Janele Hoerner shares 5 ways busy families can build up to praying a daily Rosary.
Just as I am not sure if an apple a day keeps the doctor away, I cannot prove that Satan is kept away by a Rosary said each day. Keeping our daily activities mindful of a greater good, though, can only move us into a deeper meaning in our lives. For years, how it was possible to say an entire Rosary each day with children was baffling to me. It seemed all fine and well for my husband and me to enter into deeper states of prayer, but with our children included – not so much. Anything more than a few minutes of bedtime prayers and weekly Mass just seemed too daunting to conquer.
However I was always curious how families could get their children to say a daily Rosary. I watched, as many of you have, the YouTube videos of the family Rosary. The kids are quietly sitting or toddling around present though not fully participating, but still that was not our reality. We were in the thick of meltdowns, even with perfectly planned schedules, and no room for error for our special-needs children.
As time went on I kept pondering what if – and how a family Rosary could be possible for a family like ours. I knew it could lead our family into a deeper union with Christ, but I also thought it might produce more anger in myself then should ever be present during a prayer. After all it took us four years just to get our oldest son to weekly Mass consistently and eight years before our family was going to the same Mass each week without splitting up. Leaving it up to God’s time, we just resolved that for us we would continue to say our prayers ourselves before and after our children were asleep and we just left it at that.
However as life changes and time passes, we age and gain more wisdom – through prayer – and we are led to look into new avenues that we never believed were possible before. I am usually one to overthink things entirely and viewed a Rosary as something that had to be said in one sitting or it would not be complete. It was not until we started homeschooling and I was determined to do something to begin our day of school. So it began- a daily Rosary and within a week we were failing and Mommy was angry. So I resolved once and for all through tears and the painful feelings of failure to break it up and begged with God’s mercy to forgive me. Those tears and prayers brought about an amazing beauty in the last year that has transformed our family entirely for the better!
Here are 5 things that have worked for us:
* Build up to a full Rosary a day! One decade a day 5 times a week is a full Rosary a week. One Rosary a week is something to be proud to start with. If need be, only say one prayer out loud with them every hour your children are awake to make up the one decade a day! This is how we started, and by the end on the year we are at a full Rosary a day!
*Say 1 decade 5 times throughout the day! We said ours after breakfast is cleaned up, before lunch, before nap time, after nap time, and during bedtime prayers. Simple, easy, and a whole Rosary is complete in doable chunks of 5 minutes apiece.
*Forget English – teach your children a new language! Sounds daunting – don’t let it be. Most children feel proud of themselves for learning a new task. Telling your child that the devil is afraid of Latin is something not only true, but something that children want to know more about. Children love to have weapons to fight back with when they are scared, and learning a secret language to fight off their fears is enticing. We learned one line a week of first the Our Father and then the Hail Mary. It took us about six months for both prayers, but we did it. If you have no idea where to start, the video below is great because each word is broken down so those big words become manageable. All my kids learned it, even my 3-year-old, in only a few minutes a day. Small amount of time – huge win.
* Listen to the Rosary to follow along – do not just say it yourself! My kids are specialists at being the cause of me losing my place and taking my Rosary from my hands, especially the baby – she loves my Rosary – her soft one not so much. My kids love Full of Grace TV on YouTube, which offers videos of prayers in Latin.
*Make it a cuddly atmosphere! I have some cuddlers and some kids who will not even think of sitting near me normally, but sitting down quietly with a repetitive chant always brings a pile of kids in close proximity. Forget the formal prayer atmosphere; if it just is not going to happen then roll with it. God sees your intentions and He loves that you’re doing the best you can with the children He entrusted you with.
Copyright 2020 Janele Hoerner
Image copyright 2020 Janele Hoerner. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Janele Hoerner is the author of Loving the Soul Beneath the Autism: An Interior Analysis of the Impact a Special Needs Child Bestows upon the Family. She wishes to help all individuals to become selfless by the presence of special needs individuals in the community. She lives with her husband and their five children, two of which are on the Autism Spectrum, in central Pennsylvania. Visit Janele's blog at Loving the Soul Beneath the Autism.