“I’m so busy.”
How many times have you said or heard that? Probably countless times. Being “busy” is our status quo. We all have things to do, people to see, and places to go. There’s never enough time. But we can, and should, make time for prayer every day. And during the month of May, when we honor the Virgin Mary, we should recommit to Marian devotions, including the Rosary.
Caught up in our busy mindsets, we may shy away from praying the Rosary, since it’s a more lengthy devotion, taking about 15 minutes to recite. Yet it is one of the most powerful forms of Marian intercession. As Saint Josemaria Escriva said, “The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you’ll be amazed at the results.”
When we make prayer a priority, we mold our busy lives around it. As Pope Pius XI said, “Let not even one day pass without saying [the rosary], no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors.” So here are a few ways to prioritize the Rosary each day.
The second you wake up in the morning, there are countless things competing for your attention — emails, work, children, errands, the list goes on. And as soon as you get into your daily to-dos, it’s hard to dial back into a more reflective and prayerful mindset. So make the Rosary the first thing you do in the morning, before anything else.
Praying the Rosary in the early hours will help you stay focused and mindful before the day’s distractions begin. Of course, you can pray the Rosary any time of day, but making it the first thing you do helps center your day on prayer. As Saint Josemaria Escriva advised, “You always leave the Rosary for later, and you end up not saying it at all because you are sleepy.”
Whether your idea of a workout is a light jog, brisk walk, or gym session, you can use time spent exercising for prayer. With your body focused on repetitive actions, your mind can more easily focus on the repetitive decades of the Rosary. And when you exercise outside, you feel even more united with God surrounded by his creation.
Taking in nature around us, our prayer is elevated by experiencing the beauty of God’s world. Our senses are activated by the sights, sounds, and smells and our minds are captivated in prayer. Saint Theresa of Avila looked for God in nature: “It helped me to look at fields, or water, or flowers. In these things, I found a remembrance of the Creator.”
Is there a consistent time during your day when you’re driving or commuting somewhere? Prolonged periods of time traveling are prime for prayer. When you’re physically limited to a specific space and your mind is free, you can have greater focus on the words you say and the meaning behind them. Praying with Rosary beads in public can even be an opportunity for evangelization.
If you absolutely don’t have 15 minutes to spend dedicated to praying the entire Rosary at once, you can recite each decade at different times throughout the day. For example, a decade can easily fit into time spent preparing a meal, walking between meetings, eating a snack, running errands, and so on. Praying during these brief moments helps center all your actions, big or small, on God.
Especially while you exercise or commute, it helps to have a prayer guide to stay focused on the Rosary. There are many podcast and app options for guided prayer including the Relevant Radio app, iRosary app, The Holy Rosary app, and A Rosary Companion podcast. An audio aid keeps you on track, decade by decade, as a virtual prayer partner.
So no matter how busy we are, prayer should always be a priority. And the time we think we “take away” from our hectic schedules to pray the Rosary is returned with abundant graces. Prayer is the best thing we can do to get through a busy day.
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