Poll: Are the Sorrowful Mysteries Your Hardest Rosary Mysteries?

I was at a baseball game yesterday with some Catholic friends.* The Texas Rangers clobbered the Atlanta Braves. Meanwhile between pitches we were discussing Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Rosary, and which order is more Marian (Franciscan vs Dominican).

And a question came up:

Which set of mysteries of the Rosary is the most difficult for you to pray?

  1. Mysteries of RosaryJoyful Mysteries
  2. Luminous Mysteries (Yes, the Luminous Mysteries are not officially part of the divinely revealed Rosary. More info. Yet a Sainted Pope proposed and endorsed them. So I’m including them.)
  3. Sorrowful Mysteries
  4. Glorious Mysteries

Two of us (Alex and myself) think the Sorrowful Mysteries are the most difficult. The other two guys (Andy and Brandon) answered “Glorious.”

Why “Sorrowful”?

I find the Sorrowful Mysteries the most difficult because it is a challenge for me to think of Christ in so much agony. It hurts. The first three (agony in garden, scourging at pillar, and crowning with thorns) are somehow more difficult than the last two (carrying the cross, and death on the cross).

On Tuesdays and Fridays when our family prays the Sorrowful Mysteries, I’m just not as excited. During Lent, I like them, but at other times it’s difficult for me. It’s like watching Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ on repeat. Yes, it’s good for you. But it’s painful to watch someone you love suffer.

Why “Glorious”?

The guys who answered Glorious Mysteries explained that these mysteries were the most abstract to imagine. These mysteries are particularly difficult to picture in the mind.

For example, how to imagine the Ascension? Christ floating on a cloud? How to you imagine the Coronation of Mary?

I have no problem with these and I’ve previously written a blog post on how to imagine these five glorious mysteries here.

Poll: Which are the most difficult mysteries of the Rosary for you to pray:

It struck me that others might have different input. So let’s take a poll. If you’re an email subscriber (or even if you aren’t), tell us which Rosary is the most difficult or foreign to you:

To take the survey and see the results, click here.

Question: We want to hear from you. Why do you connect or not connect with certain mysteries of the Rosary? Which is your favorite Rosary mystery of all? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

*David, if you’re reading this, thanks for the great Rangers tickets.

My 5 Thoughts During the Rosary

Do you ever space out during prayer? Do you space out while praying the Rosary? This happens to me. I find that it happens when I’m not intentional about my prayers at that moment.

For me the difference between a great Rosary and a “Have I even been praying?” Rosary is my attention on the mysteries.

I typically prepare a lens through which I see each mystery. I change these lenses from time to time.

Lately, these are my lenses for the five glorious mysteries:

1. Resurrection. I picture the body of Christ dead and immobile. There is a big flash of light and then the burial clothes begin to move. He stands with a victorious smile of triumph on His face. Then He looks at me.

2. Ascension. Lately, I just see His feet. The feet have the wounds in them. He is in a cloud, but His feet are still visible.

3. The Coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. I picture the Holy Spirit like a dove hovering in front of me. Sometimes He circles me. I think of this as His way of giving me grace and gifts.

4. Assumption of Mary. I see her being lifted upward. She has a blue ribbon and invites me to hold on. By this I understand that she is dragging me to Heaven. She is already in Heaven, but I’m not there yet. This is how she gives me hope in Christ.

5. Coronation of Mary. I see a Trinitarian crowning. Each divine Person gives her a ringlet of the crown. Hence, it’s a triple crown. The Holy Spirit has a unique crown for Mary. Her Divine Son has a unique crown for her. The Eternal Father has a unique crown for her. It’s a triple tiara. It’s as if graces flow from Christ to her by means of this special crown. Last of all, I crown her with my meager crown of roses from this Rosary.

If I meditate on these mysteries with specific imagery, then I will enjoy a more fruitful time of prayer. The Rosary can even become a form of mental prayer. There are times when I pick up the beads entirely empty, but I receive great consolation or teaching. That’s rare. Most of the time, I must bring something and God elevates what’s already present.

Now it’s your turn. How do you pray the Rosary? Do you have a unique perspective on the mysteries of the Rosary?

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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