Pope Benedict XVI believed there was a correct way to pray the Rosary, in order to experience peace in the soul.
While praying the Rosary is rather straightforward, Pope Benedict XVI believed there was a “correct” way to pray the popular devotional.
He explained his thoughts in an address he gave in 2008.
For Benedict XVI, an authentic way to pray the Rosary involves the “contemplation and meditation” of the mysteries of the Rosary.
With Mary the heart is oriented toward the mystery of Jesus. Christ is put at the centre of our life, of our time, of our city, through the contemplation and meditation of his holy mysteries of joy, light, sorrow and glory.
St. John Paul II, quoting St. Paul VI in his apostolic letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, also saw contemplation as the key to praying the Rosary in the “correct” way.
The Rosary, precisely because it starts with Mary’s own experience, is an exquisitely contemplative prayer. Without this contemplative dimension, it would lose its meaning, as Pope Paul VI clearly pointed out: “Without contemplation, the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation runs the risk of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas, in violation of the admonition of Christ: ‘In praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think they will be heard for their many words’ (Mt 6:7).
Praying the Rosary in a contemplative manner is not always easy, and we can easily fall back into our old habits. However, the key is to always move forward in the spiritual life, doing what we can, with the grace of God, to pray the Rosary contemplating the mysteries of Jesus’ life.