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Ivonne J. Hernandez recaps her own experience of using the new book, The Family That Prays Together Stays Together, to pray the Rosary.

Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C., in his book, The Family That Prays Together Stays Together, encourages us to pray the Rosary a little bit at a time. As we stretch those muscles and create new habits, he invites us to pray a decade a night.

The goal of this book is to help you establish a habit of daily prayer rooted in devotion to our Blessed Mother. To that end, each day’s prayerful reflection is built around the rhythm of the Rosary.


I could immediately appreciate how this would be a gift to families with young children. To be introduced to this magnificent prayer in small bites, allowing the grace to flow as the roots deepen in their little hearts. Habits of virtue to last a lifetime. What surprised me was how praying with the Sorrowful Mysteries for a week with this little book impacted my prayer life. 




I love the Rosary. I love how simple it is. I love how it comforts me when I am fearful and makes grace available to me. Yet, I struggle with consistency. I go through periods where I pray the Rosary daily. There have even been months when I pray more than one set of mysteries. But then there are times when there are gaps. Whenever my life gets complicated, and my routines are interrupted, I have difficulty finding my way back.  

I am currently in the middle of one of those gaps. A few months ago, I injured my back. Adding physical therapy and medical appointments to my calendar threw my schedule off. One would think I had more time to pray the Rosary while driving to the appointments or waiting to be seen by the doctor, but the reality is that I had so much on my mind I wouldn’t remember until I was in bed for the night. At that point, praying the five Mysteries of the Rosary seemed like such a daunting task. Often, I would pray a Hail Mary and ask Mary to help me get back to a routine that allowed me to pray the Rosary daily, for I have experienced its fruits many times. 

One of the things I have learned while in physical therapy is that healing and rehab take time. “We work with the body you brought today.” This is what my physical therapist tells me every time. If I am more tired or hurt one day, we adjust the plan. There is a mix of science and art to discern when to push and when to hold back. I think the same goes for our spiritual life. The practices we take on, like praying the Rosary, require something from us. We need to be awake; we need to be able to concentrate and meditate. There will be days when we might not be able to do that.  

When I committed to praying with these reflections for a week and writing this article, I thought I would have plenty of time. But then, life happened. Every night that week, I was finally in bed when I remembered I still had to do the prayers for that night. If I had done this just for myself, I probably would have put it off “one more night.” But I made the commitment, so I turned on my phone’s little flashlight and grabbed the book on my nightstand. An Our Father, a short reflection, and ten Hail Marys … I could do that.

The same thing happened the next night … and the next night … and then came the surprise. Instead of falling asleep feeling defeated in my efforts, I felt satisfied. I had done what I set out to do. The task was not too big, but the whole power of the Rosary was still present, even in that little bite. Reflecting on the Sorrowful Mysteries that week gave me the grace to deal with all the unexpected events happening in my life while building up again the habit of prayer that will sustain me in good days and in bad.  




Where does prayer fit in today? I’d say, where does your heart fit in in your body? Where does the air fit in when you breathe? It’s an essential dimension in our very lives. (Venerable Patrick Peyton) 


In physical therapy, I’ve learned that significant progress comes over time if I just do a little bit and repeat it ten times. Whether working on our individual habits of prayer, prayer as a couple, or family prayer, we must devise a doable plan. And then we must be attentive and adjust to do what we can. Father Peyton persevered through the sorrowful mysteries of his life with the help of Our Lady. Let us follow his example and persevere in prayer. Let us do what we can. 


Save 20% off the cover price of The Family That Stays Together Prays Together when you purchase the book from the Holy Cross Family Ministries online store. Use coupon code CMROSARY at checkout. This offer expires June 10, 2024. 


Catch up on our 4-week series featuring this new book!





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Copyright 2024 Ivonne J. Hernandez
Images: Ave Maria Press