3 Tips for the Rosary Challenged

Praying the Rosary

Praying the Rosary

I have a love-hate relationship with the rosary. In fact, I consider myself Rosary Challenged.

I used to think that being Rosary Challenged was a legitimate reason for not praying the rosary. “It’s just not the devotion for me,” I’d think, after another unsuccessful run at trying to pray it regularly. “I’ll try [insert any other devotion] instead.”

Inevitably, after weeks or months or, in one case, years, I would find myself feeling a loud, unmistakable call to pray the rosary.

“But…,” I’d stammer. “I’m NO GOOD at this!”

The call would get pretty annoying, even to the point of people giving me beautiful rosaries as gifts.

“There’s just NO TIME for a rosary!” I’d protest.

Wouldn’t you know, I’d happen to have a reason to rise at a crazy-early time or be up in the wee hours of the silent night? Maybe I’d find myself with a long drive and no radio.

My response most recently has been rather adolescent, I’ll admit: “FINE! I’ll pray it. BUT YOU CAN’T MAKE ME LIKE IT!”

Don’t get me wrong. The rosary is, and remains, a powerful part of my prayer life. The reassuring path through Jesus’ life and ministry and the insights it holds for my life and my vocation are never-ending.

Since October is the Month of the Rosary, it’s a fine time to spend some time with this devotion. But before you run away screaming or protest that you, too, are Rosary Challenged, here are three tips that help me:

1. Start small.

If you’re not used to praying a full rosary, start with a decade. Or, alternatively, pray fewer than 10 Hail Marys with each mystery. Work your way up to the full rosary, taking small steps.

2. Spread it through your day.

It’s amazing how the decades add up. There are days when I pray a decade in the shower, a decade as I get things ready, and a decade as I drive to town. It’s not hard to find a couple of other times through the day when the other two decades fit right in. It truly gives me a practical way to be constantly in prayer throughout my day.

3. Just do it.

I am the master at coming up with excuses why I can’t do something. I’m too busy. I’m sleepy. My kids need me. And on and on and on. Prayer (and specifically the rosary) is no different. When it comes down to it, I just have to buckle down and pull a Nike: “Just do it.”


Sarah Reinhard is a Catholic wife, mom and author whose nose is probably in a book if she’s not scraping something off of her shoes. Her latest book is A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism. Check out all of her books at http://sarahreinhard.com/writing/my-books/.

Visit Sarah’s website: http://sarahreinhard.com/


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16 Comments

  1. Thank you for writing this. I often feel I’m the only one that is Rosary Challenged. I seem to have a mental block. I am devoted to Mary and say many of the other devotions to her. I have decided to just do it. I just said the first decade of the rosary with my middle son. That felt great. Again thank you sharing and giving me a kick in the pants. I needed it.

  2. As someone who has consecrated several times to Jesus through Mary, I seem to be in a dry time in my life…….I offer everything up to God and. Our Lady, and hope they are doing some sort of good with my meager sacrifices, but i am finding it hard to get down to it. I was awake early this morning and did manage three decades…….I have come to understand that when I awaken in the middle of the night, god is calling me to pray for someone somehwere!

  3. It is not so much a challenge to say the rosary but the way the rosary prayers and rosary is designed that makes it impossible to say let alone remember which part was paused throughout the day. I am now saying 40(4( Glorious/Sorrowful/Luminous / Joyful x40) mysteries daily. I prayed and Mother Mary actually gave me the answer and I am so very very happy. Thanks for your prayerful rosary statements, I love it.

  4. I just adapted the format of the rosary and with a little prayer and discernment – I have used Pope Pius XII + St. Michael’s chaplet and formed a rather simple version of the rosary where I can drive, bike, swim, absail, etc and yet say the rosary without much distractions and mostly with the physical rosary in my heart and soul.I suppose if you really request Mother Mary’s and all in heaven to give assistance, nothing is impossible. I really loved the rosary but was stumped cos I couldn’t say it on the move cos I would be doing 3 things at one time. Eg: 1) driving and how could I 2) hold the rosary or even 3) remember the 5 sub mysteries of say Glorious mystery ?It is not the quantity of rosaries I say in a day but the quality of any amount I say at the end of the day.I only consider it a complete rosary when after saying it I can feel it in my heart and soul. If I have doubts I start from 1st or precious rosary NO. well said. In conclusion I can humbly say the rosary is my favourite friend cos when I say it I cannot see Mother Mary but I can feel her joy and all the rest from heaven. It may sound crazy but I am very happy with my simple rosary prayer life.

  5. Yes, challenged is a good word. I’m a convert, so I wasn’t brought up with the rosary or even the importance of the Holy Mother. I’m also not the best at memorizing. I MUST learn to pray the rosary for a step I’m taking in my spiritual life. I use a booklet (I have many but this one’s the best). With your suggestions I hope to pull myself together in time.

    1. I wasn’t brought up Catholic either. You might try some of the audio rosaries that are available (I have been using the downloads from Rosary Army for years). That’s what helped me really learn it well.

      And don’t be afraid to ask Mama Mary to help you! Turn to your guardian angel! Get those family members of ours in heaven to intercede for you! They want to help you…so why not let them?

      Prayers for you!!!

      1. Thank you Sarah! I was praying for my grandparents & great grandparents when I was given the idea to invite them to pray the rosary with me. There is quite a prayer group now, sometimes one of them will lead, other times I will all the time imagining their voices. A very heart lifting experience!

  6. Yes,challenging but as it goes on it was so wonderful when saying the decades of the rosary..every time i says it.. it kinda change my life.Sometimes while praying the rosary,honestly I’m not fully concentrating and i hate it…. but I’m trying every time i say the rosary i have to focus and do it wholeheartedly…. Therefore these 3 tips would be a great help.Thank you for the suggestions.

  7. By the merciful gift of God, I’m not anymore Rosary challenged for a good number of years now. But I still love what you wrote. It will help many people. Thanks, Sarah. I’ll pray for you and your family, too.

  8. I am a convert as well and this prayer has become so special to me. I am disabled and often cannot make it to Church but I used virtualrosary.org to learn it and teach it to my family and still fall back on this program when I need it. God bless you wonderful prayers!

  9. thank you for writing this, it is just the thing I need to get up the courage to try praying the rosary again…baby steps seem to be the answer, much less intimidating that way.

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