When I pray the rosary I like to pray it alone--I can go at my own speed; I can interrupt my prayer at any time. But one day I was asked if I would help lead the rosary once a week at our local nursing/assisted living home. I hesitantly said yes.
Besides myself, only a couple women wanted to lead the rosary--one went too slowly and the other went too fast. One person stopped coming because the speed wasn't to her liking. But gradually we moved to a pace that was prayerful for all, and the disgruntled person returned.
Before we begin I ask if anyone is very ill or has died during the week, or if any family members need prayer, and of course we always pray for the residents of the home. An employee usually joins us--when she first came she did not know how to pray the rosary, but now she takes her turn leading a decade. After we finish no one is in a hurry to leave; we talk about the activities of the past week, the manicure jobs, family news. In the beginning I usually had to start the conversation, but not anymore. A real community has formed among those who come faithfully.
Last week I looked around the room while we were praying and each person was totally focused on their prayer, some with their eyes closed. What an inspiration it was for me! No longer do I go with hesitation, but instead with joy at encountering the Holy in prayer and in each person.
What have been your experiences praying with a group?
Marie Lucek, OP