The rosary – pray it, don’t just say it, priest exhorts

Washington D.C., Oct 9, 2014 / 11:56 am .- Catholics praying the rosary must rediscover the contemplative nature of the prayer and not just recite it speedily if they wish for it to truly transform their lives, said a Dominican priest in the nation’s capital.

“It [the rosary] will produce – if prayed correctly – a lot of grace in our personal lives,” said Fr. Basil Cole, O.P. However, in the past few decades, “it wasn’t taught. It was just simply said…it was therefore not devotional, it did not bring grace.”

Fr. Cole is a professor of moral, spiritual, and dogmatic theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. He has written and spoken about the rosary and previously served as the temporary head of the Rosary Center in Portland, Oregon.

Fr. Cole spoke with CNA on Oct. 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. The feast dates back to 1571, when a Christian naval alliance gained a decisive victory against a large Turkish armada threatening the coasts of Europe.

Pope St. Pius V, who urged Catholics to pray the rosary before the battle, attributed the victory to the Blessed Mother’s intercession and established the feast of Our Lady of Victory, later changed to the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

The rosary has always been a powerful prayer against evil, but if more Catholics prayed it and prayed it correctly, “we wouldn’t have had the problems we’ve had” in the past 40 years, Fr. Cole said.

“We would have inoculated ourselves against the world, the flesh, and the devil,” he stated, and many Catholics would have better understood “the difficult doctrines of the Church.”

The old adage “the family that prays together, stays together” isn’t necessarily true, he added, because real prayer must come from the heart and mind.

“I have heard many confessions of many people who have prayed the rosary as a family, and after a while they hated the rosary because they didn’t know how to pray it correctly. They rushed it, rushed it very quickly. They said it as if it were a speeding train. They didn’t think about the mysteries. They didn’t ponder them,” he said.

Focusing on the various roles of the Blessed Virgin Mary while praying the rosary can foster true contemplation, Fr. Cole explained.

“I would try to get people to start thinking about the importance of the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary as queen, as mother, as Mediatrix, as Redemptrix,” he said, “as someone who is the New Eve. What does it mean to be the New Eve? As Eve brought death, Mary brought life.”

“And also, Mary is the cause of the cause of redemption. The cause of the cause of salvation,” he continued. “Now when you start thinking about these truths of faith and these theological conclusions about the Blessed Mother, it stimulates your mind to contemplate while you’re saying the rosary, the Hail Marys.”

Fr. Cole offered some practical advice for individuals and families who want to pray the rosary well.

For instance, a family could pause deliberately before each mystery of the rosary to think about the lives of Mary and Jesus contained in that mystery. Or they could offer up a decade for a specific intention.

Individuals could pray separate decades of the rosary throughout the day and thus have more time to focus on each one.

In a sense, Fr. Cole said, it would be better to pray one decade slowly and thoughtfully, with time to truly reflect on it, than it would be to rush through an entire rosary.

“Scatter it throughout the day, a decade here, a decade there….Ponder it and be quiet. But alas, we’re afraid of solitude and quiet.”

Many in the world have lost the sense of contemplation, he added, but if it is recovered, prayer could greatly strengthen individuals and families.

“If it [the rosary] is done correctly, wow it can really strengthen a marriage. Because in a marriage, you have to face trials and difficulties. You need patience and kindness,” he said, adding that the “graces that the rosary offers us are there.”


  1. Milagros Martinez Reply

    Amen, please I need lots of prayer for me and my family.

  2. Milagros Martinez Reply

    I remember as a little girl, I was always was thought to learn the Catholic way. And know that I’m older I still live and believe in the Catholic way. Amen

  3. Sabayasir Reply

    I need lots of pray for my marriage life and thyroid and sickness and i dont have blessing of child from 7 years…

    1. Vincent Emmanuel Ejimnkonye Reply

      God bless and fulfill you. Say and meditate on rosary always. Go for confession and ask for Gods forgiveness. Visit the Blessed Sacrament to ask God for forgiveness and favor for 7 days. Read Psalm 35. Your sickness will vanish in Jesus Christ Name. Amen. We will rejoice at the cry of babies in your house. Do not forget to worship God in your entire life. God is ever faithful and always protect the righteous.

  4. Priscilla Reply

    Need lots of pray for my family especial my sickly father,son and my daughter. And pray for me that God can help me to find life partner who is a Catholic

  5. ingrid Reply

    Amen, need prayer for my procedure this monday march 9. Praying for a good result. And continued good health AMEN!


    Need lots of prayers this weekend for God to open ways for my family,friends and I.

    1. Vincent Emmanuel Ejimnkonye Reply

      I joined you in prayer. May good Lord forgive us all our sin. Sin is the root cause of our fallen nature. God bless and prosper you. Amen. Do not forget to say the Rosary and meditate on it always. God will see us through in life. The trial and tribulations we might face is just for us to be strengthen in God. At HIS appropriate time, HE will favor us above our imagination because God cannot allow our trials to consume us but to use it to show us how is the GOD who make all things possible. Today, God has remember you, be prosperous in Jesus Christ Name. Amen.

  7. Bibek Reply

    thank you for this beautiful explanation..

  8. mary valdez Reply

    Why do other religions don’t believe in the Virgin and call her a vessel God used to born Jezus Christ…

  9. Vincent Emmanuel Ejimnkonye Reply

    Let it be known that God has done great favors to the Mother of Christ Jesus. HER continue appearance in the World with messages sent to us from God has not in any nature misleading. Let the mouth that doubt this messages sent to the world from Blessed Mother reflect on those powerful messages that always come to pass. Let those that do not believe in God reflect on WHY GOD THE FATHER CHOOSE BLESSED MOTHER FOR THE MESSAGES SENT TO THE WORLD AFTER JESUS CHRIST LEFT TO HEAVEN. I was a living testimony to the one of the messages sent by OUR BLESSED MOTHER across the world which happens in the apparition ground in UMUNYA, ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA in 1997. Let him who doubt GOD stop and believe because GOD is real. I was in the apparition ground waiting for the Blessed Mother’s arrival to the world with her message when my grand mother whom I was with tap me and said “LOOK UP, SHE WAS COMING”. When I did, “I saw the sun dancing, rotating with different colors of the rainbow”. There was about 5000 people or more present mostly none Catholics like Muslims, Pagans, Protestant and others whom troupe in mass to witness this Celestial Celebrations of coming of the Blessed Mother to the earth. Not quite long, I heard her voice which resemble voice of a 5 years old girl. She spoke in IBO Language. She said in Ibo, “I am in the midst of you, sin in the world was to much”. She mentioned repeated ABORTION and about the GOD the Father decision to destroy the World if we do not repent. She said that the prayers of her Children touches her greatly that She seek permission to visit the earth. In conclusion, She talked about the intentions of most people that came to see her. She said that She saw the heart of every person present. Most people came here with doubt and want to see miracles perform. She said that only the people that have faith would be saved and healed. In all HER messages, She never do anything or say anything evil but about repentance and the cases She mentioned happened.

  10. Tony Reply

    I have only very recently returned to the Church, less than four months ago to be exact. I was never properly catechised during my formative years in Ireland, my parents were poor role models who also assumed that my education was being taken care of by my school teachers, this is something i still greatly resent.

    For over forty years I’d lived a sinful life oblivious to the glory of God. In late 2014 my life took a ‘turn for the worse’ in which i required the first of two back surgeries, as such im physically unable to work in the industry i had been employed(trades) which i now believe was a blessing in disguise.

    In the last few months ive read many wonderful books on Catholicism, just before Christmas my Parish Priest gave me a truly wonderful book titled ‘Jesus, Our Eucharistic Love’ by Fr. Stefano M. Manelli. After reading this book and upon investigation I discovered a Church which offered daily Eucharistic Adoration, followed by Benediction and Mass, I never knew such a thing existed, to date ive only attended Adoration three times but ive found that saying the Holy Rosary in front of the Monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament was so strong that yesterday while saying the third decade of the Rosary i could barely move my fingers across the beads, everything slowed to the point in which i could barely say the words of the prayers, everything felt so ‘heavy’ that i felt that i was going to faint. Ive only started to experience this sensation while saying prayers but never has it been so strong as it was yesterday, after saying the Rosary i struggled to open my eyes, id even forgot where i was but i felt so calm and at peace, i can only put this sensation down to the presence of God.

  11. Sandy Reply

    I have been very Ill. Please pray for me and my family

Leave a Reply