Praying the Rosary with Artwork Questions
#1
I have been trying to pray the rosary daily-or at least get back into praying the Rosary daily-but it's difficult. I have found that books with artwork of the Mysteries helps for visual contemplation, but I'm wondering how others may use artwork to aid in their rosary-praying? How exactly do you use the artwork for prayer? Do you keep your eyes open as you pray the Hail Mary's to view the artwork or do you view it briefly before resorting to mental prayer?

I know these might be odd questions but I'm trying to learn what is my best way to pray the rosary.
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#2
I find artwork really helpful because I am easily distracted.  I am often so tired by the time I find a quiet moment in which to pray the rosary that if I don't have an image to contemplate, I will drift (my mind has become a sieve).  I guess in a way I use the image as a crutch.  If I don't have it, I'm not attentive and struggle to stay awake.  I know . . .  I should be better but 20 minutes of quiet time is a rarity and I'm running from 5 am till quite late at night just trying to keep my head above water.
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#3
While I haven't prayed the rosary in a long time I can remember that for me the mental prayer part was always something that would mysteriously be strong some days,and utterly dry on others. The best way to prepare for meditating on the mysteries for me was to really and truly and thoroughly study them beforehand,or have a book or images present.

You read the readings for the Masses and the Office for the mysteries ( like for the feast of the Annunciation, the Presentation, Good Friday etc.) or good books explaining them or explaining the paintings, icons or other sacred art. I can't remember off the top of my head but there is this excellent book about the rosary, explaining its history and taking an in depth look at each mystery. When I find the name I'll post it for you, but hands down it's amazing.

Once you have a background in the mysteries and their meaning you can keep the book or images close by you, close your eyes and start. Go slowly, stop, ponder, let your mind explore the mysteries. Sometimes you might get captured by something and be caught up in silence and contemplation for awhile. Don't rush.

While I'm more a Jesus Prayer and Breviary guy there is something truly all encompassing and unfathomably rich about the rosary. It's as simple or as complex as you want to make it, and it has its own seasons within each of us, sometimes it's as dry and cold as winter, at others as brilliant and effulgent and joyous as springtime.

Just learn what works for you, and realize that what works one day might not work the same on another. Happy Sunday to you.  :tiphat:
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#4
I pray the Rosary daily. I use different methods, depending on the day. My job is just about 24 miles from home. For the last five years, I have been praying the Rosary while driving to work, Monday thru Friday, and when I taught guitar and such on Saturdays, same thing. I lack the coordination to manage both Rosary and wheel, and my wife's old car somehow refuses to drive itself, so I keep track of decades with fingers in patterns on the wheel. I use mental images related to the mysteries. The rest of my praying the Rosary is often at home. I've used the meditations from the Blessed Be God prayer book. There are good, brief ones in my Purgatorian Manual from Vexilla Regis. I feel like I've forgotten some book with good artwork, though. Sorry. Fontevrault I understand about the wakefulness issue. Up at 4:48, and usually bed is 12:00 or 12:30. No wonder I love coffee so much.  :grin:
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#5
It is helpful. I tell you that.

I usually pray the Rosary facing a statue of Our Lady clutching the Infant Jesus holding a rosary of black pearls. That statue is my prized possesion.
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#6
Rather than starting a new thread I'll just ask it here: how can I have a better relationship with both Mary and Jesus? I know the Rosary is essentially both a Marian and Christocentric form of devotion but I'm afraid I really don't have a real relationship with either of them. Right now I am recovering from being an emotional train wreck this week and will hopefully be attending Confession this week as well as speaking with my priest, because I have been a very doubtful and angry Catholic this week.

Since I am once again coming out of this emotional distraction and am attempting to gain some sanity, I realized I really don't have a relationship with Mary and Jesus (or God for that matter), currently am struggling with wanting to pray, and really don't understand the Catholic faith...I really just felt like leaving the Church because I can't find a spiritual director or priest to catechize me one-on-one. But I don't intend on leaving because honestly, this is all I have.
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#7
(05-01-2016, 07:04 PM)Sequentia Wrote: Rather than starting a new thread I'll just ask it here: how can I have a better relationship with both Mary and Jesus? I know the Rosary is essentially both a Marian and Christocentric form of devotion but I'm afraid I really don't have a real relationship with either of them. Right now I am recovering from being an emotional train wreck this week and will hopefully be attending Confession this week as well as speaking with my priest, because I have been a very doubtful and angry Catholic this week.

Since I am once again coming out of this emotional distraction and am attempting to gain some sanity, I realized I really don't have a relationship with Mary and Jesus (or God for that matter), currently am struggling with wanting to pray, and really don't understand the Catholic faith...I really just felt like leaving the Church because I can't find a spiritual director or priest to catechize me one-on-one. But I don't intend on leaving because honestly, this is all I have.

Perhaps your emotional turmoil is affecting you in such a way that you are starting to question your relationship with God. Maybe you have a better prayer life than you think. We all go through periods of dryness, doubt and turmoil, but we just keep plugging along the best we can. Even in my years of praying some form of the Office there are days sometimes when I miss an hour or more, heck, there are days when I feel like it's a chore just to want to pray one of the hours. You just learn to do the best you can,and build a habit of prayer over time.

In my own opinion at least ( and others definitely might see it differently) focus on deepening your prayer life more than in catechetical things. The Rosary is a school of theology, the same way the Divine Office is.  Pray, go easy on yourself and keep it simple. 

If you foster a devotion to Our Lady you will come to love her Son, she will lead you to her Son. Just try and stick to a devotion that you can work with over time. One thing that I can say honestly is that fidelity to prayer even when you don't feel like it, and fidelity to one form of something over time is a good thing. Once you build a habit of something it's like an anchor in a storm tossed sea, all the waves and winds and turmoil cannot completely overturn your foundation.
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#8
Like dahveed I have a long commute and usually pray the Rosary in the car.

The meditations in Blessed Be God are excellent, those are my favorite and based on meditations from St Louis de Montfort. For artwork I also have a book by Angelus Press called Rosary Warfare that also contains multiple ways to pray the Rosary along with artwork.
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