If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins "you shall receive a never fading crown of glory." Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in Hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do who practise black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and save your soul, if----and mark well what I say----if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins. - St. Louis de Montfort; The Secret of the RosaryBut what value is a rosary that is prayed with distractions? Today was the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and the Mass I went to was the FSSP Traditional Latin Mass at Divine Mercy Parish. The priest spent 30 minutes explaining the spiritual value of praying the Rosary, and he talked about the history of the Rosary and how St. Dominic used the Rosary as a spiritual weapon to defeat the Albigensian heresy.
When he was explaining the devotion of the Five First Saturdays, he said those who make that devotion can overcome the problem of distractions while praying the rosary. How, you wonder?
Well, the Blessed Virgin said this at Fatima:
“I promise to help at the hour of death, with the graces needed for salvation, whoever on the First Saturday of five consecutive months shall:
- Confess and receive Communion;
- Recite five decades of the Rosary;
- And keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.
St Louis de Montfort tells us that "you cannot possibly say your Rosary without having a few involuntary distractions and it is hard to say even one Hail Mary without your imagination troubling you a little (for our imagination is, alas, never still). The one thing you can do, however, is to say your Rosary without giving in to distractions deliberately and you can take all sorts of precautions to lessen involuntary distractions and to control your imagination.
With this in mind put yourself in the presence of God and imagine that Almighty God and His Blessed Mother are watching you and that your guardian Angel is standing at your right hand, taking your Hail Marys, if they are well said, and using them like roses to make crowns for Jesus and Mary. But remember that at your left hand lurks the devil ready to pounce upon every Hail Mary that comes his way and to write it down in his deadly note-book. And be sure that he will snatch every single one of your Hail Marys that you have not said attentively, devoutly and with reverence."
My secret for preventing distractions while praying the rosary is a little booklet called Let's Pray, (not just say) the Rosary by Liquori Publications. It was given to me years ago by a friend, and I found it to be most beneficial in aiding me to meditate on the sacred mysteries of the most holy Rosary. I purchased many copies and gave them all away. Another method you may find useful is this link which has meditations for each bead of the Rosary. You can print them out and make yourself a booklet as an aid for prayer time.