Have you ever noticed there are 50 beads on the rosary? 50 states – 50 beads? Get it?
There are five decades with 10 beads on each decade, that gives you a bead for each state in the United States of America.
With this Election being one of the nastiest, hateful, and mean elections experienced in a very long time, let’s remember this election is about more than putting a new president in the White House. There are many congressmen up for re-election, local and state leaders, and some amendments in many areas that citizens will be voting on.
But, despite the outcome of the election, we need to hit our knees in prayer because God is the God of all. The perfect way to begin praying for our nation from election day until January, when the president in inaugurated, is to pray the rosary specifically for the United States.
His Eminence Cardinal Raymond Burke said praying the rosary is the best way to respond to the crisis this election has brought.
“There is no doubt that our beloved nation is in one of the worst crises which it has ever experienced, a profound moral crisis which generates division on all levels and results in an ever-greater more pervasive violence and killing. For Roman Catholics, who have always been known for their faith-filled patriotism, the first response to this crisis is fervent prayer and, in particular, prayer through the intercession of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Mary Immaculate who is also the patroness of our nation.
One of the most powerful prayers which is ours in the Church is, in fact, the Holy Rosary. I think, for instance, of the Battle of Lepanto and the victory which was won on October 7, 1571, over the Saracens who were bent on conquering Christian Europe. Let us now turn to the powerful prayer of the Holy Rosary, asking Mary Immaculate to intercede with Our Lord to bring healing to our nation and to inspire in her citizens the holiness of life which alone can transform our nation.”
If you’re a little rusty, or maybe new, to the rosary; let me give you a brief guide to praying the rosary:
1.) Announce each mystery you are praying:
- Joyful Mysteries: Mondays and Saturdays
- Luminous Mysteries: Thursdays
- Sorrowful Mysteries: Tuesdays and Fridays
- Glorious Mysteries: Wednesdays and Sundays
2.) Listen to the Word of God: Although many pray the rosary and announce the mysteries without reading the Scriptures that coincide with the mysteries, it is best to read aloud the Scripture passages associated with each mystery. Reading the Scriptures allows you to listen to the Word of God (when you read it aloud) and helps you meditate deeper. No other words can we hear during this critical time in our nation than those of God within the Holy Scriptures.
3.) Silence: That could be the hardest for many of us. Don’t rush the rosary. It’s something to be used to spend time deeply in prayer. The booklet on the Rosary by Priests of the Sacred Heart says it best: “Listening and meditating are nourished by silence.
4.) The Apostles Creed: This is where your rosary begins. It begins by reciting what you believe…which is the Creed. That starts while holding the crucifix in your hand. (after making the sign of the cross to begin your prayer).
5.) The Our Father: It’s the prayer our Lord taught us to pray in the Scriptures. This is often called The Lord’s Prayer. It can be found in Matthew 6:5-15 or Luke 11:1-13.
6.) The Hail Mary: Again, we take the words straight from Scripture. “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.” These words are taken from when the angel Gabriel greeted Mary before telling her she would be the mother of the Messiah. That’s found in Luke 1:28. “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb”. Remember Mary’s visit with her cousin Elizabeth? She ran to Elizabeth after the angel’s greeting and announcement to her. Elizabeth was already pregnant (with John the Baptist) and she greeted her cousin with those words in Luke 1:41-42.
The Hail Mary is said on each bead of each decade.
7.) The Glory Be: After finishing each Hail Mary, it is followed up by the Glory Be. This allows us to glorify and honor the Trinity.
8.) The Hail Holy Queen: Just as books have a climax, an event has a tipping point, and movies have a climax, the rosary has a climax and it is the Hail Holy Queen. After all, the rosary brings us into the presence of the Holy Mother of God, therefore we must crown her as such.
You can assign a state to each bead. Make a list, perhaps in alphabetical order if you want, and keep it in front of you. It will help you pray for each state. As you reach that state in the decade, when God brings something to your mind that happened in that state, make sure to mention it and pray for that situation and those involved. For example, we recently had 2 police officers in New York City shot and killed. Pray for New York and then pray for their police department. Remember the floods in Louisiana? What about the riots in St. Louis and Baltimore? Those are things you can pray about as you come to that state.