My Prayer Revisiting the Rosary by Nick Longo Recently, I read a book about the rosary, which has forever changed my prayer life and relationship with the Lord and our Blessed Mother. I have to be honest, before reading this book, I would downplay the Rosary as just a “simple and structured way of prayer.” I’m not sure how you understand that, but to me, those words don’t describe an understanding, passion, or true belief that the Rosary is a real and powerful way to encounter our Blessed Mother’s Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. I would say things like, “Oh the Rosary is a good way to disciple your life and begin to pray…” Of course, that statement is true… BUT the way I was talking about the rosary and the way I meant that statement was almost in a way, belittling the Holy prayer. After reading that book, I decided I was missing out on the real power of the rosary and needed to revisit it. In doing so, I began to realize the real power of the rosary. This amazing form of prayer is a true a spiritual weapon that defends me in the battle of spiritual warfare. It helps me more deeply know Jesus every day as it guides me through the mysteries of His life and passion. The rosary has started to change my life, and I know that it will change your life too and lead you closer to Mary’s son, Jesus Christ. Here are the four things that I took away from that book that might help you revisit the rosary in a powerful way: 1. You don’t always need to pray the entire rosary (although that is awesome if you do!) In our busy lives, the rosary can be an intimidating prayer because we immediately think things like, “who has 20 minutes for a rosary!… maybe later,” and then we never get around to doing it. You don’t need to pray the entire rosary to make the prayer work for your spirit. Pull out your beads and spend 2 minutes and 30 seconds (literally, I timed it) to pray a decade and think about a moment from Jesus’s life. 2. Carry your rosary beads with you. This has been a game changer for me. Just having my rosary beads with me during my day has become a kind of prayer reminder each day. It has also helped me in moments when I’m struggling or feeling anxiety, knowing I have my beads with me and reaching for them makes me aware of God’s presence and Mary’s mantle of love and protection with me in the tough times. (Pro tip: Metal or chain rosaries tend to break apart if you carry them in your pocket. I have found that a rope rosary or a plastic rosary is always safe and won’t break on you no matter where you take it.) 3. Quality over quantity, when praying. As with any prayer, this is an important note. The quality of the prayer is more important than the quantity of prayer. One intentional Hail Mary that you sit with and truly consider what God wants you to take away from this moment with Him can often be more fruitful than one quickly prayed decade that you tried to get through just to check it off your list. So focus on the quality of each prayer – even if that means you sit with one intentionally prayed Hail Mary for a while. 4. Pray with the Mysteries of the Rosary. I found one of those small little rosary pamphlets that you can pretty much find at any church you walk into, and began to read daily each of the daily rosary mysteries. (If you need one of these rosary pamphlets, you can ask your youth minister or download the Laudate App where you can find the rosary mysteries and more amazing Catholic prayerful goodness!). I would carry around the mysteries and prayerfully read through them, and over time they became dedicated to my memory. This has done wonders for my prayer life, especially to help focus my prayer when I’m struggling to pray. I will sit and reflect on the mysteries of the rosary, which are the best Bible study you’ll ever get. I believe now that there is no easier way to focus on Jesus and get to know him than prayerfully reflecting on His life and passion in the mysteries of the rosary. You can even dive deeper into praying with these moments of Jesus’ life by trying a Scriptural rosary – try it, you won’t be disappointed! As I shared, I used to downplay the power of the rosary. I used to think that it wasn’t a “powerful” form of prayer. I was very wrong. As I have been revisiting the rosary myself, Mary and Jesus have been hitting me over the head with grace-bombs* lately, and it has been incredible. Maybe you relate, and you too have been questioning the power of the rosary. Maybe you are intimidated by the amount of time you think it takes to pray the rosary, or maybe you feel it is too confusing to keep track of all these mysteries and beads we pray in the rosary. If you’re thinking or feeling any of these things, I want to invite you to revisit the rosary this week – maybe even right now – grab your beads and start praying. *WARNING: receiving grace-bombs is a common event, for one who is faithfully praying the rosary. Prepare to be blessed.