Because if something is worth doing …
Perhaps you’ve heard that famous G.K. Chesterton quote, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.” Well in the case of my kids praying the Rosary — it’s worth doing slowly, or broken up over a school week, rather than giving up all together …
I’m pretty sure Chesterton, the beloved Catholic author, was referring to my family’s morning prayer time — one fraught with lots of wriggling and potty breaks and fist fights for the best seat on the couch.
So after years of struggling to instill a family Rosary habit revered by great saints since the 13th century, we’ve landed on an amended version of the prayer. It’s one that still delves into the sacred mysteries of Jesus’ life, only broken apart over our school week.
[Note: Praying along with this scriptural version has been a real breakthrough for my gang.]
While at first I was hesitant to share this idea with anyone (because in all honesty, I feel a bit like a slacker) I’ve come to really appreciate a slower, more meditative experience that an “amended Rosary” brings. I never wind up feeling frustrated with my kids. And by focusing on one mystery per morning, my meditation for the rest of the day is set.
Here’s what our mornings looked like last week:
Monday: The Apostle’s Creed, The Our Father, and Hail Marys for faith, hope and love. Then the first Joyful Mystery, the Annunciation (each mystery consists of one Our Father, 10 Hail Marys while meditating on this moment in Christ’s life, and a Glory Be.)
Tuesday: The Visitation
Wednesday: The Nativity
Thursday: The Presentation in the Temple
Friday: The Finding in the Temple
Sure, our amended Rosary leaves us falling short of the traditional Catholic practice of praying a full daily Rosary.
10 Ways to not hate the Rosary
It also takes us away from the traditional pattern of praying the Glorious Mysteries on Sundays and Wednesdays; the Joyful Mysteries on Mondays and Saturdays; the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesdays and Fridays; and the Luminous on Thursdays.
But our way has left us finishing up with my kids saying “Is that it?” To which I often reply, “Let’s sing a hymn or read about a saint.” And no one bats an eye.
I once knew a family who prayed an entire Rosary before each meal. Maybe we’ll get there one day, but it’s okay if we don’t — our goal is certainly quality over quantity (even though I’m certain the two are not mutually exclusive). For now, we’re still a bunch of wriggly rosary-bead rattlers, but by God’s grace (and our 5-day plan) we’re on our way!