When I'm at a Loss for Words: The Rosary

The conversation started with my friend’s five-year-old daughter directing where the cutlery goes on the table. He added, “She also leads our family in the nightly rosary.” Before long, the joke turned into a real conversation about prayer and devotion. My friend, after admitting that he was joking about his daughter leading the Rosary, asked me if I pray the Rosary regularly. I had to think a moment before responding. “No, I don’t. But sometimes I do. I am a seasonal Rosary reciter.” I went on to explain that sometimes taking personal prayer comes very easily to me. But when the season of life changes, prayer is hard, and I don’t have the right words to say, I turn to my trusted rosary beads.

Every Christian will experience ups and downs in their faith journey. Sometimes it is easy to speak with God. Scripture comes alive, the lyrics to worship songs are relatable, and listening to what God has to say seems to come naturally. Yet other times, prayer is a real challenge. When it seems like the dialogue is not there, this is when I rely on the Rosary, because in my opinion, it is like the “all-inclusive resort” of prayer.

There is a helpful acronym to use when it comes to the different components of prayer: ACTS

  • Adoration: the act of worshiping God
  • Confession: acknowledging sin or ways that we have strayed from God’s love
  • Thanksgiving: being thankful to God for his love, protection, and provision
  • Supplication: praying for your needs and the needs of others 

When I can’t find the right words to say to God, I love to say the Rosary because it has all of these components of prayer. Have you ever gone through each of the individual prayers of the rosary, slowly? The words of the Apostle’s Creed, the Our Father, and the Hail Mary are just so beautiful. They’re simple and foundational to our faith, but they’re also comprehensive. They cover everything. Additionally, the rhythm of moving through the beads while meditating on the various “Mysteries” of Christ’s ministry on earth allows me to be in God’s presence without relying too much on my thoughts and words.

I know a lot of times our culture can knock the Rosary for being too structured and old fashioned,  especially because it doesn’t seem to allow for free dialogue with God.  Yet this is why I particularly love this prayer when it is such a struggle to “show up” in my personal prayer time. It has the words that I need to say, and says them in such a beautiful way. When I am in those dry periods of my spiritual life, I can consistently rely on the Rosary to help me through the rough patches.

by Mallory Brisson

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