Friday, September 10, 2010

The Rosary: A Key Part of a Good Day

One of my New Year's Resolutions this year was to pray the rosary (5 decades) twice a day every day. Then during Lent I bumped it up to four sets (of five decades), every day. After Lent ended, two sets of five seemed even more doable (in fact, it was easy to fit in two sets, after doing four for a month and a half) and I even started to believe that I would be able to stick through it after Maggie arrived.

Things started out well. I managed to keep up with my daily prayers through the first month. Some days I would only say one rosary, but the next day I would say three and I began to feel confident that I really could find a place for prayer, despite the business of every day life with a toddler and infant.

Then I started falling asleep mid-rosary.

The funny thing is that I don't feel all that tired. Maggie's a good sleeper, and Sadie's sleeping through the night now, so I get a solid seven hours (waking a couple of times to nurse) of sleep most nights. That's more sleep than I've gotten on a regular basis in over two years. I'm finally starting to feel rested. So falling asleep mid-way through the first decade of my second rosary (the first was usually earlier in the day) just didn't make sense.

However I compounded the problem by continuing to add up rosaries. If I'd fallen asleep for six out of seven days before completing both rosaries, I had six to make up. Rosaries started to add up fast.

I decided to make it easier on myself by cutting the number of decades a day in half. After all, it was my own goal, and I'd just had a baby...

Suddenly though, I found myself falling asleep during the first decade of the first rosary. And since I'd been keeping track I knew that I had a huge backlog of rosaries that I wanted to pray...

I found that I was so stressed out by my own standards that I stepped back and took a little break. During this break, I discovered several important facts. Here they are in no particular order:
  1. Some people need a cup of coffee before they can really start their day. Before that caffeine hits their system, they have a hard time dealing with other people. Rosaries are kind of like my coffee. I'm happier (and by extension nicer) when I've prayed in the not so distant past (say within twenty four hours).
  2. When I stopped saying daily rosaries the migraines I'd been complaining about this past month, started. I didn't make the connection until I started praying a rosary during a migraine last week, and the migraine disappeared. It didn't come back either. I've now been migraine free for two weeks. This is rather dramatic motivation to pray. I talked with my doctor about it today (he attends our parish too) and we're both pretty happy with this alternative to pain killers!
  3. Over the past four years praying the rosary has become a very important part of my life and our family life. And I wouldn't want it any other way!
My new goal is to focus on the prayers that are a part of my day and not to worry too much on the days when things are hectic and I end up falling asleep half way through my first decade.


  1. Can I offer a suggestion for at least one rosary? Pop the kids in the stroller and go for a walk with your Rosary in your hand. I can do the loop in our neighborhood in a little more than the time that it takes to pray 5 decades. There's absolutely no danger of falling asleep when you're walking and you've managed to get some exercise in as well.

  2. That's a great suggestion Liz, and it's a lot more doable than it was a couple of weeks ago. We've had this unbearable triple digit heat (it's that way here every summer) and it seems to have come to an end! We can finally go outside again, which the girls love (and I do too!).

  3. Another suggestion might be, rather than try to do whole rosaries in one sitting, pray a decade while cooking breakfast, pray a decade while driving to the grocery store, maybe get two in while the kids are napping, ect. Splitting it up will prevent falling asleep and can help you refocus each time you come back to it

  4. I fall asleep sometimes during my night Rosary but someone said Angels finish your prayers when you can't. I say one decade in the morning while I am usually the only person awake to get my day started. If it's Sunday or the 13th I do a full 5 decades otherwise I do just another decade later in the evening before bed. I tried once doing a full chaplet at work during some downtime but that didn't work out and I can't do it while driving. I have done the Lit of the Hours while driving but the Rosary is a little more involved. The walking idea sounds good, it may even be a great time to teach Sadie.

  5. What an inspiration! Now I feel as if I don't have any excuses at all to say my 5 decades a day, which, sadly, I've been neglecting.

    You don't know me, but may I ask if you'd offer a rosary or 2 for my family? I am carrying twins and in the hospital for preterm labor- we are only 25 weeks along. thank you!

  6. A first time visitor, so pardon my ignorance, but one thing I noticed when I read this post is that you didn't say HOW you pray the rosary, only how many.
    I pray in the evening, after daily tasks are done, and I pray for an end to abortion. My prayers are meditations, which require peace and quiet -- in my room, or in a chapel in adoration. My meditations, some of which I've written down, walk me through Jesus' life, and mine, and the parallel paths we've taken. Sometimes I see and pray for others' paths, like recently when I prayed as the pregnant woman might pray, the one who was reluctantly carrying the baby I prayed each night not be aborted. These meditations bring me and God closer, a key point of any rosary.
    I read of a Marian visionary who said that Our Lady asks that we pray at least 4 hours a day. I was incredulous! As I grew closer to God, in part through the rosary, I found myself feeling His presence almost continuously. I'm not counting, but four hours doesn't seem so unreasonable anymore.


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