It is interesting to see how many people have a hard time reciting the Rosary. Many people use the excuse, yes I said excuse, that they cannot seem to “shoehorn” the time it takes to say the devotion into their busy days. It seems unlikely that a person, even in this chaotic world, cannot find about 20 minutes to say the Rosary. But, some people have convinced themselves that they are indeed that busy. As a Theologian, I have realized that there is no point in arguing. Therefore, I suggest to these people the following method: On Sunday, say the first part of the Rosary, the Apostle’s Creed, Our Father, three Hail Mary’s and Glory Be; each day of the week say ONE decade; on Saturday say the “Hail, Holy Queen”. That‘s it, you have just recited a complete Rosary during the week. Soon, it will be easy and soon will become a habit. As Aristotle argued, good, and bad, habits, need to be developed and practiced. It is not always easy. Take someone who, with all good intentions, joins a gym. For the first two weeks, the person is totally devoted. Then bad weather happens and the gym is skipped that day. Guilt sets in. The next the person feels tired, the gym is skipped-again. Soon excuses become easy to find and, eventually, the person has forgotten where the gym is located. Once we develop the habit of saying the Rosary, and the longer we say it, the harder it will be to stop. You will probably look forward to saying it.
However, this does not help with distractions. Jesus understood this problem. In prayer, we must remember to whom we are speaking and the reason for our words. Jesus said; Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24) Prayer must not be absent-minded. Think of how frustrating it is when you are trying to talk to someone who is only half-listening or responding because they are watching television. Likewise, how aggravating is it to be speaking to someone on the phone and the other person is caught up in another conversation, or doing a crossword or jigsaw puzzle, or is similarly distracted. It is insulting to us. If it is insulting to us, how much more so it is to our heavenly Mother or God Himself?
We must also put ourselves in, what Church leaders call, the “proper disposition”. This means that we should not squeeze in the Rosary, or any prayer, when we are busy; cooking meals, waiting for the game to start, or some other such time. According to Luke 5:16; So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. Therefore, even if only for minute, when you pray speak and pay attention only to God or Mary. Orthodox Jewish men, according to the late Professor Rabbi Asher Finkel, wake up 15 minutes before the dawn, when prayers are said, to care for any toilet needs. Then they wear a prayer shawl, which covers the upper body and head. In this way, they can isolate themselves, away from the world, and commune with God. Give God or Mary your full attention. Prayer is highly personal and can be comprised only of a few words. Empty words and lengths of time are worthless without our attention. Jesus also taught; And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. (Matthew 6:7)
Therefore, we must keep in mind that praying is communication, not politicking or producing word-salads. Pick our prayers and words and times carefully and be mindful of the power to which we are addressing.