Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Family Rosary!!

I wrote this post for our Australian Catholic Families Blog recently and my friend Erin suggested I post it here as well!
So I hope you enjoy~

The children come quietly into the family room carrying their Rosaries in hand and the booklets they have to help them meditate on the Mysteries. Each child goes to the place in the room that they feel most comfortable to pray. They kneel look over to me as I finish feeding the baby and start to take this sweet dumpling up to his bed.
While I am gone Daddy reads a short bible story from our picture bible, mainly for our little children.
As I come back down stairs again I glance at the clock and see that it is 7:30pm, it is perfect timing as usual.

I come back into the room cuddle our next little one who has her Rosary beads all ready. She looks at mine and asks sweetly if we can trade tonight. I let her and we look at Daddy as the signal to begin.

At this everyone except me with the sweet snugly one kneel to pray and we being the nightly process -
'In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit........"

During the Rosary our little ones curl up next to an older child and nearly drop off to sleep. Each child know when it it their child to lead a decade and we have a most meditative and rewarding prayer time.

Twenty minutes later the younger children say good night to everyone with hugs and kisses and softly start up to bed, being very quiet so as not to wake the baby. The older children take up their reflective reading and spend some more quiet time together.

I know you all have families who pray the Rosary like this!

Sadly this is not how our family does either. As I was typing this our I wondered would there ever be a time in our lives when we would pray the Rosary like this.
Perhaps! When we do not have little ones to participate in our prayer time. However that in itself will be a  sad time for me I am sure.

Our Family Rosary is a little  very much different form the perfect scenario I described.

Let me give you a little sneak peak~
The time, well the time can be anything from 7:00pm onwards and sometimes way past our little peoples bedtime. Oh and read carefully, sometimes we do not say the Rosary AT ALL - GASP. SHOCK, HORROR.

Yes you did read that right. We are a Rosary loving family but we go through stages where  we just don't pray it together every night. Our goal is to pray daily as a family, but that family goes through well, 'stuff' that means we fall of the 'Rosary Wagon' every so often.

So on those nights when we pray our Rosary as a Family it more likely resembles this~
Mum calling all the children from all over the house. We have a large house and some children will be finishing up the Dinner clean up. Others will be helping to get our little ones ready for bed; teeth cleaned, toilet stops etc.
I usually am feeding our little dumpling (that part is true from the ideal picture above) and sometimes he even goes to sleep.
Some of the children come when called but experience has shown that there are always stragglers to the family room and no one wants to just hang around waiting for the stragglers. So it becomes a situation of calling for the stragglers while keeping those who came after leaving their own individual pursuits to remain in the room waiting for said stragglers.

Of course then there is the battle  choosing of spots ready to pray. I would love to say we all knelled down for the Rosary, and there was a time when we did, but I find it difficult when holding a little one or too far pregnant and I do believe the children got out of the habit as I came to full term.

We usually then have more than one child want to 'sit next to mummy' or 'I was just about to sit in that spot' issues to deal with which lead to more waiting time.
I suppose this could be avoided if we started without some of the children or adults BUT I do believe that if we are praying together as a family then we show respect and courtesy by waiting for ALL family members to be present. Sure we might get finished quicker but I think it effectively diminishes the value of family prayer and devalues the weight of an individual if we start without them. In effect  it says you are not really very important to this family activity and your prayers are not valued either.

On with the story ~
During the Rosary we usually have the baby babbling, the special needs boy fidgeting a bit (or a lot) depending on how his day has gone. Our other special girl, 99 our of 100 times falls asleep during this time and has to be carried up to bed. Sometimes we have even had a race to see who can lead the decade first! We have had older people fall asleep and only a few end up praying. I am sure I could think of a few more examples to shock you with but I wont go on.

Why not......you were enjoying how lacking in piety we are!

Well believe it or not we really do have a devotion to praying the Rosary as I am sure a lot lot of other families do. I do believe we are doing this to the best of our ability.....not perfect but as best we can for OUR FAMILY, RIGHT NOW AS WE ARE NOW.

Change will come upon our family you can be sure. In fact I see a change again for us in the coming year, and yet we will continue to pray the Rosary as best we can - and perhaps if we are truly blessed we will become that perfect Rosary praying family!!

However I do believe that  God reads our hearts and intentions and I can say that our intentions are pure, even if our 'follow through' is not up to standard. I do  think it important that we lead our little ones in prayer and that it is a VERY important part of our training our children.

However I also believe that prayer is a conversation with God  and how we show our love and respect to the children in our families as they 'interupt ' our perfect Rosary/prayer time, can be a great example of having a servants heart and drawing our children toward God.

And is that not what we are called to do..........to lead our children to their Heavenly Father!

Blessings to you and your homes,


Stephanie said...

Thanks for posting this! We just made the New Year's resolution of trying to say a family rosary daily again. It's nice to read this affirmation about God knowing our intentions when so many times our prayer time is not peaceful at all! God's blessings to you and your family this new year!

Autumn said...

*Applause* Mummy darling this is your best post ever!

Lori said...

Dear Gae,

What a beautiful post. Thanks for being honest about it and helping the rest of us feel "normal."
We try to pray our Rosary on the way to Mass. I'd love to pray it in the evening as a family but, my hubby prays his each morning on the way to work. I do wish for more family prayer time. I think I need to pray for that. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

Love, Lori

Trish said...

Gae your family Rosary sounds very normal to me!
These perfectly-imperfect prayer times will be embeded in your children's hearts and become foundational in years to come.
Well done!
blessings to you..Trish


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