Rosary and focus
#1
Usually one prays in front of icons, but I only have a crucifix and a statue of St. Joseph. Does anyone else find it weird to say the rosary in front of an image that isn't the Mother of God or Christ? Even if I do say the rosary in front of  crucifix or the Blessed Sacrament, I feel awkward, since the prayers aren't addressed to Christ. I've seen pages about the rosary as being as much about Christ as about His Mother, but I guess it's my last hangup to saying it regularly.
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#2
I tend to say the Rosary while looking at images that are associated with that particular mystery, or I pray along with a video and meditate on the mysteries that way.
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#3
The Rosary can be prayed anywhere with, or without, icons and consists of meditations on scripture about Jesus' and Mary's life. Check out the fisheaters page

https://www.fisheaters.com/rosary.html

for more information about the Rosary, scripture passages for each mystery and ideas other for saying the Rosary.

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#4
I rarely look at anything when praying the Rosary. Like this morning I just did it while taking a morning walk. One doesn't necessarily need images to contemplate.
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#5
Padre Pio once suggested that when you start the prayer "Hail Mary..." Imagine yourself greeting Mary with that phrase within the context of whatever mystery you happen to be on. In fact imagine as you say "Hail Mary" that you place your hands within hers and let her guide you through the mystery so to speak.  I've found that doing this allows me to be more consciously in the prayer and not just reciting the words. You can also ask your guardian angel at the outset to play goalie in regards to intrusive thoughts.

Also keep in mind that Christian Meditation isn't like Buddhist meditation where you are trying to empty your mind and subdue your thoughts. While you don't want your mind to wander you shouldn't make your prayer about pounding your stray thoughts into submission. If your mind is a bit scattered during your prayer simply do your best to refocus yourself and move on with your meditation. There are countless quotes by many saints that note that working through a tedious meditation with many distractions is often better for you then a meditation where you really lock in and everything goes smoothly.

An old nun I met in a nursing home once told me that prayer is "a contact sport" and I shouldn't shy away from difficulties if I meant to be serious about my interior life. It's good advice to remember.
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#6
I personally cannot imagine. If I close my eyes I only see black... ask me to visualize a square and I can't do it. There's apparently a condition called aphantasia that's recently been on the radar to describe this, a decent amount of people actually have it. In any sense, one doesn't need to conjure images to pray, you can utter the words and still contemplate the mysteries, what occurs in them, and various other things that surround them.
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#7
I would agree that one shouldn't shy away from the difficulties in prayer. The goal is to pray,period,not to gain any exalted states of concentration or special insights.  Thoughts will eventually settle on their own if you get really concentrated. 

Of course as a more Eastern guy I do not like the idea of pondering scenes in the mind, that's just feeding the imagination. Better to focus on the words of the prayer without trying to get anything particular out of them. 

The rosary is versatile.

Like MeanGene said prayer is a contact sport. It's oftentimes a chore that can be hard,painful,brutal and tedious,but there's nothing quite like building a habit of it over time. It'll be a refuge when everything else has failed.
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#8
(09-21-2016, 01:03 AM)randomtradguy Wrote: Usually one prays in front of icons, but I only have a crucifix and a statue of St. Joseph. Does anyone else find it weird to say the rosary in front of an image that isn't the Mother of God or Christ? Even if I do say the rosary in front of  crucifix or the Blessed Sacrament, I feel awkward, since the prayers aren't addressed to Christ. I've seen pages about the rosary as being as much about Christ as about His Mother, but I guess it's my last hangup to saying it regularly.

The first five mysteries of the rosary have a connection to St Joseph. So you are not too far off with his statue.
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