I’m just gonna say it: I hate the rosary.
Hate is probably kind of a strong word; I just really dislike it. Drives me absolutely nuts.
Don’t get me wrong–it’s not a theological issue, a moral issue, or anything reasonable like that.
I simply don’t like praying it.
What is it, honestly? It’s boring, time-consuming, tedious, repetitive, and I’ve fallen asleep while praying it more times than I’d like to admit. Mary’s great, praying is great, meditation is great, all the prayers are great, but for whatever reason, the particular combination and concoction of the aforementioned great things is just something I’m not really into.
And that is exactly why I make a point to pray it every day.
(Well, that’s not the entire reason, but it’s a big part of it.)
Despite what I do and don’t like and what I do and don’t enjoy, the rosary is an incredibly powerful and important form of prayer, and Mary has stressed that in enough visions and revelations that I’m not about to brush her off. Instead, my daily rosary has become a sacrifice for me–a pouring out of my love to God in a way that is really self-giving. It means denying what I want in favor of what he wants. I’m actively showing my love to him (and Mary) in a way that gives me nothing in return. (Believe me, I get zero spiritual “high” out of repeating the Hail Mary 53 times between other equally repetitive prayers.) I’m intentionally opening up an avenue for God to seize my heart and mind with that which they’re not too jazzed about. With my open and willing heart and mind, it’s all-systems-go for God’s plan, and that’s what counts. By giving of myself and sacrificing for him, I pour fourth to God all that I have: my broken, human love.
The rosary is a humbling reminder that it’s not all about me. It reminds me that Christianity isn’t a hedonistic, feel-good club of people who share a mutual love for ancient Nazarenes and jewelery that resembles Rome’s most excruciating torture device. It might involve feeling good sometimes, but it can also involve real, hard work and self-emptying suffering.
It’s a reminder that there are things bigger than myself and sometimes those things are worth suffering for. It’s a reminder that my faith is a relationship involving two very real people and sometimes I need to do things for the sake of the other, even if I’m not totally on board myself.
The rosary is a ladder–through Our Lady, straight to Christ–and each day, using just my fingers (and all the grace I can get), I pull myself up that rope ladder one knot, one bead, one prayer at a time.