Daily Ways to Sneak in the Rosary

As women, we’re busy.

By the nature of our birth and biology, we are often saddled with the struggles and joys of family life and our careers. As a result, our prayers lives are often inhibited or may gradually disappear as we sink deeper into the secular demands of our lives. It’s easy and I’m sure many of us have struggled with this balance of prayer and everyday life.

Of course, our spiritual lives and our everyday lives are often interwoven. We pray over our meals, place an icon in our work cubicle, pray the Angelus at noon, or keep holy water in our cars. Yet, too often, it’s easy to keep our faith on the shelf as we work about our daily lives. How can we, as modern women with more demands than ever, possibly achieve sainthood in such a hectic world? I believe the key lies in the recitation of the Holy Rosary.

The Power, and Struggle, of the Rosary

From personal experience and from the study of the lives of saints, I am convinced that the Rosary is one of the most powerful prayers that we can pray. In my own devotional practice, I can attest that the Rosary has brought grace and peace that I’ve never known before. It’s no surprise that many Catholics that we now know as saints possessed a great devotion to this prayer.

However, praying the rosary is TOUGH.

Think about it: The Rosary is 53 Hail Marys, over 5 Our Fathers and Fatima Prayers, the Apostle’s Creed, and the Hail Holy Queen. All together, praying the Rosary can take anywhere between 20-30 minutes, depending on how fast you pray. For many busy women, 5 minutes of quiet time, much less 30, is a struggle to find.

I found this to be true when I first began praying the Rosary.

Often, I found myself zoned out after the first decade, especially when listening to a recitation on a podcast or prerecorded track. I found myself looking around the church or at my surroundings, wondering what I could do next. I couldn’t sit still for too long, as my mind started to go to other places between each Hail Mary. It was hard, and I did well to pray the Rosary once a week.

The Benefits of the Rosary

However, in October 2017 I encountered the Chews Life Rosary Challenge. Essentially, the challenge encouraged email subscribers to pray the Rosary everyday for 30 days –  a month. Long-story-short: This challenge rocked my world. Sins I struggled with? The desires fell away. A sense of anxiety? Slowly dissipated.

Now, I don’t say this to prescribe the Rosary as some magical charm. Just because one takes up the practice of praying the Rosary doesn’t mean her problems will disappear or that her mental anguish will fall away. Rather, I do suggest that the Rosary infuses a wonderful grace in our lives that may have been unknown before. This is why I suggest it as a daily devotion for Catholics – especially women.

But, with a prayer as lengthy and repetitious as the Rosary, how can a busy woman possible make time for it?  I also struggled with this – out of the lack of time or from sheer exhaustion at the end of the day. Mistakenly, I thought that a Rosary had to be prayed in one sitting, but it doesn’t. You can pray the Rosary one Hail Mary or Our Father at a time at any time and any place.

Sneaking in a Prayer

Here are just a few ways to sneak in an entire Rosary into your busy schedule. As it turns out, you can pray a whole Rosary while you:

  1. Walk/drive/commute to work.
  2. Wash the dishes.
  3. Change your child’s diaper.
  4. Rake the leaves.
  5. Jog/bike/exercise.
  6. Eat your lunch at your desk.
  7. Bake a cake.
  8. Patch up an old pair of pants.
  9. Stand in line at the bank.
  10. Walk the halls of your workplace.
  11. Run to the supermarket.

The beauty of the Rosary is not confined to silence and adoration chapels. Rather, the Rosary is a reflection of our living faith as Catholic women in an ever-changing world. As you reflect on the mysteries of the Rosary, rather it is the Transfiguration or the Annuciation, you remember the active work of Christ as He walked the earth. Our Catholic faith is a vibrant, living faith, so it only makes sense that one of our hallmark prayers should be one of vibrant love and hope.


Thank you for taking the time to read my blog! I pray that you were moved by the love of Christ in some way. If you enjoyed this post, please consider liking my Facebook page, following me on Twitter or Instagram, or subscribing via WordPress or email, or dropping me a line at sarahquelpart@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from, and connect, with you.

To Jesus through Mary,

Sarah 

Trust Issues: Divine Mercy for Every Moment

Patience, prayer, and silence – these are what give strength to the soul.

– St. Faustina Kowalska

Trust issues.

Whether you know it or not, you have a trust issue. If you are human and you are not sinless, you have a problem with trust. You may think, “What? I don’t have a problem with trust. I trust my family and my spouse. I trust God, too!” As someone striving for holiness, I often thought the same about myself: I did NOT have a trust issue. In my mind, trust issues were for bad marriages and cutthroat workplace environments.

During Lent, I read Fr. Michael Gaitley’s 33 Days to Merciful Love: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Consecration to Divine MercyDivided into 33 readings for 33 days, Merciful Love not only tackles the wonder of Jesus’s mercy, but it also exposes our own shortcomings as sinners. In the first few readings, Fr. Gaitley claims, in essence, that all of us have trust issues because we sin.

Think about it for a moment.

Origins of Distrust 

Adam and Eve sinned in the paradise of the Garden of Eden. Ultimately, they chose not to trust in the goodness of God and to respond to Satan’s lies instead. As a result, they were banished from the garden and the scourge of Original Sin remains with us even today. In a way, sin is when we decide to trust our own instincts instead of God’s truth. When we sin, we say “I know what’s best for my life and I reject God.” To sin is not only to miss the mark, but also our own way of saying that we don’t trust that Jesus knows what is best for us. Likewise, when we worry and fail to relinquish our cares to Jesus, that’s also a lack of trust. That’s a hard pill to swallow.

I think about my own personal life and issues. At every turn, I work to justify my actions and my sin. I say, “Well, I wouldn’t have done this, had that not happened.” Also, “If I don’t worry about something, that means I really don’t care about the issue at hand.” The hard truth is: I feel like if I don’t worry and fret over an issue, I believe that I have lost all control of the situation. Talk about a trust issue!

Wisdom from Scripture 

Jesus, many times in the Gospels, admonishes His followers not to worry. Here are just a few examples:

  1. “Do not be worried,” John 14:27
  2. “Take courage!…Don’t be afraid,” Mark 6:50
  3. “Do not worry about tomorrow,” Matthew 6:34

In many of the New Testament Epistles, the Christians of the era were also taught not to fret:

  1. “Do not be anxious about anything,” Phillippians 4:6
  2. “Leave all your worries with Him,” 1 Peter 5:6

These are just a few of many examples from the Bible regarding the unnecessary act of worry in the life of a Christian. Yet, so many of us fret and worry each day. We sin, we worry, we lack trust. For many, myself included, it’s a cycle repeated each and every day. I keep holding on to what I imagine I can control through worry and anxiety. I don’t trust that God can actually bear my burdens for me. In fact, it makes more sense for me to worry. In the end, however, my faulty logic fails and I accomplish nothing.

A Source for Developing Trust 

It may seem as if I think not worrying is as simple as saying, “You know what? Today, I’m not going to worry. I’m going to let the Divine Mercy of Jesus wash over my life and relinquish all of my troubles to Him!” 

If only it were that easy.

One way I tackle my own issues of trust and sin is through the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. While I won’t go into the history of the Chaplet here, the prayer (often prayed on Rosary beads), is a devotion centered on the infinite mercy of Our Lord. Devotees pray “For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world,” and conclude by saying “Jesus I trust in You” three times.

Pray this with me: Jesus, I trust in You. 

Four powerful words, packed with infinite meaning. To simply pray, “Jesus, I trust in You” is to say that you trust that the King of the Universe can handle all of your cares. It says, “I reject my fear and my doubt, my own abilities, and I trust in God.” There are some days it is much easier to pray this prayer. On other days, it’s all I can do to say it through gritted teeth. But, like exercising, the more we proclaim our trust in Christ, the easier it becomes for us to receive His grace.

Today, and the next few days, I challenge you to tell Jesus that you trust Him with your life. This can be scary. It’s essentially to say, “I give up everything I am to You and I know You can handle it.” Yes, we have trust issues. But, with the grace of Christ, there is nothing He cannot do within us.

 

 

 

GUEST POST – Marian Devotion: A Testimony by John Church

Welcome to the Third Sunday of Lent. I pray your Lenten disciplines are drawing you closer to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord. Today, I am happy to share with you a guest post from fellow writer and friend, John Church. If you enjoyed John’s writing, please visit his blog at the link below. I know you will be blessed.

Marian Devotion: A Testimony

[Firstly I’d like to thank Sarah for being so gracious as to put my writing on her blog; I am honored. I am also honored to talk about Our Lady. I hope it is of benefit to anyone who reads it.]

Continue reading “GUEST POST – Marian Devotion: A Testimony by John Church”

Rosary Reflections: The Sorrowful Mysteries

This is the fourth, and final, installment in a series on the mysteries of the Rosary. You can click the following links to read meditations on the Glorious, Joyful, and Luminous mysteries.

On Tuesdays and Fridays, Catholics around the world pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. These mysteries follow the events in the life of Jesus from Holy Thursday to Good Friday. With the Sorrowful Mysteries, we ponder not only the life of Jesus, but also His divine suffering. The Sorrowful Mysteries teach us, contrary to modern culture, that suffering is intricately part of life and cannot be avoided – even Jesus was not immune to life’s hardships.

The Sorrowful Mysteries

  1. The Agony in the Garden: Before His arrest, Jesus goes with His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane. There, Jesus reveals that He is sorrowful and begs God to “let this cup pass from Me.” Jesus’ disciples fall asleep as He prays and sweats drops of blood, but nevertheless, Jesus says “not My will, but Yours be done.” Though Jesus was fully God and fully man, He was not immune from distress. In the Gospels, Jesus wants to avoid His impending crucifixion, but instead, He submits to the holy will of God. How often do we accept the will of God, even if it is contrary to our own desires? How far will we follow Jesus? Are we brave enough to say each day, “not my will, but Yours be done?” Prayer: Dear God, give me the bravery to always say yes to You, even when my will is weak.
  2. The Scourging at the Pillar: After false accusations are directed towards Him, Jesus is handed over to be scourged. According to historians, scourging was a terrible event: the person was often bent over a single pillar and beat with a whip, which often had pieces of metal or bone on the ends of leather strips. For us, like a lamb, Jesus submitted to this heinous punishment. For our sins, sins He had not committed, He was lashed. When meditating upon the scourging, think about how we treat others. Do we often treat others poorly? Do we ignore those who we believe are not worthy of our attention? How can we better understand that each time we hurt another person, it pierces the heart of Christ? Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive me for when I’ve hurt others, which hurts You. Help me to understand the love You have for me, which led you to endure scourging.
  3. The Crowning of Thorns: Jesus is asked if He is a King, and He replies that His kingdom is “not of this world” (John 18:36). In order to mock Jesus, His captors form a crown of thorns and press it upon His head. It was not enough for the soldiers to scourge Jesus, but now, they must submit Him cruel humiliation. As Christians, we are often mocked for our beliefs. Though we may not be crowned with thorns, we sometimes must bear to consequences of not conforming to the world. Like Jesus, do we know that our home is not of this earth? How can we lovingly bear persecutions, minor and major, in our daily lives? Would you willingly bear a “crown” for Jesus? Prayer: Dearest Jesus, give me the grace to understand that this world is not my eternal home.
  4. The Carrying of the Cross: After the scourging and crowning of thorns, Jesus is forced to carry His cross to the site of His crucifixion. Already weakened by blood loss and physical injuries, Jesus appears wearied. Simon of Cyrene is asked to carry the cross, assisting Jesus as He makes His way to Calvary. While some scholars suggest that Simon was chosen to carry the cross because he was sympathetic to Jesus, others say that Simon was forced to carry the cross by the soliders. Regardless of his motivation, the act of Simon is a witness to us today. Do we help others who are bearing harsh trials? Or, do we shy away from consoling the pain of others? How can you help carry the cross of another, and in a way, help Jesus carry His? Prayer: Lord, life is very difficult. I want to help others in their trials. Give me the courage to keep walking down an unknown path.
  5. The Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross and is left to die. Despite the experience of torture and extreme pain at the hands of mortal men, Jesus asks His Father to forgive those who hurt and tortured Him because “they know not what they do.” While on the cross, we see Jesus’ humanity on display. He says “I thirst” and wonders aloud why God has forsaken Him. Even among the pain and jeers from the crowd, Jesus instructs John to look after His mother. After hours of agony, Jesus declares “it is finished” and dies. In our lives, how often do we forgive others who have wronged us? Do we freely offer our mercy and compassion, or do we withhold it? When we feel as if God has abandoned us, how can we cling to hope? How can you die to self each and every day? Prayer: Dear Jesus, I want to die to myself each day. Only with your help, can I do this. May I always run to You.

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May God bless you as you pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.

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Rosary Reflections: The Luminous Mysteries

This is the third post in a four-part series of meditations on the mysteries of the Rosary. I pray this helps you in your prayer life and practice. Part 1 on the Glorious Mysteries are here and Part 2 on the Joyful Mysteries are here.

On Thursdays, Catholics around the world pray The Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary. These mysteries, often called The Mysteries of Light, were introduced in October 2002 by St. Pope John Paul II. These mysteries focus on the adult ministry of Jesus and the major events that occurred during that time.

  1. The Baptism of Jesus: In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, we are told that Jesus goes to be baptized by His relative, John the Baptist. Before His ascension, Jesus tells His disciples to go into the world and to baptize coverts (Mark 16:15). In many Christian traditions, baptism is thought of as a sign of outward obedience. But, according to many examples in Scripture, Catholics know that baptism is an intricate part of salvation (1 Peter 3:21). Do you follow Christ’s commands? How do you learn more about what Jesus requires of us? In what ways do you live out the sacraments? Prayer: Jesus, help me to remember my baptism each and every day. 
  2. The Wedding at Cana: John 2 opens with a wedding: a party with many guests, and eventually, a shortage of wine. Mary, Jesus’ mother, knows how embarrassing it would be for the hosts to run out, and goes to her Son for help. Jesus tells Mary that “my hour has not yet come” (John 2:4). In Mary’s last recorded words in the Bible, she tells the servants, “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5). It is at Cana that Jesus performs His first miracle, beginning His public ministry. Like Jesus, how can you help others when asked? What gifts and talents has God given you? How can you listen to the words of Mary and do whatever Christ asks of you? Prayer: Lord, give me the grace to live out the request of Your blessed mother.
  3. Proclaiming the Kingdom: Throughout Scripture, Jesus tells his disciples to go out into the world to spread the Gospel. This was no easy task as all of Jesus’ apostles, except John, were martyred. In an age of constant media coverage and ongoing idea wars, it’s may seem difficult to proclaim the good news of Jesus to our friends and neighbors. But, we must never cave into fear or discouragement. Our Lord is with us until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). What are steps you can take to proclaim the Kingdom? Is your life a proclamation to the message of Jesus? If not, what steps can you take to amend this? Prayer: Dear Jesus, I ask you to give me every opportunity to proclaim Your good news.
  4. The Transfiguration: In my opinion, the Transfiguration is one of the most unusual events in the life and ministry of Jesus. In Matthew 17, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John to the top of a high mountain. There, Moses and Elijah appear, and a voice from Heaven says “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him” (Matthew 17). If we were to stand before God today, what would He say about us? Would he be able to say that He is “well pleased” with our lives? Think about ways you can change your life bit-by-bit. Prayer: God, transform me so that You will be well pleased with my life. 
  5. The Institution of the Eucharist: At the Last Supper, Jesus institutes the sacrament of the Eucharist. Many Christian traditions view communion as just a symbol. However, Catholics believe that in the consecrated host and wine, Jesus is present in body, blood, soul, and divinity. In 1 Corinthians 11:26, St. Paul writes, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.” As Catholics, it is important that when we receive the Eucharist, we do so worthily. This means frequenting confession and resolving not to sin again. As a Catholic, how can you strengthen your resolve to pursue holiness? When was the last time you went to confession? Do you often remember that Jesus is merciful and forgiving? Prayer: Thank You Lord, for the gift of the Eucharist. May You always be my sustenance. 

May God bless you as you pray the Luminous Mysteries!

Rosary Reflections_The Luminous Mysteries

 

Rosary Reflections: The Glorious Mysteries

This is the first post in a four-part series of meditations on the mysteries of the Rosary. I pray this helps you in your prayer life and practice.

On Sunday and Wednesday, Catholics around the world pray the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. While not a required prayer of the Faithful, the Rosary is a powerful tool that assists Catholics in reflecting on important events in the earthly life of Jesus.

For those who are unfamiliar, I’ve heard the Rosary described this way:

Imagine that you’re at Jesus’ house for a visit and Mary is eager to tell you all about her Son (like any good mom). If she lived in an later era of history, Mary might pull out a photo album and tell you about the pictures. “Oh! This is when Jesus turned the water into wine at Cana. It was such a great day to begin His ministry. If He can change water into wine, think about how He can change you!” When we say the Rosary, with its 53 Hail Mary recitations, we’re journeying through the life of Jesus with His mother as a guide.

And like many, you may find yourself wandering to the outer recesses of your mind when praying. I do that, too. It’s easy for me to say “The first Glorious Mystery is the Resurrection of Jesus,” and then move on my merry way without another thought of the first Easter Sunday. My goal for the meditation questions and prayers below is to help both you and I to draw our hearts closer to Jesus through the recitation of the Rosary.

The Glorious Mysteries

  1. The Resurrection of Jesus: When the apostles and disciples thought all hope was lost, they were dumbfounded. Just as He said He would, Jesus conquered death and destruction. More often than not, we are like the disciples: We sometimes don’t believe what Jesus claimed about Himself. It’s easy to doubt when our lives are marred by sin. Try to contemplate your own sin; it’s not easy. How can you hand your shortfalls over to Christ? How can you let His resurrection transform you? Do you believe that Jesus conquered death so that you may one day resurrect into His kingdom? Prayer: Jesus, help me to trust in Your saving power.
  2. The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven: Before His ascension, Jesus told his disciples to go forth and to spread the Gospel to all nations. The Creed, which we recite at Mass, tells us that Jesus “sits at the right hand of the Father [and] from there, He will judge the living and the dead.” Do we live with the knowledge that while Jesus is our King and Savior, He is also our judge? Does this change the way we live? How do we honor the Ascended Christ with our lives? Do we strive to serve as “little Christs” here on earth? Prayer: Jesus, give me the grace to be a “little Christ” to everyone I meet.
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit: 50 days after Easter, the Holy Spirit alighted on the apostles and other followers of Jesus. Many consider this the birthday of the Church. Since then, the Catholic Church has reached every corner of the globe with the good news of Jesus. Today, how do you discern the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life? Do you ignore His presence or embrace it? If you ignore the nudgings of the Holy Spirit, why? How can you live out the work and mission of the Church with the help of the Spirit? Prayer: Lord, help me to discern Your will with the help of the Holy Spirit.
  4. The Assumption of Mary into Heaven: The Church teaches, using Sacred Tradition and Scripture, that at the end of her earthly life, Mary was assumed body and soul into Heaven. This is the goal of every Christian: to reach Heaven and to obtain the most intimate union with God. Some say that because Mary loved her Son so much, and Jesus’ love for her was even greater, this great love is what assumed Mary when her life was over. It was not done by her own power. How much do you love Jesus? What would you give up for His sake? Does your love for Jesus attract others? Prayer: Jesus, help me to love You as Mary loved You, so that I may, at the end of my life, join you in Heaven forever.
  5. The Coronation of Mary: Because of the merits of her Son, Mary is often referred to as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Mary is not divine, she is only a creature of God. Yet, as His mother, it is safe to deduce that Mary has a very special place in the heart of Jesus, her divine Son. As Catholics, we recognize Mary as not only a premier role model of the Faith, but also as our spiritual mother (John 19:27). Do you honor your family, just as Jesus honored Mary and Joseph? If not, how can you take steps to mend these gaps? How can you promote peace in your family and in the world? Prayer: Lord, fill me with your grace and help me to understand that true peace and healing only comes from You. 

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May God bless you as you meditate on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary.

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