Praying the Rosary and Centering Prayer

Q:  Is there a way to pray the rosary simultaneously with Centering Prayer?

A:  I am not aware of how you would pray the rosary simultaneously with centering prayer. However the rosary is a form of monastic lectio divina, for as you pray the words and reflect on the mysteries, you are celebrating the first three moments of lectio divina.

The wisdom of praying centering prayer before the rosary helps us let go of over-conceptualization, hyperactivity and over-dependence on self, which prepare us to be more attentive to praying the rosary.

As Thomas Keating said in The Mystery of Christ, “The rosary is a school of contemplative prayer. As the lips and hands are saying the beads and the mind is reflecting on the mysteries, the presence of Christ in our inmost being awakens and we rest in his presence. Whether we focus on the words of the individual prayers or reflect on the unfolding mysteries, we may feel drawn into this rest. At that time we leave behind both the words and the reflections and enjoy the presence of Christ. When his presence begins to dissolve, we return to the prayers and reflections where we left off. In this way we move up and down the ladder of interior prayer and allow the habit of contemplation to develop. Contemplation gradually overflows into daily life and extends the enjoyment of God’s presence into the whole of life” (page 123).  So, the rosary, like centering prayer, is a method that prepares for the gift of contemplation.


Fr. Carl Arico