Hillary Ibarra explains how her irregular regular Rosary habit has done her good.
I do not pray the Rosary every day, though I pray every day. I do not always pray a whole Rosary on those days I do pray it. Some days I pray a decade. Many days I pray three decades. Often, I pray a whole Rosary and more prayers. Since many people need our prayers all the time, including our own families, I give a decade to one intention, or I pray each Hail Mary for a different person.
Once upon a time when I prayed for an increase of faith, hope, and love after the Apostles’ Creed and the Our Father at the beginning for the Rosary, I considered faith the least. Now I realize faith is the bedrock foundation on which eternal hope and supernatural love are constructed and supported. So how can a Rosary habit increase your faith? In my experience, these are the ways.
Relax and Let God
The meditative rhythm of the Rosary brings peace. It brings even greater calm for me when I take a Rosary walk in the morning through a tree-shaded park near the mountains. But I have prayed it while waiting in line during quarantine or in the school carline, and the serenity it brings is welcome.
Commitment and Faithfulness in Imitation of God
We often wonder why God doesn’t answer our supplications immediately, in our time, at our desire. A Rosary habit offers freedom from instant gratification. We are committed to praying and meditating through it faithfully, for as long as it takes, more open to God’s will.
Closer to Christ Through Meditation
I have journeyed with Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. I have seen the Christ Child in His mother’s arms and in the temple as His frantic mother and Joseph approach Him. I have attended the wedding in Cana, watching water change into fine wine, and sat at the Last Supper table, listening as Jesus institutes the Eucharist. I have remained with Christ, as He prays and His disciples sleep, in the garden before His arrest. I have witnessed His scourging and the nails entering His hands and feet at His crucifixion. I have hurried to the tomb with Mary Magdalene on Easter morning and entered the empty tomb with Peter, observing the cloth rolled up in a separate place. I have heard the rushing wind and seen the brilliant flames above the disciples’ heads at Pentecost.
Countless times I have meditated on the Mysteries of the Rosary, walking with Jesus. It is impossible not to grow in faith when you meditate on the life of Christ habitually.
A Mother’s Love
Jesus loves us, this I know. But Mary does, too. We believe that Jesus gave her to us as a spiritual mother in the words He spoke to the Apostle John as He was dying on the cross.
How does your biological mother love? Is it fierce? Is it protective? Is it unconditional? Would she do anything for your good?
That is our spiritual mother’s love, only more powerful. We grow in confidence knowing Mary prays for us to our Big Brother Jesus, her Son.
Some answers come quickly. Once a high school friend messaged me out of the blue that she and her husband were considering giving up on each other. I prayed the Rosary urgently. I was amazed when she soon contacted me to say they were working it out. They are still together these many years later.
The intention I prayed over a medical condition my son suffered for many years was uttered day after day for months. I wish I had developed a Rosary habit much earlier for this intention, but God answered my persistence, as in the parable Jesus told of the widow and the unjust judge.
When my beloved big sister was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago, I prayed the Rosary for her life. The strength and grace my sister exhibited through rounds of brutal, hard-hitting chemo and burning radiation and multiple surgeries was incredible. Praise God, I will be visiting her again this summer! I offer up prayers regularly, that God will guard her against all cancer, heal, and strengthen her.
While praying the Rosary, it is not our perfect attention or intentions to which God responds: it is to our imperfect humility and diligence and faith. We get distracted and battle petty or repulsive thoughts and lose track of the words. But we journey on, meeting Jesus in a Bethlehem stable or in the Upper Room or on Calvary or outside the empty tomb again and again and again, trusting in His mercy, love, and faithfulness to help us and to increase our faith.
Copyright 2021 Hillary Ibarra
Image: Pixabay (2018)
About the Author
Hillary Ibarra is a happy wife and mother of four. She is the author of The Christmas List, based on the miracle of one childhood Christmas Eve, and is a freelance humor writer and copywriter. Jesus, her family, playing guitar, admiring trees, and baking bring her joy. You can learn more about her on HillaryIbarra.com and at Faith and Humor by Hillary Ibarra on Facebook.