After 17 years of family life I have made it my goal to help make lofty and holy pipe dreams more accessible and attainable through what I share. If you read my book, The School of the Family: A Renaissance of Catholic Formation, you might sense that my idealism was still thick when I wrote it. I am currently updating and revising the book, adding an epilogue titled, “From Ideal to Real.” This idealism drives many young people into the adventure of family life, but in truth, the Incarnation calls us to unveil our idealism and get our hands dirty in our daily duty and embrace the raw and wounded without becoming cynical or losing the hope of our holy dreams. This is what happens as we mature in our vocational walk as moms.
So, today, in that spirit, I want to offer a creative idea for transforming Rosary wars into Rosary wins.
Lets face it: It is hard to honor Our Blessed Mother’s request to pray the daily family Rosary. Restless little ones, disgruntled teens, and exhausted parents isn’t exactly a recipe for harmonious and angelic prayer. Many times we feel ourselves just gritting our teeth and muscling through.
Here is one idea that changed my own childhood experience and is helping my family stay more invested and engaged in the daily Rosary.
My mother was a brilliant and marvels woman with a flair for the theatrical. Early on, she realized that the key to keeping us tied in was helping us to discover where we fit in the grand mystical drama of Salvation History and how our lives relate to the mysteries of Christ and Our Blessed Mother. She did this by being a master story teller amidst our family Rosary time and teaching us to retell the story in our own words, as well.
So here is my challenge for you. Begin a new tradition of story telling the mysteries while you pray. This is best done by sharing small snippets over top of the voice of the person leading the first part of the Hail Mary. No additional time is added this way and it keeps the rhythm and flow which is another important piece of the Rosary experience.
Start by modeling this as parent. You may want to just use a scriptural Rosary guide at first to help everyone become familiar with the biblical narrative. Over time, begin telling the story in your own words — adding in insights, details, feelings or emotional details that you might imagine to be present in the story.
After a season of narrating yourself, invite your children to tell the story. They my be nervous and hesitate at first, but in time you will see them come to life.
Don’t criticize when they fumble, skip a Hail Mary, mistake the characters, misquote Scripture ,or even confuse the stories entirely. Chuckle under your breath as the Good Lord will do and watch their confidence and personal investment grow and expand.
I hope you find this tip helpful and that you will persevere in becoming master Rosary story tellers in your home.
Be sure to comment below if you find this tip helpful and stay tuned for more tips that will hopefully help you keep your holy dreams afloat in the real, messy and nitty-gritty world of motherhood.