To become perfect, say a Rosary a day. St. Louis de Montfort
I’m not a parent, but I was raised in a family of four boys and one girl, so I understand that family Rosary time can easily devolve into a chore, especially with little kids. The constant headaches, distractions, and lack of participation might tempt you to “reduce the sentence” to one decade per night, or even forego the practice altogether, at least as a family. “I get more out of it when I pray by myself,” you might think, “without the kids misbehaving.”
I get the frustration. I’m sure it’s annoying. I understand that the average five-year-old won’t be able to pay attention for as much as two minutes at a time, let alone a whole Rosary. And it must be extremely frustrating trying to pray at all with more than one kid fighting and screaming for no reason in the background. However, I’d still urge you to do it.
Why? Because you’re doing exactly what you should be doing as Catholic parents: you’re forming good habits in your kids. Even if they’re invariably passing out by the third decade, you are sending a message every time you force them to stop what they’re doing, calm down for a second, and pray. You’re saying this is important enough to justify putting up with a long chain of screams and interruptions. And as your kids get older, if they care about their faith at all, they’ll get it. Even if they’re too young to understand, they get used to the idea that a certain amount of time each day has to be reserved for prayer—it’s non-negotiable. It therefore becomes normal. You can’t “get out of” talking to God if you’re too tired, even if it’s only for a few minutes, any more than you can get out of putting the kids to bed just because you want to go straight upstairs and pass out yourself.
So, with St. Louis de Montfort, I’d recommend making the effort, because I think it’s worth it. You know what de Montfort says? “To become perfect, say a Rosary a day.”
To become perfect, he says. Not “good” or “okay,” but… “perfect.” There’s a reason why the Fatima children prayed more rosaries than most sane men would consider. Next to the Mass, this is one of the most powerful prayers of all time, and certainly a good act of reparation. Urge your kids to do it, and urge them early. It will make a difference. I know it did for me.
Enter the mystery of prayer and glorify God as a family.
For more insight on praying together as a family, you’ll certainly enjoy this new book from TAN.
Compiled by The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville, this little book is backed by a strong Catholic tradition rooted in teaching the faith. From making time to recite basic oral prayers throughout the day to making each moment of life a prayer, A Short Guide to Praying as a Family is a lifelong guide to the spiritual life and a powerful means to building a relationship with the Lord.
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