There are some historical variations on the origins of the Rosary, but the story of St. Dominic and the Rosary is probably the most well known - at least, by those who have looked into the subject. Hence, the Confraternity of the Rosary - established over 500 years ago, was entrusted to the Dominicans.
They have a beautiful site, with so many valuable pieces of information on this devotion, based on Scripture. I highly recommend bookmarking the site and spending some time each week clicking through the information there. Here are some samples.
Confraternity's How-to Guide
How do we pray the Rosary? This page instructs you step-by-step, and also includes the same thing in over 17 different languages. Aside from those expected, you will find Latin, Croatian, Irish-Gaelic, Tagalog (most widely spoken language in the Philippines), Chinese, Russian, and many more.
Difficulties & Distractions
If you've ever found it easy to be distracted during a Rosary, the Confraternity gives us this:
Difficulties That Some Experience
A. Some persons find praying the Rosary difficult, because they do not understand the manner in which the vocal and mental prayer of the Rosary are to be combined. The vocal prayers are sometimes called the BODY of the Rosary, while the mental prayer is its SOUL. While the lips are uttering the words of the Hail Marys, the mind dwells on our Lord's Agony in the garden of Gethsemani. We are not meant to focus our attention on the Hail Marys. The ten Hail Marys function as a measuring device to determine the length of time to reflect on this incident in the passion of Jesus.
B. Others have difficulty in keeping their mind on the mystery of the Rosary they are praying. The mind tends to wander, and distracting thoughts enter in. To help solve that problem, the Rosary Center has a booklet, Praying The Rosary Without Distractions, from which this guide is excerpted. For information on how to recieve it, please go to our catalog. For each of the twenty mysteries of the Rosary there are ten brief points of reflection, to help keep one's attention focused on the mystery in question, in addition it has a colorful picture of each mystery. It is not necessary to dwell on all ten points of reflection, but one may choose to do so. One may feel free to dwell on as many or as few as is found helpful. For example, one could spend the whole decade on two, or three, or four points of reflection (or all 10), depending on how his devotion leads him. Of course there are countless other points of reflection that could be used for each mystery.
Scriptural Reading while Praying the Rosary
The night I found this, I was so tired that I feared falling asleep if I did my Rosary the usual way, and I also wanted some help on meditating upon the mysteries. That is what prompted my search. I have found, in the past, many websites which offer meditations while praying Hail Mary's. But, this one, in my opinion, is the finest of them all. I also like that it provides the kind of spiritual fruit you should be graced with when praying each mystery.
Here is an example using the second Sorrowful Mystery - The Scourging. They provide a picture off to the left, with 10 passages from Scripture or a point referring to Scripture or prayer. As you pray each Hail Mary, you look back and forth between the respective sentence and the photo. For anyone doing Hail Mary's a long time, this is an easy thing to do. The point of the Rosary is not to meditate on each Hail Mary, but on the mystery at hand. As is says in point "B" above, you can stop on one particular point and remain meditating on that point, rather than all 10 reflections. Note the spiritual fruit at the bottom of The Scourging. It is Mortification of the Senses.
The Second Sorrowful Mystery
THE SCOURGING AT THE PILLAR
1. Jesus is taken before the High Priest where He is falsely accused, buffeted and insulted.
2. The Jewish leaders take Jesus before Pilate, for only he can impose the death penalty.
3. The robber, Barabbas, is preferred to Jesus.
4. Pilate can "find no cause in Him", yet to appease the Jews, he orders Jesus to be scourged.
5. The scourge is made of leather thongs to which are attached small sharp bones.
6. Jesus is bound to a pillar and cruelly scourged until His whole body is covered with deep wounds.
7. The Lamb of God offers His suffering for the sins of mankind.
8. Jesus suffers so much in His sacred flesh to satisfy, especially, for sins of the flesh.
9. The prophesy of Isiah is fulfilled: "He was wounded for our iniquities, He was bruised for our sins."
10. Father, by the merits of Jesus in this painful scourging, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Spiritual Fruit: Mortification of the senses
Now, some will say that praying the Rosary at the computer is not virtuous. For some people, at a given time, this could be correct. However, I will say that I had more success in meditating on the mysteries with the aids on the Confraternity's website than by going it alone. Of course, the Confraternity offers several books, leaflets and booklets, including these scriptural-visual mysteries. There are many other things available through their online catalogue, as well. Many of these can probably be obtained in the Assumption Grotto Giftshop & Cafe.
Of Additional Interest
You will find so much more at the Confraternity's website. Among them:
- About the Confraternity and ability to enroll.
- About Fatima and the Rosary
- The Secrets of the Rosary by St. Louis de Montfort (all online!!!)
- Link to Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter: Rosarium Virginis Mariae
Explore the site for much more and bookmark it. Tell others about it, put it in your sidebar if you are a Catholic blogger and spread devotion to the Rosary!!! You will find this under the Approved Private Revelations section in my sidebar.