The National Catholic Review

As we enter the month of May, devotion to Mary and praying the rosary come to the fore. Here is a variation that I  find very helpful. It originated, with some variations, with Cardinal Suenens of Belgium.   At bottom,  instead of  one Our Father and then ten Hail Marys  and one Glory Be,   reduce the ten Hail Marys to three, and move more quickly through the mysteries.

The advantage of this?  I find that with the normal  ten Hail Marys,  I am often distracted by the fifth Hail Mary and forget what mystery I am on. But I can very easily  reflect or concentrate on the mystery for the span of  three Hail Marys,  and then move on to a new mystery.  One parent in Nigeria said his children, with their short attention span, love this way of saying the Rosary.

If you have the time, you can continue through more than  five decades and move from the joyful to the  luminous, sorrowful or glorious  mysteries. In this way too, you actually see the connection between the various groups of mysteries.  One even might fashion more mysteries,  events from the public life of Christ or from his 40 days as Risen Lord.  For example,   1) the Risen Lord  appears to his mother Mary, 2)  he appears to Mary Magdalene as the Gardener, 3)  to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus,  4) to the apostles with Thomas,  5) to the apostles on the shore of the sea of Galilee.

If you are satisfied with the tried and tested way of reciting the Rosary, continue that practice.  But trying the Suenens way of reciting the rosary may  give new life to an old devotion. Try it and you may like it.

Peter Schineller, S.J.

Comments

Anonymous | 5/4/2009 - 4:41pm
Indeed, I pray for others and others, I hope, pray for me. I pray for God's grace and counting on that gives God glory, I believe. I am just not comfortable with the concept of indulgences. I rely on God's mercy instead.
Anonymous | 5/3/2009 - 10:05pm
Reduce ten-to-three? For the sake of remembering the mystery you're on? Sounds good to me! I have brain damage and have a really tgough time remembering ANYTHING! God has helped me recover from a really bad car-incident 23 years ago and though I think I'd be excused for forgetting which mystery I would be on, it would make ME feel a lot better not to need an excuse. Just a thought...
Anonymous | 5/4/2009 - 1:14am
I wonder of Barbara ever asks her friends or her church prayer chain to pray for her? Does she know they are intecessors?
Anonymous | 5/3/2009 - 5:59pm
As one who thinks that marianism is ONE of the Achille's heals of Catholicism, I recommend NO Hail Marys. The day that God and/or Jesus won't listen directly to my prayers is the day I stop praying to them. I don't need any intercessors, thank you very much.
Anonymous | 5/3/2009 - 3:08pm
I wonder if God would prefer our prayers were for God's glory and praise than what we might hope to gain from it. I wonder.
Anonymous | 5/3/2009 - 12:08am
But if you do it that way, can you still qualify for the plenary indulgence? Don't you have to do all ten Hail Mary prayers to get the indulgence?