Lent is a time of penance, fasting, almsgiving, and above all prayer. It’s a wonderful time to begin the practice of a daily Rosary — a prayer that’s literally “the Bible on beads!”
Are you still struggling to figure out what you’re going to “do” or “give up” for Lent?
Why not skip the worry and join the Rosary Crusade?
Joining the Rosary Crusade and committing to praying a daily Rosary is a wonderful way to keep the spirit of Lent focused in the right direction — not on the suffering and hardship of fasting, but on the incredible, loving sacrifice Jesus has made for your salvation your relationship with God our Father.
Sounds great on paper (or a computer screen), right? But if you’re like a lot of people out there, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to stick with praying the Rosary every day.
Here are 8 Tips you can use to stick with your daily Rosary throughout Lent, and maybe even long after!
1. Choose a Time… Then Stick With It
Set a reminder on your phone. Elect a special time to gather as a family — like after dinner or in the morning before the day gets hectic. The important thing is to find a time that works for you, then stick to it.
2. Find a Prayerful Place to Pray.
Some families choose to gather at the table, or in a special prayer corner or at a home altar. Gathering on the sofa or another seating area is perfectly acceptable, as long as the television and all devices are switched off and put away. Your ideal place might be out in your backyard or garden. Or it could even be in your car in the parking lot before work — hey, at least it’s quiet. Whatever the case, make sure it’s a place free of distractions.
3. Choose Your Mysteries
The Sorrowful Mysteries are ideal Lenten meditation material. Because Lent is a journey to Christ’s passion and death, contemplating the Sorrowful Mysteries will keep you focused on the extent to which He suffered and died for your salvation — and thus, how greatly He must love you. This is also a really good time to talk to your children about suffering, and how Jesus is with us through our own times of trial and desolation. But let’s keep it in perspective. Make sure to remind your children that Jesus’ journey doesn’t end with the events of Good Friday. On Easter Sunday, we get to shout, “He is Risen!” and celebrate with jubilation at His triumph over death. “That part comes later,” you can explain, “and right now we are thinking about everything He went through in order to get to that point. How God must love us, to allow all of Jesus’ suffering and pain! Can you even imagine how much He loves us?”
4. Select a Bible Passage for Each Mystery.
Here are some suggestions:
a. The First Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden
Matthew 26:36-46; Luke 22:39-46
Jesus is confronted by humanity’s sin and temptation, and He resolves to do His Father’s will — thus reversing Adam’s “no” in the Garden of Eden with a firm “yes.” But Jesus realizes there is unbearable suffering ahead: betrayal, scourging, a crown of thorns, a cross to carry, and ultimately, a crucifixion.
b. The Second Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar
It is here that we see Pontius Pilate’s cowardly act of caving in to the pressure of the crowd that’s calling for Jesus to be crucified. In an attempt to clear his conscience, Pilate washes his hands, symbolically releasing himself from the responsibility of Christ’s death. (He doesn’t get away with it, as we hear in our recitation of the Apostles’ Creed.)
c. The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns
In this scene, we witness the height of Jesus’ humiliation as Roman soldiers mock His claim to kingship. Ironically, Christ’s crucifixion turns out to be His enthronement in God’s kingdom where He reigns, victorious over sin and death.
d. The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross
Jesus is so weak from His scourging that He requires assistance from Simon of Cyrene to carry His cross. Jesus also gives a warning to the women who weep for Him, cautioning of Jerusalem’s devastation if they don’t repent.
e. The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion
Matthew 27:35-66; Mark 15:25-47; Luke 23:33-56; John 19:18-42
Even on the cross, Jesus is still trusting God’s plan for our redemption. He forgives His enemies, responding with mercy and love even to His executioners. He grants salvation to the repentant criminal who is dying on a cross next to Him. Jesus also entrusts His mother, Mary, to His disciple John. We conclude from this act that He is delegating Mary as Mother to all Christians.
5. Use a Hook
Take a routine part of your day, something that repeats daily, and “hook” the Rosary into it. For example, if you take a walk at lunchtime, grab your Rosary and make it your prayer hour. If you regularly wake up before the family to have your coffee, say the Rosary before the chaos ensues. Just make sure your “hook” isn’t a distraction.
6. Make Your Rosary a Part of Your Everyday Carry
Challenge yourself to pray it daily — and also, keep it on your person as a reminder to pray it. This will habituate you to pull it out in times of stress and anxiety.
7. Make It a Holy Competition
Check in with the other members of the Rosary Crusade a specific time each afternoon, and see who has kept their daily Rosary commitment. If someone who’s “competing” hasn’t yet kept their commitment, have him take on an additional penitential practice the following day. (Or, alternatively, that person must put an extra dollar into the Church offering!)
8. Give Your Prayer a Spine
A “spine,” or a “through line,” is a device that provides structure to a story, talk, or article — it binds the whole thing together. What is your reason for committing to praying a Lenten Rosary? Write it down. Try to answer these questions:
a. For whom am I praying?
b. Why am I praying for them?
c. What changes do I want to see in them, or for them, on the other side of Lent?
Let the answers be the “spine” for your prayers. Let them guide your reflections and the way in which you pray.
If you’re committing to praying a daily Rosary this Lent, please let us know!
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and join the growing Rosary Crusade community. Share what you’re doing, pictures of your rosary, or of your prayer corner on our Facebook page. May this Lent and our community inspire you to continue praying a daily Rosary even after Lent!