The Rosary is a Devotion of Heart, Mind and Body

“Healing infirmities or forgiving sins, Jesus always responds to a prayer offered in faith: ‘Your faith has made you well; go in peace.’” [CCC 2616]

(photo: jclk8888 / Pixabay)

Michelle Lorenzana started praying the Rosary as a young girl while dealing with a difficult family situation. “I think it gave me some sort of power over things I knew I couldn’t control.” 

Now a licensed marriage and family therapist in Phoenix, Lorenzana attests to the devotion’s health benefits, both in her own life and in those of her clients. 

COVID-19 continues to give Lorenzana and many Catholics a sense of powerlessness. The stress brought on by coronavirus affects us mentally and physically. 

“I feel like so many other people, this uncertainty, this temptation — if we’re anxious, you’re even more anxious,” Lorenzana said. “You’re already isolated. A lot of these things have kind of escalated.”

Lorenzana says praying the Rosary has improved her mental clarity and relieved the “compassion fatigue” common in her field. 

“I feel very protected — not in a naïve way — protected from not falling into despair, anxiety and fear,” she said. 

Lorenzana noted, “The Rosary, even though you may be praying it by yourself, is about community. We’re prone to being egotistical but praying the Rosary is very intercessory.”  

As we pray the Rosary we grow in virtue and become more “otherly” like Jesus and Mary, Lorenzana said. Praying the Rosary also purifies us and makes us more conscious of our thoughts and actions, she said. 

Couples, along with individuals, can see benefits from praying the Rosary, said Lorenzana, who integrates the devotion into therapy if clients request it. 

Spouses praying together experience a type of togetherness, she said, adding that praying even one decade of the Rosary together can help relieve tensions. 

The Rosary also can help heal psychological wounds, she said. “Mary can take you to her Son,” Lorenzana said. “Sometimes it’s a different avenue that can be a little bit softer.” 

While working with clients who want to pray the Rosary, Lorenzana sometimes finds that a particular mystery will help with their situation by “connecting different things with different meditations along the way,” she said. 

The Rosary requires us to take time away from life’s busyness. Paradoxically, Lorenzana has found that when she makes time for the Rosary, she often has more time. 

Whether we’re short on time or feeling life is out of control, the Rosary gives us a sense that we can do something about a situation or problem, Lorenzana said. 

“You can [pray] it immediately anywhere you’re at, really,” she said. “You can do it while you’re driving. It’s something you can do immediately and [realize] I kind of matter in this.”