The Rosary as a Way of Meditative Prayer

Bernardo Cavallino - La Visione di San Domenico (anni 1640)
Bernardo Cavallino. The vision of St Dominic (c.1640-1645) National Gallery of Canada

Prayer is the raising of the mind and heart to God. Our traditional formulae of vocal prayers are helpful to us in addressing God with reverence, but the saints encourage us also in the practice of mental prayer, or meditation, in which we think of a particular mystery, express our affections and form resolutions to offer to God as the fruit of our prayer.

This can seem a difficult thing to ask, but Our Lady, instructing St Dominic, gave us a way that is suitable for all: the Rosary. For about a quarter of an hour, we express ourselves with simple vocal prayers, while at the same time focussing on the mysteries of Our Lord’s life, death and resurrection.

For example, we might think of the Visitation and picture the scene where Our Lady is welcomed by St Elizabeth, and the child, St John the Baptist, leaps in her womb. Our Lady expresses praise to God in the Magnificat. We can be prompted to praise God, to thank Him for life, to adore the child Jesus, and to promise to be faithful to Him.