Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Our Rosary Challenge

We've been approaching the rosary slowly in our family. For several years I've been saying a rosary myself whenever I have the alone time. This means while walking in the morning or on the treadmill or driving alone. I got to the point where I said a complete rosary almost every day, even if not all at once.

Meanwhile, the homeschoolers (The 2 oldest children attend school rather than living in it!) and I have been reciting a decade each weekday. We use this beautiful meditation/scripture book to guide us through the mysteries. But even the few minutes required to gather everyone and pray one decade kept us from managing a whole rosary much of the time. We really celebrated when we managed a complete week!

Well, October is the Month of the Rosary in the Church. The Sunday before, one of our parish priests reminded us of the 90th anniversary of Our Lady's 1917 appearance at Fatima. He challenged us to say the rosary every day as family, and to pray for peace in our homes and the world. He told us what a hard time he and his siblings had given their parents about their family rosary, and about how he came to appreciate it.

Well, we accepted the challenge! So far we've said a whole rosary every day in October.

Only rarely have we all together recited the whole thing (kind of like trying for a family dinner with toddler, teens, in-betweens, and a dad who works late...), but we've usually had a majority. Some days the homeschoolers recite some decades in the morning or in the car, and the rest of the family joins in to finish at bedtime. Tonight we had a home group and a car group get started, and then joined for the end. Once in a while we've all buckled down for a whole rosary together.

I'm amazed at what we've accomplished so far, and impressed that there has been no fussing about this rosary-ing! A whole one with a group takes a good 20 minutes, and that feels like a long time when we're busy or tired. The children are all cooperating to meet this challenge, and it's beautiful to see.

Random thoughts:

One thing I do miss about the "old way" is the meditation book. It has a scripture verse for every "Hail Mary" and "Our Father", which really brings the mysteries to life, but would make a whole rosary last much too long.

Even the nearly three year old is invested--she'll "lead" a decade by saying the first few words of each prayer.

I don't know what we'll do come November. Are some of us just hanging on, hoping to get through this month? I know one child has said he wants to keep this up. Time will tell.

So...are you up for a challenge?

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