How praying the rosary helped me to stop worrying.
Born and raised Catholic during the time the church was going through a lot of changes, I never learned how to pray the rosary. At least I don’t remember learning it. I attended Catholic school from first grade all the way through high school but never learned the rosary. If my parents prayed the rosary, I don’t recall that either. It wasn’t until my reversion (as cradle Catholics call their time of conversion back to the church), that I first learned the rosary. It was the 1990’s. It was the Charismatic movement that brought me back to the church. The ‘Charismatic prayer and praise’ group met every other Tuesday night alternating with the rosary group. In my new found zeal, I attended both groups before I knew that the two groups where on the opposite theological spectrum. But, it was too late. I was hooked. The rosary group taught me how to pray this most beautiful prayer. I started praying it at other times as well. First, I started praying the rosary on the way to work. I was surprised that rush hour traffic was less stressful and the peace of the rosary prepared me to face my crazy work day. On the way home from work, praying the rosary was a good way to let go of the work day and lead into a relaxing evening. I especially enjoyed praying the rosary with a CD, that along with the prayers, included music.
Photo credit: Janet Canino
Over the years, sleeping has always been a challenge. You see, I have the bad habit of worrying. I’d worry about everything like school, work, household duties, my daughter, and finances. The list goes on and on. I recall reading a suggestion to take your rosary to bed with you. Well, okay, I’ll give that a try. I began by praying the rosary when I first got into bed, then again if I wake up. I noticed that instead of wasting hours worrying, I was doing something that was way more productive and positive, praying. Worrying can wear negative groves in the brain. Praying the rosary makes positive connections with God.
When my daughter was born, I would often pray the rosary as I sat awake in the middle of the night feeding her. It was a good way to pass the time. Later, when she was older, I would pray the rosary as part of her bed time routine. Most every night she would fall asleep to the rosary. It helped her have a relaxed peaceful night as well.
Does traveling make you nervous? The rosary to the rescue, again, I’ve made the habit of praying the rosary when I first start driving on a long trip or at the beginning of a flight.
The rosary has been a part of my life for the past twenty years. I remember how excited we all when Pope St. John Paul II wrote the encyclical on the rosary and gave us the five new Luminous mysteries. If you have never prayed the rosary before, give it a try. You will see your worries melt away.