I have admitted in other forums that I have had a hard time developing a love for saying the rosary. I don't think I have a problem with devotions in general, in fact, the Divine Mercy Chaplet is my "go to guy" when I feel my prayer life is in need of a pick-me-up.
So many wonderful saints (and people striving to be saints) stress the importance of saying the rosary and the spiritual benefits of this devotion; how Heaven's gate is virtually propped open with a silver filigreed, rose scented doorstop to those who honor this devotion.
To be perfectly honest... that guilt doesn't help!
But in a homily I heard, not too long ago, this amazing priest was relating a talk given by another amazing priest (what are the odds?) about the Holy Spirit. He explained how the Holy Spirit, the perfect spouse, will rush into any place where he finds the Blessed Virgin, just to be with her. So by creating a space of honor and nurturing a love for the Blessed Virgin, you are also creating room where the Holy Spirit will want to dwell to be with His beloved.
Now, a few years ago, when I was going through a very difficult time, a trusted confessor advised me to learn more about the Holy Spirit and encouraged me to pray for specific gifts and and increase of certain fruits. He recommended a book called Swift Victory.
The book was very enlightening but this homily I was hearing second hand captivated my attention! I was determined to try--- for myself and for my kids.
Since May ended, and our lovely basket full of Mary's titles and our special intentions had been put away, we started June with a bedtime prayer to the the Sacred Heart and one decade of the rosary. It takes us one week to get through a whole set of mysteries but hey... baby steps!
We usually start off the decade by asking the children if they know the next mystery. I should be embarrassed to admit this, but Husband and I get a little chuckle at what they come up with. (Moses isn't in the rosary? How 'bout Noah?)
Each child has a special rosary; sentimental ones that we don't let them have full access to all the time. Except BigBoy, who is still using the chunky wooden kind, but knows exactly which drawer it is kept in and insists on retrieving it himself! They have enjoyed getting to use these treasures and we have enjoyed sharing with them these mysteries and seeing this devotion through the eyes of children. The oooohs, the aaahs and the sleepy little yawns have already inspired some stirrings in my heart... I hope in theirs too.
What ways have you encouraged your children's appreciation for the Rosary?
I feel I can so relate to this post! I never prayed the rosary growing up, and while I think it is beautiful, actually finding time to do it can be quite difficutlt! That's such a poor excuse, I know. I wish it was a habit I could just automatically "do" no matter where I am, but unfortunately, that's not the case. I think it's wonderful that you are making an effort to say the rosary with your children. I intended to during the month of May, but that was a very difficult month due to personal circumstances and I just never seemed to get around to it. There's no time like the present, though! We've bought our children some little rosary books (guides) that they really enjoy looking at, and, although I'm almost ashamed to admit this, I salvaged a very large, very GLOW IN THE DARK rosary that my brother was going to sell in a yard sale! He says it's obscene, but I say it will be perfect for holding my children's attention during bedtime prayers. We'll see! :)ReplyDelete
I too have had a hard time being committed to this devotion. I cannot seem to make it my own and concentrate on it. I struggle, but I keep trying.ReplyDelete
Some things that help me:
I bought two Rosary CDs. They can be used in the car or at home. They seem to make it easier in some way. The kids seem to like it.
We too have rosary books and lots of rosaries to use. I bought from CHC the 8x10 size posters of all the mysteries of the rosary. I got clear page protectors and thin binder. This is the kids' rosary book to focus on. The artwork is lovely and the pictures are big enough for everyone to see. They like this too.
Today I was trying harder (before I even read this post) to say my roasry when I nurse and to just pick up where I leave off if I don't finish.
Good luck and many blessings.
Thank you for sharing this. I personally love saying the rosary, but have a difficult time being comfortable with other devotions. I think it's a personality thing and partly how I was raised. Not all devotions are for everyone all the time - I don't think you should feel guilty.ReplyDelete
To be honest, my "guilt" if I have any is that I much, much, much prefer to pray the rosary silently and alone! I used to feel bad that I wasn't instilling this devotion in my children, but they all have at least one rosary they can take to bed (now that they're old enough) and sometimes they'll tell me (especially these summer nights when it's still light out when they go to bed) "Mom, I prayed the whole rosary last night."ReplyDelete
So I guess they're 'learning' this devotion from me, after all! :)
We use a scriptural rosary. A different scripture for every Hail Mary bead. We don't do this always with the kids since it takes twice the time and they can get fidgety.ReplyDelete
There is a kids scriptural rosary as well, for each decade. We just try to concentrate on each Bible picture too, thats how the kids at Fatima meditated.
My husband really likes St Louis Montefort's meditations for the rosary. He will give the kids an abbreviated version.
I enjoy the rosary but fall asleep during it all too often. If only I thought to do it during the day...everyone seems so tired at night.
Reading more about Fatima always piques my children's interest in saying the Rosary. The story of the children's devotion is so inspiring!
I recommend the St. Joseph picture book "The Holy Rosary" for the children. It has the Joyous, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries (was written before the Luminous Mysteries). It would be very helpful for you in your nightly decade -- one child could read a page for the mystery you're on. I think learning the mysteries really helps the children understand what the rosary is about. And doing one decade a night is fine.ReplyDelete
I just read in the National Catholic Register about a booklet they have published -- Guide to the Rosary with scriptural quotes for each mystery. Call 1-800-356-9916 x 3809. I don't know if there is a charge. I also have the rosary on CD from the Mary Foundation -- it's free with a donation for shipping. It's nice for the car. EWTN also has the rosary recorded -- you can listen to it online on the EWTN website. Nothing like saying the rosary with Mother Angelica!
I think the more you learn about the rosary -- and when you know all of the prayers and mysteries fluently, it becomes much more comfortable.
I too go to the Divine Mercy Chaplet -- every night. And that's o.k. too!
We do the same thing, Matilda--one decade of the rosary each night. It's about all my kids can handle at this age. And we also have a binder with pictures of the mysteries. We give the kids a very brief summary of the mystery and they look at the pictures while we're saying it (that's when they're not using their rosaries as Indian headdresses, or swinging them around in the air...they're not saints, yet! ;-)ReplyDelete
I'm glad I'm not the only one who has trouble with this devotion! Over and over again I read how incredibly important it is, and I have asked the Lord to instill that sort of devotion in me if it would help me in my spiritual life, but so far no go.ReplyDelete
I have a CD on the rosary that I listen to and pray with in the car. I also have a book on the Scriptural Rosary that is really wonderful.
My problem is I can't pray the words and meditate at the same time. It just doesn't seem to work for me... so I wind up making sure I "say it all" without ever meditating once... I don't think that's the way it's supposed to be.
I do love the Divine Mercy chaplet, however... and I enjoy *making* Rosaries (go figure)
For myself, there were instances in the past when my mind would go off wandering while we are praying the rosary because I used to think it's too long a prayer. But eventually, with all the hardships and experiences in life, the rosary is the one thing that gives me comfort.ReplyDelete