You kneel down to pray your rosary. Your heart is ready to be lifted up to our Lord and the Blessed Mother. You know that many graces come through the rosary to those who say it devoutly.
You make the Sign of the Cross and begin to pray. As you reach the third Our Father, you realize that you’ve spent most of the last decade of Hail Marys thinking about tonight’s dinner.
It’s easy to lose focus during the rosary. And it’s easy to be upset by this. Here are some things to try if your mind wanders as your fingers move along the beads.
1. Don’t beat yourself up.
Yes, you need to train yourself to be less distracted. But you’re human and you’re not going to get it right all the time. If you get overly worked up about your failures, you’ll become more distracted.
Being too perfectionistic can cause you to see God more as an angry judge than your loving Father in heaven. Remember that He looks upon you as His beloved child — a child who is trying to be good, but doesn’t have it all figured out. And no human has as caring and compassionate a heart as our Lady.
Holiness is a lifelong project, not a once-and-done action. St. Francis de Sales advises, “Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.”
2. Don’t have unreasonable expectations.
One trap a lot of people fall into is confusing the quality of their prayer with their feelings or state of mind during the prayer. It’s natural to want to feel happy, uplifted and at peace when praying.
But feelings come and go and they don’t actually make your prayer more pleasing to God. If you spend time trying to work up profound feelings, your attention will shift from God to yourself.
3. Offer your distractions to God.
If you put too much trust in yourself when you pray, you will continually fail. If you put your trust in God, your rosary will bear more fruit.
Each time you realize you’re distracted during the rosary, immediately offer that distraction to God. Don’t spend any time dwelling on it.
It takes a lot of honesty, humility and the power of God to pray a good rosary. The next time you find yourself distracted, don’t fret. Turn back to God with the heart of a child. As long as you stay faithful to talking to Him, you will have His ear— despite your flaws.