The month of October was the Month of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. I had written a blog post about the month the first of October, so if you are interested in reading up on the meaning of the month, check out the link to that post: http://annaliesesch.blogspot.com/2015/10/october-our-lady-of-most-holy-rosary.html. I had written about how I planned to see how many days I could consecutively say the Rosary.
Sometime during that month, I read a blog post (http://www.ourcatholicway.com/blog/embarrassed-to-admit-this) that got me wondering about ways to pray the Rosary. Is there a “right” way? I know there are set prayers for the Rosary, and I know there are Mysteries to help one reciting the Rosary focus on the life of Christ. During Lent, I had blogged about some great aids for saying a daily recitation, to include utilizing apps that will say the Rosary along with you. Then, there’s the children’s Rosary, to help the little ones learn and recite the Rosary prayers.
That said, I have finally found a groove to praying the Rosary. It’s not my absolutely favorite method of prayer, but it has been scientifically shown to lower blood pressure and regulate breathing. And, I find both of those to be occurrences when I pray the Rosary – yes, I actually tested the blood pressure reduction during a Rosary recitation this past month.
A couple years ago, I sent the chaplains we had in Hawaii an e-mail asking them about the Mysteries. I was honest when I told them, because the Mysteries are relatively new to me, I would conveniently use the excuse, “I don’t know the Mysteries, so I can’t pray the Rosary right now because I don’t have my booklet/guide/etc. handy.” I asked them if I had to pray with the Mysteries. General consensus back to me was, you don’t have to know them by heart, or even use them to pray the Rosary – as long as you are focusing on an event in Jesus’ life during each decade, then you can still effectively pray the Rosary.
If my mind starts to wander during the individual decades, I will insert my prayer intentions with each Hail Mary. So, for example, if my mind starts to wander from Mary visiting Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist), I will insert a prayer intention for the pregnant ladies in my life, and for healthy babies, and for unborn babies throughout the world. Each Hail Mary will have its own intention during that decade because yes, I know a lot of pregnant ladies right now. Keeping the prayer intentions handy to refer back to during the Rosary, also keeps the purpose of the recitation in mind – that I am calling upon Mary to add my prayers to her list of prayers she is already praying to God.
I let both of those thoughts be my guide when I am praying the Rosary – keeping my prayer intentions at the forefront to remind me of the purpose I am praying, and to either use the app for the Mysteries, or to focus on a biblical passage about Jesus’ life while I pray the Rosary.
I also say the Rosary right before bedtime. If Man Cub has decided he doesn’t want to say his prayers that night (the “I’m sorry for… I’m thankful for…” spontaneous prayer I have blogged about), then I will start my Rosary with him listening in to what I am doing. Other nights, I wait until he’s asleep to pray. One day this last week, I dragged Man Cub to my bedroom so I could have a nap while he played quietly in the room. As I climbed in to bed for my nap, Man Cub grabbed my Rosary and informed me I had to say my prayers – so, even when he is not cooperative, I know he’s watching and learning.
Another unspoken goal I had given myself was to make a blog post at least two times a week, as an added way to increase my commitment to my blog. I love to write, and people tell me I have a gift. At the outset of this blog, my audience changed from letting family know how Hawaii was, to using this as a form of teaching others about my Catholic faith – how I put what the Church teaches to use in my daily life. I know one friend has already commented on how many blog posts I have been making, and this should explain the reason behind why I have been more active now than I have ever been prior to this month. And, aside from the blog post about Man Cub picking up some choice words from me, I have mainly kept focused on faith-related topics.
I am happy to say I have achieved both faith-oriented goals I set for the month of October. I have a couple new goals lined up for November, one of which may impact how frequently I post this next month, because it is another writing endeavor. Since I have a few blogs already “drafted,” and still in the editing stages, I’m hoping I will be able to continue blogging at my more frequent pace, and also focusing on topics relating all areas of life – not just religion and faith implementation. I am hoping the use of October as a month of blogging will help be the inspiration to continuing to blog, or putting to use the passion I have for writing about all kinds of topics!
Did you read my initial blog post in October, asking if you do anything to honor Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary? Did you participate in any devotion for the month of October, or set any goals? If so, I’d love to hear your update!