We even recently participated in a Rosary Procession in the streets near downtown Scranton, PA and this coming Sunday will participate in a Eucharisti Procession!  All these thoughts raced in my brain as I saw them calling each other names I cannot print here and which are NOT allowed to be uttered in my home.  No longer did they want to help each other with chores and the constant bickering was driving me insane!  For goodness sake, we even go to the High Mass of the Latin Mass, aren’t all Latin Mass children supposed to just *know* how to behave in a virtuous manner?  I guessed not.

This brought me to the realization that I needed to be more proactive in my integrating the virtues into our daily routine.  I went Googling for virtues, Christian virtues, and  even Catholic virtues and found a plethora of information on virtues. The CCC tells us, “Human virtues are firm attitudes, stable dispositions, habitual perfections of intellect and will that govern our actions, order our passions, and guide our conduct according to reason and faith. They make possible ease, self-mastery, and joy in leading a morally good life. The virtuous man is he who freely practices the good. The moral virtues are acquired by human effort. They are the fruit and seed of morally good acts; they dispose all the powers of the human being for communion with divine love.”

virtutesWhile reading through the virtues (cardinal and theological) according the Ancient Christian teachings (on morals [CCC #1749-#1802] and virtues [CCC #1803-#1845], these are under Part III, Section 1, Chapter 1, Articles 4 to 7 of the CCC), there are four cardinal (from “hinge”) virtues:

  • Prudence: discern the good in circumstance and the means to attain the same
  • Justice: constant and firm will to give what is due to God and neighbor
  • Fortitude: firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of good
  • Temperance: moderates the attraction of pleasure (natural elements of created goods) and balance in the utility of created goods

Further, there are three theological virtues. Their highest object is God.

  1. Faith: belief in God and his promises
  2. Hope: desire of God’s presence and trust in his Ways
  3. Charity: preference of God above all things, others and self being second, and things third

All this was wonderful information but HOW was I going to easily incorporate it into my already busy homeschooling day?  Then I remembered a book I received from Catholic author, Cassandra Poppe!  When you first look at the cover of this great books, you would not suspect that it is jam packed with so many practical ideas on how to incorporate and teach virtues using the Holy Rosary.  As I thumbed through her book entitled, The Rosary Quilt Manual, I realized I had the answer to my prayers right in my own home!  A virtues program that is Catholic and incorporates our beloved Rosary (my children love praying the Rosary, they can do it in English, Spanish and Latin but their favorite is to chant the Rosary – it’s really adorable and I know brings joy to Our Blessed Mother’s heart!)  It was such an answered prayer when I discovered this gem which sat collecting dust on my bookshelf for months!  So quickly I put the books into action and found that explicit teaching of the virtues was definitely something that I needed to do, implicitly by reading the lives of the saints and living out our Catholic faith was not enough!

books

So I contact the author Cassandra Poppe and she agreed for me to do a review of this beautiful program AND she would also give us a FREE PDF of the whole program to one of our readers!  Simple fill out as much as you can of this following form for your chance to win this amazing Catholic virtues program, The Rosary Quilt Manual comprised of  ONE digital file which will contain the books, poster and directions on how to make your own Rosary quilt.

In the meantime if you would like to visit Cassandra or check out this beautiful curriculum, you can like her page, see the product at her Etsy Store, Intercessories Family Ministry, LLC OR enjoy reading her amazing blog, Flectamus Genua where she shares her journey as a Catholic mother, homeschooler, and author.  Cassandra has started another great venture Christian Crafts for Children, join her group on Facebook for some really neat kits.

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