Developing a Rosary Habit

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I’ve always wanted to have a devotion to the rosary. It was a combination of factors that drew me in, from photos of beautiful rosaries on the internet to the idea of the prayer being, in the words of St. Padre Pio, “the weapon against the evils of the world today.”

I’ve also always had a hard time meditating. I got bored, my mind wandered and I started thinking maybe it wasn’t the prayer for me. But every so often, I’d get out my rosary and try again.

Recently, when my boyfriend mentioned he was going to work harder on praying a daily rosary, I asked if I could join him, and we started praying it together. Every evening, if we’ve been hanging out, we sit together before parting and pray the rosary; if we are at our own homes, we FaceTime. We miss the occasional evening, but it’s become a regular practice. He even gave me a Rugged Rosary for my birthday–a rosary that feels indestructible and that has medals of St. Joseph and St. Jude (two saints who are special to my family and me) and a gorgeous Celtic cross that includes both a chalice and a dove.

There are two primary gifts this new habit has given me. First is the gift of the rosary itself. I am still not great at meditating. My mind wanders a lot, especially for the more abstract mysteries (what exactly am I supposed to be imagining for “the proclamation of the kingdom”?), but Zach always reminds me that “bringing your focus back is the point, not a failure.” Recently, I find I’m improving, and imagining the events of Jesus’ and Mary’s lives is bringing me closer to both of them.

Imagining the events of Jesus’ and Mary’s lives is bringing me closer to both of them.

The second gift is that praying the rosary with my boyfriend helps us in our mutual goal of helping each other toward holiness. We reflect on thoughts that come up while praying or share our struggles to stay focused on the meditation. It’s also a commitment we’ve made to each other (we even have it scheduled as a recurring appointment on our calendars). And, hopefully, it’s a foundation we can build on together.

A 2011 study by Florida State University researchers found links between “couple prayer and trust” as well as unity. In other words, couples who regularly prayed together reported higher levels of trust and unity with each other afterward. The researchers suggested several potential reasons for this correlation but missed one: A strong romantic relationship requires a third person: Christ.

A strong romantic relationship requires a third person: Christ.

In the book “To Light a Fire on the Earth” (written in conversation with journalist John L. Allen, Jr.) Bishop Robert Barron says, “Once hooked by the beauty of the faith, people will be more receptive to the idea that such beauty is inextricably connected to a way of life.” The rosary is beautiful, and that beauty, as is often the case, drew me closer to something important: Our Lady and her Son.

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