Rote prayers are good practice for ruminating minds. They focus what would otherwise be an unleashed beast that grabs and eats poisonous, negatively painful thoughts. Did you know that according to one study ruminating is the number one predictor of depression? I’m sure the same can be said for anxiety.
I often wondered why so many of our prayers as Catholics are repetitive. The Rosary, the Lord have mercy, and the word, peace, at mass are examples. Today the responsorial psalm is, “Heaven and earth are full of your glory!” Now that’s something to ruminate over! Indeed, it’s repeated five times!
Those of us who ruminate don’t need to think of it as a curse even though it can be. We can treat it as a natural gift. Yes, gift. Ruminative minds write books, create music, and pray without ceasing. All we need to do is harness the beast and redirect for better purpose. Think of it as training a wild stallion.
Harnessing and using the gift of rumination will not guarantee you will never experience anxiety or depression but it will lessen the power of these moods’ most forceful catalyst.
Picture is by James Chan, 2015. Graciously released to Creative Commons Zero, public domain.