The Effects of the Rosary

[ 9 ] September 19, AD 2012 |

Why do people pray the rosary: to obtain special graces? to connect with God? as Christian meditation? in reparation for one’s sins and the sins of others? for world peace?

The rosary is very mysterious and so are the effects of praying the rosary. How is it that by saying certain prayers while thinking about certain events in the life of Jesus… usually while getting distracted, thinking about other things, even falling asleep… can do anything for our relationship with God? Or even stranger, can take part in God’s plan of salvation for all mankind? Other forms of prayer seem to have more tangible effects: reading the Bible can give us a pretty clear message, silence or journaling can make us more aware of what’s going on in our interior, the sacraments can be powerful emotional experiences.

Yet do we ever really understand the effects of prayer? Or the workings of God’s salvation in us and all around us? Sure, He reveals Himself to us and we understand what we need to know, some bits and pieces, some glorious views, but His ways are not our ways. It’s inexplicable how good can come out of evil, how redemption even exists, how everything can be so interconnected, how God can transform weak, crummy lives into beautiful works of art just as He transformed two fish to feed 5,000 or water into wine.

God’s actions and works of love are so mysterious and the world we live in is so mysteriously beautiful. It seems fitting that God would ask of us something so simple and mysterious as prayer. The prayer of the rosary is even more baffling so. Sr. Angela Coelho, postulator for two of the shepherds of Fatima, said at a conference I attended that we should pray the rosary because God asks us to and because it forms our identity, even if we fall asleep or get distracted.

Sr. Angela told a story about Blessed Francisco, one of the Fatima shepherds, and his child-like faith. Before our Lady first appeared to the shepherds, they started running home with their sheep because they thought a storm was coming. All of a sudden Lucia and Jacinta, the other two children with him, kneeled down in front of a holm-oak tree. Francisco must have thought this behavior was not only strange but irresponsible, because if a storm was coming, they had to get home in a hurry. Yet when Lucia and Jacinta told him to get out his rosary and pray, he didn’t ask why. He didn’t say they didn’t have time and why in the world would he do that. He got his rosary out, started praying and on the sixth bead he saw Our Lady too.

Sr. Angela illustrated the benefits and importance of praying the rosary with many other stories and examples. The most important reason was Our Lady’s words at Fatima, “Pray the rosary everyday”… because God asks us to. It’s mysterious how exactly the rosary can be what God asks of us and what it’ll do, but equally mysterious are the ways God cares for us, and involves us in the redemption of all mankind. The effects of the rosary are magnanimous and far-reaching, but that part doesn’t belong to us. We can do what is simple, mysterious and what God asks of us.The appearances in Fatima were private revelation and therefore destined to a specific time period or group of people. Many popes have reiterated the importance of the daily prayer of the rosary, especially as a family, and many modern saints have done so.

In Sr. Angela’s view, the rosary was not only given to Portugal as a specific prayer, but as a mission for evangelization. So today I ask you, as a Portuguese-American, if you haven’t already, why not consider the daily rosary as part of your prayer routine?

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About the Author ()

Julie Machado is a 27-year-old Portuguese-American who grew up in California, but moved to Portugal for college and has been there ever since. She has a degree in Theology from the Catholic University of Lisbon, is currently teaching English and has special interest in Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. She blogs at Marta, Julie e Maria.
  • http://tjburdick.com Tj Burdick

    I think the rosary is God’s version of Facebook that transcends space and time. When I pray it I feel like I am reading Jesus ‘ timeliness and on occasion, my “friends” interrupt with chat requests, invitations to.play farmville, and hilariius memes. In the end, it is all good and to a great extent, it is addicting.

  • Nekeisha

    I love having the Rosary as part of my daily life, even when I get distracted. Even when you find yourself praying by rote one or two of the mysteries will jump at you and you may see it in a way that you didn’t before. You don’t always see or feel the effects right away but overtime you do notice the differences.

  • Ramanie

    I found it difficult to say the Rosary as I used to get distracted and subsequently it was a case of not saying at all. Then I prayed to Our Lady to give me the desire to say the Rosary. I feel she has answered my humble plea as now I say the Rosary daily with my husband. I use the gospel meditated method using the book that has a verse for each Hail Mary which makes the scene in my mind that of the verse which makes me keep my mind on the Mysteries.

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  • http://SignsandWondersforOurTimesMagazine Richard Mackin,Jr.

    If anyone ever wants to know the importance of the Rosary just start praying it.It is a magnet for distraction both mentally and externally and procrastination. The Virgin Mary requested at Fatima for the praying of the Rosary every day. She did not say pray in a state of grace or state any conditions under which the Rosary should be prayed. but “pray the Rosary(for Peace) daily. Of course, concentration on the mysteries and intention to pray well are taken for granted. But as the writer informs “why pray the Rosary” and replies “because God asks us”. Humility and trusting obedience to Heaven’s request. Many Catholics may be too proud to pray the Rosary particularly while kneeling.

  • Bill M.

    I pray the Rosary when I’m stuck in traffic on the freeways of Los Angeles. Though I don’t do it for therapeutic reasons, I can’t deny that it lowers my blood pressure.

  • Bill Sr.

    We need now, more that ever before, to take leave of some of our many personal cares as well as fretting over world issues which are clearly beyond our reach and to make Christ and his passion, promise, and presence a clear and constant guiding thought in our daily lives. We view so much nonsense and out right trash every day on our TV and computer “screens” that often we are lead to lose “sight” of what this life is all about. The rosary helps us settle down and reflect on who we are, where we are, and what is really important in our lives and to the rest of God’s people.

    There’s little we as individuals can do to change the course of world events or affect the ultimate destiny of humanity’s “march of time” toward God’s plan for us. Our hope is to be with our heavenly Father when this is all over regardless of how the nations behave. We must stay “focused” on our spiritual life if we are to accomplish that goal. The rosary can help us do just that.

    While praying the rosary we meditate upon the spiritually significance of various events in the life of Christ on earth. And though your mind may wander at times you are certainly more apt to think positive thoughts and ponder more charitable possibilities for your “faith life” while praying than if you were watching TV, surfing the net, or hustling about daily chores, right? The rosary provides us a great opportunity to renew our spirit.

    Rushing methodically through our hectic daily lives today definitely distorts our priorities and often hardens our hearts to the spiritual reality of which we must be aware. That is why there is a good chance you just might enjoy doing like millions of others who have taken the advice of Christ’s loving mother and take a few minutes to pray for our nation and saving souls the world over for her one and only Divine Son.

    “The harvest is great, but the laborers are few.” May the few include YOU!

    • Ramanie

      Thank you Bill. A great article. May God Bless you.

  • susan

    Daily or more rosary for 13 years now. It was a chore at first, but I love it now. I find listening to the rosary in Latin on CD especially peaceful, and sometimes after I’ve said one, or 3 during Lent, I just listen to it. Thanks.