About a month ago, during the silent retreat for the seminarians, the minors (who were also having their silent retreat at the same time) were involved, under the direction of their rector in a very serious “battle.” They were in a contest to see who could get the most rosaries in each day. Their rector (who’s also our philosophy teacher and would tell us all these stories during our classes leading up to the retreat) gets in, I believe, well over 10 rosaries each day. Having prayed thousands of rosaries to date as a monk, he’s probably soooooo used to saying rosaries that he can do them really really quickly. At the time that he was telling us these stories, some of us were kind of protesting that they probably were really quickly blurting out the prayers and therefore, they weren’t really “saying” the rosary but Father dispelled that notion very quickly.
I’m mentioning all this by the way because this past week, a few of us too in the majors who have Father as our spiritual director have also begun a “mini rosary war.” It’s nothing like the minors had though. Some of them, at the height of their conflict, were able to get in 30 rosaries in a day! We’re only managing so far to skimp out 2-3 instead of the normal 1 or 1/2 each day… 😛 It’s certainly a lot better though for us, and we’re actually just beginning to heat up.
So what’s the logic behind saying rosaries very quickly? Father gave me two points during spiritual direction. First of all, the rosary is an aid to reflecting on the mysteries of the gospel of each decade (10 Hail Marys). The best way to ponder these mysteries is to focus, not on the words of the prayer and how we’re feeling as we’re praying it–which is what I would kind of do by praying it slowly. Rather, while we’re praying quickly, one helpful thing we can do is to contemplate the heart of Jesus (or Mary) at the time of the mystery. We’re to think about what they are feeling during the Annunciation say or during the Transfiguration and to do that, we’re to focus less on ourselves and the way we’re saying the rosary and more on them. He must increase, I must decrease… right? c”,)
Heheheehe The other reason why a fast rosary is helpful is because right now, we’re trying to get into the habit of prayer. He compared us to musicians who are still learning our scales. We need to familiarize ourselves with the process first before we work on the principles underneath the process. Just as a pianist spends hours each day working on just scales, so we too, by praying our ideal 4-5 rosaries per day are getting into the habit of praying. That’s the goal of all of this. The idea is that by focusing more on the quantity of prayers we get out each day, we start to think more about prayer each day. We get up in the morning and the first thing we think about doing is prayer. It’s actually quite ingenious!! Hehehhehe
So far, I haven’t been that fantastically good at this… I’ve only been getting around 2.5 per day with most of these coming in the morning. I’m trying to pray every time my mind is not actively doing something (like when I’m walking between the residence and the abbey church or when I’m in the shower or when I’m eating a meal) I’m hoping to get at least more and more decades in by the end of each day and work my way up to the 4 rosaries per day. I’ll let you know how that goes though!!
HOW MANY ROSARIES CAN YOU GET IN PER DAY? c”,) There’s your challenge for this week!! Heheheehe God bless!!