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Pope Paul VI wrote in his 1974 Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus (paragraph 54):

But there is no doubt that, after the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, the high point which family prayer can reach, the Rosary should be considered as one of the best and most efficacious prayers in common that the Christian family is invited to recite. ...

Does this mean that he thought that the Rosary is more important than the daily examen?

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    I took the liberty in correcting the author of the text; it was Pope Paul VI, not St. JP II. Jul 26, 2023 at 9:39
  • Deo Gratias!!!! Jul 29, 2023 at 12:44

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Does this mean that Pope Paul VI thought that the Rosary is more important than the daily examen?

  1. But there is no doubt that, after the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, the high point which family prayer can reach, the Rosary should be considered as one of the best and most efficacious prayers in common that the Christian family is invited to recite. We like to think, and sincerely hope, that when the family gathering becomes a time of prayer, the Rosary is a frequent and favored manner of praying. We are well aware that the changed conditions of life today do not make family gatherings easy, and that even when such a gathering is possible many circumstances make it difficult to turn it into an occasion of prayer. There is no doubt of the difficulty. But it is characteristic of the Christian in his manner of life not to give in to circumstances but to overcome them, not to succumb but to make an effort. Families which want to live in full measure the vocation and spirituality proper to the Christian family must therefore devote all their energies to overcoming the pressures that hinder family gatherings and prayer in common. - Marialis Cultus

The simple answer is no.

The Rosary is not more important than a real well done daily examination of conscience.

Both have their place in our daily lives.

Pope St. Paul VI in saying that the Rosary should be considered as one of the best and most efficacious prayers in common that the Christian family, however the examination of conscience is strictly speaking a form of prayer. Yes the examination of one’s conscience should be done in a prayerful manner; it is not a prayer in or of itself.

One should accustom oneself to prepare oneself for confession or the reception of the Eucharist, with an examination of conscience, “which involves reflecting prayerfully on one's thoughts, words, and deeds in order to identify any sins.”

Both have their place in the Church and our spiritual lives and are like two different ways to strengthen our souls and bring us closer to God.

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  • When I use the daily examen I refer to the Ignatian examen. I have ecieved spiritual direction from the Jesuits where I live and they say that it is more than just the examination of conscience. Jul 29, 2023 at 12:52
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Yes, he emphasizes the value of the Rosary, especially in the context of family prayer. However, this does not suggest that he ranked the Rosary as superior to the daily examen. His reference to the Rosary as "one of the best" prayers indicates high regard, but doesn't conclusively place it above other forms of prayer. The context of his statement is about prayers outside of the Liturgy of the Hours, which he acknowledges as the peak of daily family prayer.

The Rosary and the daily examen serve different purposes and can complement each other. The Rosary is a form of prayer that focuses on meditation on key events (mysteries) in the life of Jesus and Mary, making it an excellent tool for communal prayer. The daily examen, on the other hand, is a more introspective practice recommended by St. Ignatius of Loyola, focused on discerning God's presence and guidance in one's daily life.

I guess, Pope Paul VI did not intend to imply a direct comparison or ranking between the Rosary and the daily examen. Instead, he highlighted the unique values of both, encouraging the faithful to engage in diverse forms of prayer - both communal and personal - to enrich their spiritual life.

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  • It seems that he meant that the Rosary and Liturgy of the hours are the best prayers to say and meditate on together as a family. The daily examen is more like an individual prayer. Jul 29, 2023 at 12:57

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