Q: Is it possible to pray contemplatively while saying the rosary at the same time?
A: The rosary, like Lectio Divina, can move one into a state of resting in God, especially if one is willing to allow the movement of the Spirit to lead, rather than rushing through the decades as a vocal-only prayer practice.
You might reference the chapter in Thomas Keating’s Intimacy with God on “The Rosary as Contemplative Prayer.” It is chapter 12 in the older edition and Chapter 8 in the newer edition. Here is a brief excerpt: “There is an inherent movement from reflection to simply resting in God. Suppose you give an a half hour to the rosary each day. Suppose as you are reflecting on the mysteries, you feel an inward attraction to be still in the presence of Our Lady and just absorb the sweetness of her presence with your inner spirit. You may sense the closeness of the divine presence within you as well as the closeness of Our Lady. This is what is meant by the term ‘resting in God.’ Moving beyond vocal prayers and beyond reflection when you feel the attraction to be still is the path to contemplation. This is the moment you should feel free to stop saying the vocal prayers and to follow the attraction to be still, because vocal prayers and discursive meditation are both designed to lead one gradually to that secret and sacred place. That is their whole purpose.”
- Fr. Carl Arico