We all need to exercise, and most of us feel closer to God when we’re outside revelling in the beauty of his creation. Some of my best Rosary prayer moments have been those times that I have combined my desires to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and exercise with my desire and need pray. Taking a walk with Christ has been absolutely instrumental in maintaining my daily Rosary habit.
I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now, and I have a specific path that I follow from my house, which I know provides the perfect amount of time I need to pray the Rosary and have a little one-on-one prayer time with Jesus afterwards. Sometimes, I’ll pop my earbuds in and listen to chant music as I walk, especially when I’m walking in a more populated place where there are many distractions.
A while back, I heard author Peggy Bowes interviewed about her Book The Rosary Workout. While I confess to not having actually read the book, it sounded like a great idea to me, and it’s on my list for future reads. Our minds and our hearts become more involved when our bodies are involved in our prayer. During the Mass, we make the sign of the cross at the beginning, and make a cross over our brows, lips, and hearts before hearing the Gospel. We stand and kneel, we hold our hands outstretched during the Our Father, we bow before the Body of Christ… The involvement of our bodies keeps our minds more fully engaged and adds depth to our worship.
So I don’t just walk the whole time I’m praying the Rosary. Every time I pray the Glory Be, I break into a jog. This makes me cognizant of the prayer I am saying. It adds an exclamation mark, and a true element of praise: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit!” Then, I go immediately into lunges or squats when I pray the Fatima Prayer, “Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.” The lunges or squats put me into a penitential mood, physically bringing me a little lower, making me more humble before Christ.
Not every time, but sometimes, when I’m praying the sorrowful mysteries and really feeling it, I get still more fully involved. At those times, it strikes me how comfortable I am walking down my peaceful suburban street, enjoying a brisk stroll. It seems fitting to take myself out of my comfort zone and feel a little healthy discomfort. At these times, I will either lunge or squat throughout the entire Carrying of the Cross. Then, as I pray the Crucifixion, I hold my arms outstretched for the duration. Both of these cause some serious burn by the end of the decade and help me to focus more fully on Christ’s suffering.
You may be wondering what my neighbors think, and I can assure you that I only do this late at night when no one is watching. I can only distance myself from my vanity so much, and I don’t want anyone calling the sheriff to report that there’s a crazy lady walking down the street.
Another option for being more physically involved in the Glory Be is an idea that was passed to me from someone who prayed with the monks of St. Meinrad. When they pray the Glory Be, they bow through the beginning of the prayer – “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit”. When I’m tired and not up to running through the Glory Be, I take this approach. It’s a wonderful reminder of the greatness of every person of the Trinity.
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You can see more tips for praying the Rosary every day at these links:
Daily Rosary Prayer Tip #1 – Make Mundane Tasks Spiritual
Daily Rosary Prayer Tip #2 – Pray with Purpose