I previously wrote about how rosary prayer is a lot of Navy SEAL training. The rosary can be a difficult prayer that is monotonous, time consuming, and requires a lot of concentration. Not surprisingly, many people either ignore praying the rosary or substitute it with easier and shorter prayers. I want to explore more in depth what we can learn from the Navy SEALS and apply it to rosary prayer and meditation. Let’s take a look at one of the SEALS’ famous sayings.
“Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable”
To say SEAL training and their missions are tough is an understatement. They are pushed to their breaking point both physically and mentally in training so that they can remain focused in the field where their lives are on the line. During training, they will wake up to a routine of lying in the extremely cold ocean to the point of hypothermia before starting whatever grueling challenge the instructors have planned for the day. The instructors call it getting “wet and sandy” and whenever they say that, the recruits must run into the water and then roll on the sand until they are covered head to toe. The idea is that a SEAL needs to be able to focus on the task at hand regardless of the situation. They have to block out all distractions to get the job done. When they accept that discomfort is just part of the job then that is one less thing that will occupy their thoughts.
What can we learn from this SEAL motto in regards to rosary prayer? I think it’s important to accept that the rosary is a difficult prayer. I know it’s almost taboo to admit that many times I don’t feel like praying the rosary. It’s not that I don’t like the rosary, but I do find it challenging to get into the frame of mind where I can make the most of rosary prayer. When I think about the fact that I will spend the next 20+ minutes saying the same prayer 50 times over, flipping on the television and flipping off my brain starts to sound very tempting.
When you accept that praying the rosary will be difficult then you will start to become more comfortable praying it. In other words, while there are dozens of activities that are easier and maybe even more immediately gratifying than the rosary, mentally you just filter them out as an option. Once you learn to commit to praying the rosary you never will look back at what other things you could be doing. A SEAL in the freezing water has to push out of his mind how nice it would be to lay next to a warm fire with some hot food because that will just distract him. Rosary SEALS (Souls Enthusiastically Approaching the Lord) also need to just move forward and completely commit to the rosary and not let the other easier options on how to spend our time become a distraction.
When we can push forward and get comfortable with the discomforts of the rosary, we can begin to grow spiritually. By praying the rosary instead of giving into those distractions, you prove to yourself that you have the ability to push yourself and make the rosary and your faith a priority in your life. When you accept those “discomforts” of prayer you will then have that much more room in your mind, heart, and soul to let the Holy Spirit guide you and discover even more what God has planned for you. You just have to ignore Satan and his minions urging you to embrace the immediate, physical comforts of this world instead of getting “wet and sandy” in the rosary.