This saint struggled praying the Rosary
If you struggle praying the Rosary, know you're not alone. You're actually in good company! This well-known saint struggled too...
I'm ashamed to admit this, but one of my penances this Lent has been to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. The Rosary is simply not a prayer that I look forward to or enjoy. And it's embarrassing, because it is the beloved prayer of the Church, but in my heart it is simply not that loved or cherished. It's actually hard work and it almost feels like penance.
Although it has not always been like that. I grew up praying the Rosary with my family and I loved it. During many times of trials and anxiety in the past couple of years, I have sought refuge in the Rosary and I have been greatly comforted. The repetition of the prayers has calmed my heart during anxiety attacks. I have also told my children that when they're scared at night or can't sleep, to just pray the Rosary and they'll soon fall asleep.
But during normal times, when life is just going as it usually goes and I want to pray the Rosary for specific prayer intentions, I find it excruciating. I think it's actually the repetition that makes me dread it, because I get so distracted and it feels--wrongly--as an exercise in futility.
So, to my relief, I found out that St. Thérèse of Lisieux herself found the rosary also incredibly difficult to the point that she compares it to penance as well!
When alone (I am ashamed to admit it) the recitation of the rosary is more difficult for me than the wearing of an instrument of penance. I feel I have said this so poorly! I force myself in vain to meditate on the mysteries of the rosary; I don't succeed in fixing my mind on them."
She elaborates further,
For a long time I was desolate about this lack of devotion that astonished me, for I love the Blessed Virgin so much that it should be easy for me to recite in her honor prayers which are so pleasing to her. Now I am less desolate; I think that the Queen of heaven, since she is my MOTHER, must see my good will and she is satisfied with it."
Praise Jesus for leading St. Thérèse to write these words down to bring us comfort in our Mother's loving arms many decades later. Because I also have felt terrible that despite having a deep love for the Blessed Mother, I still find recitation of the Rosary such a struggle.
So, my dear brother or sister in Christ, know that you're not alone. Persevere in this beautiful prayer and the fruits from it will abound!