Prayer – The Family’s Lifeline
There are days that I feel super organized – actually, let me rephrase that – there are moments in some of my days that I feel super organized. Anyone with children, especially little ones, will agree with me that it doesn’t matter what you think you have planned out for the day or week ahead, it can all change within minutes.
Welcome to parenthood! One minute you think you have a free day; next minute you’re waiting in the ER on a Friday evening! I’ve come to the point that when my husband asks, “What do we have planned today?”, even if we actually have a free evening, I never reply, “Nothing.” My reply is always, “Nothing scheduled.” Huge difference.
So, with such unpredictability from one moment to the next, we need to have that constant to keep us focused when everything around us may seem to be in disarray. We need a strong and consistent Prayer Life. The prayer life I’m talking about here is praying together as a family; not individual prayer life (I will talk about that in a future post!).
My mom used to repeat that saying: “A family that prays together stays together!” She would say it over and over again when we were growing up, to the point my siblings and I would get so annoyed. However, now I believe that statement more than ever (though I try to refrain from repeating it as often as my mom did!). Praying together as a family, when possible, is so vital.
I remember talking to a priest once, anxiously asking him, “Well, how do I fit all these things in my crazy day?” At the time, we only had two very young children, 13 1/2 months apart. They would hardly pay attention during prayers and would usually just run around. I felt there were just so many things I had to squeeze into our day that sometimes, in the end, we’d wind up not praying at all! Well, this priest gave me the best advice – simplicity. Keep it simple!
There are three main pillars, so to speak, that are NEEDED to hold up the foundation of the busy family – Morning Prayers, Evening Prayers, and the Rosary. As simple as that! It gives us a starting point and once that is embedded in the schedule as naturally as mealtimes, that’s when you can be open to adding more. Because, really, if we can’t even keep up with these three important elements, we probably shouldn’t be striving to put more on our plate.
And although it may seem that the kids are too young to appreciate saying these prayers out loud together, it will become something that they eventually look for; because unbeknownst to themselves, kids yearn for routine and prayer life! It should become so natural that they seamlessly pass this Prayer Life onto their own families, should they be called to raise children of their own someday.
When Our Lady appeared at Fatima, she literally pleaded for us to pray the Rosary daily. As parents, we ask loving obedience of our children, as we know what’s best for them; well, then we, Her children, should listen to our Blessed Mother…because She too knows what’s best for us! She sees the world from a perspective we can’t even begin to see. She sees the true effect even just one Rosary makes! If only we believe…if only our faith were stronger, we would not miss out on what seems to be such a simple request. I know I say “simple”; however, I don’t mean to say that it’s easy to pray. Even the saints will describe the difficulty in praying. I remember listening to a conference given by the head of a seminary; and one of the first things this priest said was, “If praying is easy for you, then you’re not praying correctly.” Those words always remind me that it’s the perseverance in consistency, whether you feel like it or not, that will gain the much-needed graces for your growing family, the Church, and the world.
“The Rosary is the most beautiful and the most rich in graces of all prayers; it is the prayer that touches most the Heart of the Mother of God…and if you wish peace to reign in your homes, recite the family Rosary.” (Pope St. Pius X)
Morning Prayers – to thank God for giving us another day and offering up that day to Him; Night Prayers – to examine the day God has given us, as well as ask strength for the next; and the Rosary – it’s what our Blessed Mother asked of us, because “one day, through the Rosary…Our Lady will save the world.” (St. Dominic)