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The beauty of the Rosary as a prayer of body and soul

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Praying the Rosary engages the senses and lifts up both body and soul to God.

While prayer is primarily a spiritual activity, since we are humans, it also involves our body. Whether it is kneeling, standing, sitting or using our vocal cords, our body is an integral part to prayer.

The Rosary is one example of prayer that successfully incorporates both body and soul, involving many of the senses.

Fr. John Procter, in his Rosary Guide for Priests and People, gives a brief biblical background to this reality of prayer.

We read of Our Lord that “He lifted up His eyes to heaven.” That was a prayer. The mind and heart sent their message to heaven through the organ of vision. The upward glance was a prayer reflecting, as it did, the lifting up of the soul. Of Moses we are told (Exod. xvii. 11) that when “he lifted up his hands, Israel overcame; but if he let them down a little, Amalec overcame.” The raising of the hands of God’s servant was the channel through which he sent his message to his Master…the body and the bodily senses have part in the worship of God. We kneel or we stand, we sit or we walk. The very position of the body is an outward offering to God prompted by the inward spirit. 

As a result, the Rosary is by its very nature a prayer that uses various senses.

The Rosary is a happy combination of the prayer of the mind and the heart with the prayer of the external senses … We take our beads into our hands and pass them, bead by bead, through the fingers, counting the [Hail Marys] as we say them, so as to prevent our minds from going astray. The very movement of the fingers is part of our service of God. Above all, we use our tongues and our lips in giving expression to our thought and our wish, and so it becomes an oral or vocal prayer … The lips and tongue are the servants carrying the thoughts of the mind and the affections of the will. They are the messengers of the soul bearing its aspirations to the Most High.

This is important, as prayer should involve our entire being, both body and soul. In this way, we offer to God our entire person in prayer, not leaving anything behind.

If you are looking for a more bodily prayer for your spiritual life, consider praying the Rosary and using it as a tool to communicate your love of God.

 

 

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