Holy Rosary Aleteia May 9, 2020

The Rosary can sometimes be seen as “outdated” and not correspond to the modern needs of the spiritual life. However, what many Christians don’t realize is that the Rosary can be prayed in multiple ways, with different methods being more beneficial than others.

For example, one alternative way of praying the Rosary consists of meditating on particular virtues that correspond to the mysteries traditionally connected to each decade.

In this way, praying the Rosary becomes more “practical” and focused on the spiritual well-being of the individual. Surprisingly, this method is not new and has been taught by various saints over the centuries.

Fr. John Proctor writes in his early 20th-century book, The Rosary Guide for Priests and People, that it is often beneficial to meditate “before each decade … [on] the virtue or lesson suggested by the particular event which is commemorated in the decade. This method was one which was often preached by the great Apostle of the Rosary, Blessed Alan, and it was a favorite practice of the St. Louis Grignon de Montfort.”

Proctor then proceeds to make a list of virtues connected to each mystery. Here are the Joyful mysteries as an example.

  • Annunciation – Humility
  • Visitation – Fraternal charity, i.e. works of mercy
  • Nativity – Spirit of poverty, i.e. as opposed to avarice
  • Presentation – Obedience
  • Jesus in the Temple – Love of God and of his holy service

It can be extremely beneficial for us to reflect more deeply upon each mystery of the Rosary and consider what type of virtue this biblical episode is teaching us. As a result, our spiritual health will be renewed and we will have more interior knowledge of ourselves, looking for ways we can improve our practice of virtue.

While the Rosary may seem outdated, in truth it is a timeless and beautiful prayer, one that can be adapted to our circumstances and used for the benefit of our spiritual well-being.

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