In the Church, the month of October is by custom the month of the Rosary even though people do use this prayer all the year around. We should profoundly understand that praying the rosary is promoted within the Catholic Church as a means of strengthening one’s faith, growing spiritually, resisting evil, and generally benefitting the community. The spirituality of praying the rosary should not only be reserved for October, May and to different Novenas but rather be observed as a daily basic need.
Praying the rosary was originally called the Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary because Our Lady is venerated by the angelic greeting (the Hail Mary) repeated 150 times, corresponding to the number of the 150 psalms of David in the Bible.
The Rosary prayer tells us about the life of Jesus and his Mother, Mary. The rosary is a meditative walk through the life and purpose of Jesus here on earth. It helps us focus on the centrality of Jesus in our faith and the hope rested in him of his second coming.
The rosary is presented both as a “school of faith” and a “school of charity.” Pope Paul VI wrote “Without contemplation on the mysteries the rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation is in danger of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas” (Marialis Cultis, n.47). In 1980 Pope John Paul II had this to say at Fatima: “Would you like me to tell you a secret? It is simple, and after all, it is no secret. Pray much. Pray the rosary every day.” Praying the rosary opens our hearts to accept God and to hear God better than before.
Praying the Rosary, we are taught by the Church is an extraordinary means of changing tepid Christians into ardent followers of Christ. Why? Because the foundation of holiness is the practice of mental prayer, and is the meditation on the truths of our faith.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion and desire. This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart and strengthen our will to follow Christ.
As we meditate on the events in Jesus’ life, we focus on Him. Our Rosary prayer becomes Prayer of adoration and recognition of who God is, and what He has done for us and for our salvation because of His love for us. Taking the time to focus on God is important; it pulls us away from the temptation of self -absorption, and self-centeredness.
The rosary is a highly symbolic and purposeful summary of the gospels. Right from the crucifix to the Hail Mary beads and the rest of the rosary structural elements, there is a lot of symbolism and significance. It is a powerful prayer, one that can change our lives, strengthen the family, bring peace to the world, convert entire nations, and win the salvation of souls.
Praying the Rosary is not only an instrument for counting each Hail Mary, rather it is a heavenly garland of precious pearls, and every part of it affords treasure of indulgences and assurance of mercy through the merits of Jesus and Mary.