In his article, Prayer takes Practice, Fr. Ed Broom lays out five ways to improve your prayer life. For the TL;DR crowd, the summary is:
- Conviction — Have faith that prayer is actually important
- Confession — Mend your relationship with God whenever you sin
- Set a time and place to pray — Routine helps you pray consistently
- Mass and holy communion — Mass and the Eucharist are the greatest prayers in the world
- Seek our Lady of the Rosary — Pray the rosary to bring about peace
I want to focus on that last point — seeking out our Lady of the Rosary (naturally, this is a rosary prayer blog after all). On Aug 22nd, we celebrate the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary which we pray in the Fifth Glorious Mystery of the rosary. When we pray the rosary we are in essence “crowning” our Heavenly Queen. Mary wants nothing more than for us for to have a close relationship with her son, Jesus Christ. We honor and crown her whenever we show faith and conviction that our relationship with Jesus matters to us.
But having conviction and faith is not easy. Think about it. You may brood for days over a friend’s disagreeable Facebook post. You can get into a funk at work or at home when it seems like nothing is going smoothly. Many of us get tied up in knots over our finances. But how much time and energy do we devote to thinking about the state of our relationship with Jesus? Do we put more energy into worrying about Facebook posts than finding time to go to Confession? Do we spend hours on our hobbies and minutes in prayer?
If you feel like you are falling short in improving your prayer life, I suggest starting with the fifth point on that list. Pick up a rosary and earnestly tell Mary that you need her help. Tell her you need the courage to go to Confession. Tell her you need help to be more engaged at Mass. Tell her you need help praying on a more regular schedule. Tell her you need more faith and conviction that prayer actually means something. Praying the rosary will make all the other items on that list easier to accomplish.
You crown Mary through the rosary when you earnestly say, “I need your help!” Speaking as a parent, I feel honored when my kids need my help no matter how trivial the matter. I’m lucky that my kids are young because it will feel odd when the day comes when they no longer need my help. Mary isn’t satisfied with the title of a queen but with nothing to do. She wants us to come to her with all our worries and problems so she can help us.
And let’s face it, we all need Mary’s help because having a perfect relationship with Jesus is nearly impossible because of the active attempts by Satan to derail us and our own weakness towards sin. But God knows this challenge and doesn’t leave us in a hopeless situation. He gave us a Heavenly Queen in Mary and the means for her to help us through the rosary. Honor Jesus by honoring Mary by asking for her help through rosary prayer.