Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | April 20, 2010

The Power of the Rosary

In my heyday, when I was feeling called to the monastic life and was discerning a vocation, I regularly practiced the rosary. It is a sublime prayer and important spiritual practice. As I began my tai chi life about ten years ago, I traded in my beads for a set of buddhist beads that I would just hold while practicing sitting meditation.

I have recently returned to the rosary, mostly because of seing Mother Angelica and the nuns so often on the Catholic channel, EWTN, reciting the prayer.

The rosary is a meditation on the life of Christ. It is christological. It focuses on fifteen mysteries of Christ’s life, joyous, sorrowful, and glorious. Pope John Paul II had introduced five more, known as the luminous mysteries, that can be encorporated in one’s practice.

The rosary is a very mindful meditation. Each recitation is like a rosebud coming off the lips. And every now and again, one receives a little revelation, a little enlightenment.

When one prays the rosary, one can ask Mary for favors and it is promised that she will not deny any request, of course, unless God, in His infinite wisdom deems it not to be good for you in the overall scheme of things. Nonetheless, we pray with a joyful expectation that our prayers will be answered. But, what I have been praying for is this: faith. I would want to have it, but I don’t have it fully. I stopped praying the rosary ten years ago because I stopped believing. But many things have been happening in the past year that have been leading to a renewal of faith for me. I have also been praying thanksgiving, not asking for anything, because see the beauty of being grateful. I have also been praying for some financial freedom–I don’t mind a life of poverty, it’s the enslavement of indebtedness that is crushing–and for health. I must add to my prayers prayers for the faithfully departed and for the living. The rosary is an instrument for these prayers.

The qualities we meditate on in the mysteries are the qualities we learn in tai chi–perseverence, acceptance, right action, authenticity, virtue. Patience. It’s so easy to want to rush through the rosary and say those hail mary’s as fast as we can. The same is true of tai chi. We want to rush through the long form and get to the end as quickly as possible. Where are we rushing to? We have to learn to enjoy the thing we are doing. Each word of the hail mary, each turn in tai chi.



  1. I’ts very refreshing to hear someone who is honestly standing in the gap between ‘believing’ and ‘not believing’, instead in clinging dogmatically to one or the other. Wherever it leads, I think you are on the right path 🙂

  2. Mindfulness + repetition = clarity.

  3. Thank you for your kind words. Yes, it is so painful. The last few days have been hard – My eyes are swollen like golf balls from crying. He was our little precious. I know it will take time.

    BTW, Nice site renovation, and also, I’ve been reading Imitation of Christ.

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