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,


Hallmark Mary: Thoughts on the Rosary and Life with Jesus

Image result for immaculate conception


This post was intended for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on Friday, December 8th, 2017. Two days later, I’m sure you’ll find it still as useful and relevant as ever. God bless!

Do you have a Nativity set in your home?

If so, and you’re nearby, take a look at it. What do you see? More than likely, it’s a very serene scene. Pleasant faces on Mary and Joseph, well-behaved animals, and eager magi. Personally, I own peg-doll nativity scene, with Mary, Joseph, Jesus, a shepherd, and angel depicted as ethnic Koreans in traditional Korean dress. It’s a lovely, homey scene that reminds me of my year living in East Asia. Yet, my own nativity scene that I love depicts a very clean, socially acceptable first Christmas.

Today’s (12/8/2017) Gospel reading is the Annunciation in St. Luke:

Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”

The retelling of the Annunciation is a favorite: it fills Christians with hope and joy, the moment that it was revealed to Mary that she would become the mother of Our Lord. I often think about Mary on that day. What did she do after learning she would become the mother of God’s only son? While we can’t know what she was thinking, we do know from Scripture that Mary did not dawdle to accept her call as Jesus’ mother. After hearing the angel Gabriel’s news Our Lady replied, “May it be done to me according to your word.” While Mary may have been confused about this good news, she did not hesitate to say “Yes” to God. Her one “Yes” or fiat, changed the course of humanity’s salvation history.

Nevertheless, a little over 2,000 years later, Christians (myself included) are often guilty of transforming the stories of the Bible into Hallmark shop renditions. The story of Christ seems so distant from our era, that it’s easy to flip through our Bibles and think, “Yes, how nice!” Often, the Christian art in our homes is pleasant. Our religion, unfortunately, is sometimes reduced to pleasantries.

How can we avoid “Hallmark Mary”? Or worse, “Hallmark Jesus”?

I believe one answer to this question lies in the practice of praying the Rosary. For my Protestant readers, the Rosary is prayer based in Scripture that allows us to meditate on events in life of Jesus and Mary (often using beads). These events are called “mysteries” due to their miraculous and mysterious nature. There are four sets of mysteries: Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and Luminous. Despite its criticism from non-Catholics for existing as a “vain repetition” with its over 50 Hail Marys and numerous Our Fathers, the Rosary is a powerful tool that helps us delve into an authentic understanding of the life of Jesus.

For example, in the Joyful Mysteries, the first mystery we ponder is the Annunciation (from today’s readings!). After meditating upon the Annunciation, the next four mysteries are The Visitation (Luke 1:39), The Nativity (Luke 2) The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:22) and the Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41). All of these events are happy, wonderful times in the early life of the Holy Family. We meditate upon Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth, and extending all the way to when Mary and Joseph find Jesus in the temple after frantically searching for him in Jerusalem. When I pray the Joyful Mysteries, especially in the mystery of the Nativity, I like to ask Christ to be “born” anew in my heart each day.

On the other hand, the practice of praying the Rosary also acknowledges that Christianity is not a religion of perpetual, temporal happiness. On Tuesdays and Fridays, devotees of the Rosary pray the Sorrowful Mysteries. These mysteries include Jesus’ Agony in the Garden (Mark 26), The Scourging at the Pillar (John 19:1), The Crowning of the Thorns (John 19), The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:31), and the Crucifixion (all four Gospels). With these mysteries, Catholics can meditate upon the events leading up to Good Friday, while also thinking about how we can unite our own suffering with the suffering of Christ. With Mary, we can stand at the foot of the cross as we pray through each sorrowful moment of Holy Week.

Finally, with joys, sorrows, and everything in between, Catholics are able to use the Rosary to combat the idea that life with Christ is like an idyllic Hallmark cliche. We recognize that yes, while there are joyful mysteries and glorious mysteries to our Faith, there are also sorrows. Luckily, we have Our Lord to carry and guide us along the way. And like our Blessed Mother, we too can say “Yes” to God without fear.

Don’t be daunted by the cross. The surest test of love consists in suffering for the loved one, and if God suffered so much for love, the pain we suffer for Him becomes as lovable as love itself. // St. Padre Pio

Never be afraid of loving Mary too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did. // St. Maximilian Kolbe

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!