The Rosary Draws Us Close to Jesus Christ Our Healer

People are hungry for interior peace, and the Rosary is a proven help.

‘Holy Rosary’
‘Holy Rosary’ (photo: Immaculate / Shutterstock)

Does anyone sit back after 15 minutes of scrolling, give a peaceful sigh, and say, “Now that’s what I needed! I’m in a much better place now?”

The world is filled with bad news, and, while it’s responsible enough to stay abreast of what’s going on, we don’t always balance that out by putting our minds in contact with good things. Anxiety seems endemic in our country. I wonder if this is related to what we let our minds dwell on. 

St. Paul himself is aware of the problem: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8, emphasis mine). 

Prayer is a way of thinking about good things. The prayer Christians have associated with Mary since time immemorial is the Rosary, a series of the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory Be, typically said with a string of beads in hand to help with the counting (and to keep our fidgety selves grounded in something).

But the Rosary isn’t a prayer about Mary. It’s about Jesus Christ. Praying the Rosary, we remember the life of Christ in the company of the one who knew him best: his mother. This brings us through joys and sorrows, through darkness and light, through grief and glory. But if we do it with faith, hope and love, with an intention to have our minds molded according to the mind of Christ, we will have wondrous results. We will be molded so that we become a complete person, equipped to triumph over any situation we might experience in life.

This prayer is no dusty relic. Last September, more than 3,000 people filled to capacity the largest Catholic Church in North America, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The occasion? The first annual Dominican Rosary Pilgrimage, a new initiative of the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph. One man I know — a young former atheist — drove all the way from California to participate. People are hungry for interior peace, and the Rosary is a proven help. (The next Rosary Pilgrimage will take place Sept. 28, again in D.C.)

We can expect to be changed by prayer because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). That means that his power to save, to heal hearts and minds, is the same yesterday, today and forever. We come into contact with him when we think about his mysteries in faith. In this, we are like Mary, who “pondered these things in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

The Rosary is a superior way of thinking about Christ’s mysteries. It adds to our meditation the full force, power, wisdom and love of the Mother of God. In praying it, we make true what Mary said of herself: “My soul magnifies the Lord” (Luke 1:46). If you want to study Jesus Christ, look to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The central claim of the Christian faith is that Jesus Christ is alive, and that he offers a share in his own everlasting life to those who follow him. Mary continues to be the preeminent follower of Jesus, and she continues to point people to him — her last recorded words are, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). We can pick up the Rosary and follow, too. It takes about 15 minutes to say. It sure beats scrolling.