The Rosary – A Tool For Contemplation

A Bible with rosary lying across itOctober is the month of the Rosary. I have to admit that the rosary isn’t my primary devotional tool. I grew up non-Catholic, and became Anglican for four years. During that time I developed a great love for the Liturgy of the Hours, and I use it regularly.

Nonetheless, every time I pray the rosary I am blessed. Fr. Robert Barron, in his excellent Faith Clips series, mentions the rosary in his clip on contemplative prayer. The power of the rosary became apparent to me after watching it.

When we pray the rosary, two important psychological things are happening.

First, as Fr. Barron mentions, our mind becomes focused on the repetition of short form prayers, i.e. the “Hail Mary” and “Our Father.” Because of this, it actually calms our minds, because by focusing our minds on something so simple and repetitive, it frees us from the myriad distracting thoughts that pop up. This actually frees us to pray in a contemplative manner.

Second, the rosary doesn’t “go” anywhere. It is circular. It is a way of simply just being there, in God’s presence. Eastern religions and modern psychology call this “mindfulness” and Christians understand it as “contemplation.”

While some accuse Catholics of “vain repetition” for  repeating prayers in the rosary, modern psychology tells us the opposite true. By focusing our minds on something holy and meaningful, like the prayers of the rosary, it frees us to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, and to genuinely bask in God’s presence.

About David Bennett

David Bennett is an author, speaker, and small business owner. He started ChurchYear.Net in 2004, along with his brother Jonathan. The site gets over one million visitors a year, and Bennett’s writings have appeared in church bulletins, newspapers, and other media.

Leave a Reply