October was the month dedicated to the Rosary and many Catholics rediscover in their favorite prayer of the Virgin Mary, their spiritual strength. But regardless of what time of the year it is, we can always perfect how we pray it.
Even Pope Francis has invited the faithful of the world to pray it every day, asking for the intercession of the Virgin Mary and Saint Michael the Archangel to protect the Church from the devil in these times of crisis.
To continue perfecting the habit of this prayer, we present seven practical tips taken from the book “The Rosary: Theology of knees”, by the priest, writer and official of the Secretariat of State of the Vatican, Bishop Florian Kolfhaus:
Despite daily occupations, it is good to book between 20 to 30 minutes a day for the recitation of the Holy Rosary. This encounter with Jesus and Mary is truly more important than the other scheduled activities.
This time of prayer is finally reserved for oneself because it is a time in which we should dedicate ourselves only to love.
It is possible to reserve two or three days a week to recite the Rosary and in this way it will become easier and easier to pray this prayer, until finally practicing it every day.
Know that you pray for someone else
A good prayer is based on completely orienting the will to please our dear friend Christ and not oneself.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola recommends the so-called “third way of praying”, which consists of breathing two or three times before returning to the prayer again.
It is often enough to interrupt a mystery of the Rosary to become aware again that Jesus and Mary look at us full of joy and love.
You can and must “divert” the thoughts to find the mystery that we must visualize in our minds before each decade of the Rosary.
Repetition is unlikely to be useful if it is not directed several times towards the essential, which is the life of Jesus and Mary.
Prayer a moment to share with Christ
One of the first and most important steps towards inner prayer is not only to devote ourselves to thinking and meditating, but to look at whom our prayer is directed.
Knowing that, to whom we are praying, loves us infinitely awakens in us diverse and spontaneous feelings, just like when we enjoy and rejoice with the person that matters to us so much.
Close you eyes or fix them in a place
Some people close their eyes in order to concentrate and pray better. It is often enough to fix your eyes in one place and avoid looking around. In any case, it is important that the eyes of the heart are always open.
The Rosary is like a visit to the cinema. It is about seeing images where some basic questions can be useful: What, who, how, when, where? How I see the birth of Jesus, his crucifixion, his ascension, for example.
Sometimes I can -as if I had a camera- bring elements or details together and look for a close-up: the hand of Christ pierced by the nails, the tears in the eyes of the apostle John while the Lord ascends to heaven, among others.
That the intention to pray is love
The words accompany, our mind is arranged, but it is our heart that must dominate the prayer.
Santa Teresa de Ávila explains it in a simple way: “Do not think much, love a lot!” On one occasion, an old woman told me that she could not pray the Rosary every day, but the only thing that reached her was to say inwardly: ‘Jesus, Maria, I love you!’ I congratulate the woman. To such an outcome is where the prayer of the Rosary should lead.
–Reprinted from Catholic News Agency