When was the last time you prayed the rosary? Where were you? Who were you with? Which mysteries did you choose to pray?

One of the wonderful things about this traditional form of prayer is its versatility. No matter where you are, how much time you have, who you’re with or what you pray for, the rosary offers a way to pray.

The format of praying the rosary may seem complex, but it is easy to learn and provides several options depending on how much time you have and on which mysteries you would like to focus. You can start by praying a single decade of the rosary (one Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, one Glory Be and the Fatima Prayer) in about three minutes. In 20 minutes, you can pray one set of mysteries (Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious or Luminous).

Another option is to pray the mysteries throughout the day if praying them at one time does not fit into your schedule.

Because the rosary can be prayed in a church, at home, while walking, while driving and in many other situations, alone or with a group, it is a prayer that can be easily incorporated into one’s daily routine.

My experience of regularly praying the rosary has helped me to grow closer to God and to become a better person. The rosary, along with frequent reception of the sacraments, has helped me to become more charitable, peaceful, patient and joyful as I grow closer to God. After consistently praying the rosary, I started to notice that it was easier to say, “Yes,” to helping people in need. I am now able to peacefully endure situations that used to make me anxious or angry. The rosary has also helped me to focus less on myself and more on God in my daily challenges and sufferings, which makes me better able to peacefully endure daily crosses.

The meditation of the rosary has helped to me to reflect better on how God works throughout the day, and, as a result, I have become more thankful for the many gifts God has given me.

The repetition of prayers of the rosary helps one to meditate on the life of Christ through the eyes of Mary while praying about the different mysteries. Through this meditation, one can better come to know and become more like God.

The rosary brings those who pray it together closer to God and to one another because those who pray it focus less on themselves and more on God. When people make God, the source of all unity and charity, the center of their lives, God gives them the grace to grow closer to their neighbors and love them better, which is why it is an ideal prayer for children, adults, families, friends, parishes and any community.

For all families, I pray that you will consider making the rosary part of your family prayer each day, especially if you have young children.

It is a blessing to further open yourself to God’s infinite font of grace and love by praying the rosary.

—Robert Murphy is a seminarian for the Diocese of Burlington.

—Originally published in the Summer 2018 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.