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Laurie J. Schmitt shares how a Lenten resolution to pray the Rosary each morning led to a longtime family prayer practice.

For nearly two decades, my house buzzed with a swarm of kids ranging in age from brand new baby to intrepid teenager. Most of my personal prayer time was spent in the “Pray fast! Don’t give up!” mode. Days of the week pulsed to the beat of our homeschool schedule, a regular cleaning routine and a revolving menu plan. Sprinkled in between it all were the usual homemade messes and mini catastrophes that come with raising a big family, but sticking to an established modus operandi kept us on track, playing a vital part in helping everyone to hit their specific goals and making family life go more smoothly. 

As much as an established plan helps to hold the family together in the practical matters of day-to-day living, having a set time for prayer and worship is the glue that holds our spiritual household together. The liturgical year provides the blueprint for bringing spiritual order into our lives, with the Lenten season being one that encourages us to try harder, to do a bit more, and to follow through. Lent is a practice run, a time in our lives to pause and pray, and develop holy habits that will stay with us throughout our life.


couple holding a rosary together


During one Lenten season early in our marriage, my husband and I decided to begin our days with praying the Rosary together. As our family grew, so did our need for prayer. We stayed with our morning Rosary through the years, in season and out. The kids would share an active role, by taking turns when lighting the big votive candle and also by leading a decade when they were old enough. By reciting our family Rosary together each day, they learned their prayers by heart and shared in the grace that comes with vocal and communal prayer. 

Over time, our morning rosary led us into an evening routine that began with a quiet reading time, followed by the final call to “brush and flush!” (This was our family’s way of saying that the day has come to an official end.)With everyone in their pj’s, we knelt again, praying the Our Father, Hail Mary, Angel of God, Act of Contrition, and Glory Be, before adding “Thank you Jesus for this good day!” The kids spontaneously chimed in, expressing gratitude for the blessings they received. The big climax to our bedtime-prayer time practice was reciting the family litany of saints. We started with announcing the patron saint of my husband’s first and middle name, followed by “Pray for us!” and then continued with the first and middle names of everyone in the family. Suffice it to say, this was a long litany and very joyful, as at the closing, the kids volunteered the name of a special saint who was their kindred spirit and patron of their current undertakings. 

Over the years, we set an alarm clock to sound us to the noon Angelus and the three o’clock Divine Mercy chaplet. We were able to punctuate our weeks with a weekday Mass or two, along with Eucharistic Adoration, but I also wanted my own daily quiet time. Through these busy years of homeschooling and taking care of family, I found myself praying for time to pray. Now that the kids are older, this request has been answered, and my mornings begin with personal and private prayer and meditation.

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Lent is the season for us to stop and take a closer look at how we spend our time, how we “live our loves.” #catholicmom

Lent is the season for us to stop and take a closer look at how we spend our time, how we “live our loves,” so to speak. Can you spend more time in prayer? Of course! Are you in the “pray fast” mode? Persevere in praying on the go. Ask God to help you pray more frequently, fully, more routinely, more genuinely. Make good use of Lent, and the penances and practices that you took on during this season will remain with you throughout your life. 

In the midst of a busy family vocation, it's important to have established times for family prayer, and for our family, it all started with a Lent, a long time ago, and one morning Rosary. 


adult and small child holding a rosary

Copyright 2022 Laurie J. Schmitt
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