Prayer is how we develop our relationship with the Lord. It's through a regular habit of prayer that we are able to hear the voice of God, and know his will for us.
About a week ago I was having a conversation with my friend Nicole regarding prayer. "I've had to set my rosary aside," she said, "because it's just not doing it right now."
I get what she means completely.
It's not that we don't love our Rosaries. Both of us have gained deeply moving inspiration through praying Rosaries. We've discovered a knowledge and a closeness with Christ that I don't think is quite possible with any other method of prayer.
So if it's so great, why do we find ourselves unable to glean anything from it every once in a while?
Because simply saying the words of the rosary prayers isn't enough: a rosary consists of reciting prayers, counting along on beads, and meditating on "mysteries", or specific moments of the Gospel in order to understand better the mind of Christ. Sometimes our daily burdens, our state of mind, or some other distraction thrown up in our faces makes the meditations impossible. It's during times like these, when we can't let ourselves go, that we get nothing out of a rosary.
There are a few things that I have found helpful during these times in my life:
* Try another devotion. Nicole started a Novena to the Little Flower. (a "novena" is nine consecutive time periods of the same prayer). I go with the 30-day St. Joseph's Prayer, or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Focusing on another devotion alleviates the frustration of not being able to focus, and keeps us in a routine of daily prayer.
* Study Scripture. Particular focus on Scripture that corresponds with each mystery of the Rosary freshen them in our minds. The more intensely we study Scripture, the more easily we will persevere in our rosaries when we resume them.
* Find someone to pray it with you. Hearing someone praying aloud along with you helps to block out distractions and keep you focused. Plus, "wherever two or three are gathered in My name..."