Hello Rosary lovers! Great question here: how do you meditate with the Rosary?
Meditation is ESSENTIAL to the Rosary
Well, firstly, we must remember that meditation is a crucial aspect of praying the Rosary. It is not enough to simply pray the our Father, 10 Hail Marys and Glory Be each decade.
To do this is a beautiful thing! It’s a wonderful way to pray JUST the Our Father and the Hail Mary, and there’s nothing wrong with this. But if we don’t meditate on the mysteries of the life of Christ, we are not praying the Rosary.
And that’s perfectly fine. We can pray in many, many acceptable ways, and we have a lot of choice here. But if you want to pray the Rosary specifically, you need to at least attempt to meditate on the mysteries of the life of Christ. That is, upon the Gospel.
The entire point of the Rosary is to help us participate with our minds and heart in the very incarnate life of Christ through Mary.
We meditate on his birth to participate in his birth and the graces of his birth through the Hail Mary.
We meditate on his crucifixion to participate in his crucifixion and the graces which flow from it.
So this is vital, and we can’t pray the Rosary properly without thinking at least briefly on these events and mysteries.
So it’s worth remembering that.
But as for how to actually meditate with the Rosary, I will show some ways we can help ourselves to think upon the mysteries and how to participate in their graces better.
Announcing the Mystery
The simplest way is to briefly announce the mystery and then pray the prayers. You simply say: ‘The Annunication.’ Or: ‘The Crucifixion.’ Or: ‘The Ascension.’
Or you settle for just thinking these words in your mind. Then you begin the prayers.
This is ample, but your participation may be rather limited if this is all you do.
There are other ways Catholics have developed to engage much more in the meditations and to gain more blessings and graces.
For instance, you can read a relevant Scripture passage before reciting the Our Father. If you are about the do the mystery of the Finding in the Temple, you would probably read Luke 2:40-52.
Or you can recite a relevant scripture verse after each Hail Mary. For instance, if you are praying the Finding in the Temple mystery, you can read Luke 2:40-52 one verse at a time, praying a Hail Mary after each verse.
This kind of Rosary goes by the name ‘the Scriptural Rosary’. Many can be found online, like this one.
You might also really like to listen to the scriptural Rosary pre-recorded. This can be highly effective, as it is hard not to meditate on the mystery when hearing all the scriptures. All you have to do is listen with a sense of devotion. This one is awesome.
The disadvantage to Scriptural rosaries is that they take a good while to pray. That’s fine if you have plenty of time, but not so good if you have kids running around, or a lot of commitments, etc.
Another disadvantage to the Scriptural rosary is that it can’t really be prayed without access to the internet or a book (such as the Bible), because otherwise you’d need to memorise all the scriptures, which would take a long time. So it’s not an ‘on-the-go’ Rosary.
That said, I’ve found the Scriptural rosary to be a real blessing in the past, although I don’t pray it much anymore. It would probably be true to say that my first real enjoyment in praying the Rosary came from listening every night to a scriptural rosary a few years ago.
The intertwining of Bible verses inbetween each Hail Mary really helps to get the Bible into the soul and also aids meditation on the mystery. It’s always sweet for the soul to hear the words of Scripture.
Many find the Scriptural rosary to be an excellent way to combine scripture reading and meditation on scripture with praying the Holy Rosary. It’s killing two birds with one stone, effectively, and I suppose you’re almost getting double the blessings for doing it. Maybe …!
Using the Imagination
Another way to meditate on the mysteries (this is the method Mary recommended at Fatima) is to spend a moment forming an image in the mind about the mystery. Then you pray the prayers. It’s a good idea to come back to that image or form other images of the mystery as you pray the Hail Marys.
Some of us don’t have good imaginations (such as myself), so using pictures can be a saving grace. The internet is by FAR the richest library of religious images ever known to humanity.
All you have to do in this day and age is type the title of the mystery into Google or another Search Engine, click ‘Images’ and viola: up pops an absolute jackpot of religious images, all relating to the mystery!
It’s incredible, we are so fortunate, and I have found these religious images from the internet to have enhanced my recitations of the Rosary perhaps more than anything else.
I have my own method where I flick through image after image as I meditate on one mystery and pray the prayers. This way, I get to see lots of images each representing the one mystery under consideration. It helps a lot, since I struggle to focus just on one image.
These days, I use a pre-recorded Rosary online to help me pray. My favourite way to pray the Rosary is to hit ‘play’ and lie on my bed, looking on the internet at pictures representing the mystery.
When I begin the day this way, I often feel like I wish I could spend all day in bed doing it. It’s so satisfying and soul-feeding. And so easy!
This way, I can really focus on the mystery. Having someone else pray all the Hail Marys is a great help.
Going Beyond the Mysteries
There is a way of praying the Rosary which goes beyond the mysteries, trying to achieve contemplation. Perhaps we might even call this true meditation, or highest meditation. I’ve written about this here, and I recommend you check it out.
I hope this post helps you.
On this site, we often recommend that you check out these beautiful rosaries, to help improve your spiritual life. Perhaps you may find something that you think might help you. Start by clicking here.
God bless you, and if you have any questions or wish to get in touch, please do so!