Family Matters

Don’t take a vacation from family prayer



It is the month of May. It is a time of transitions.

It is time for graduations, weddings and, soon thereafter, summer vacations. If our lives were not busy enough, they are about to get a lot busier.
Historically, May is also the Month of Mary. The words from the hymn, “Bring Flowers of the Rarest,”  which we sang in grade school, still echo in my heart: “Our voices ascending/ In harmony blending,/ Oh! Thus may our hearts turn/ Dear Mother, to thee;/ Oh! Thus shall we prove thee/ How truly we love thee,/ How dark without Mary/ Life’s journey would be.” 
What a shame it would be to fail to seize this traditional time of turning our prayers to Our Mother Mary!
One of the things so easily lost in our fast-paced lives is family prayer. For those of you who pray the rosary daily as a family, I am sure you realize the treasure you find in contemplating the mysteries of the rosary and praying to Mary to intercede with her Son for the graces we need each day.
I did not grow up with this tradition in my home. It wasn’t until my engagement and courtship with my wife Barbara that I was exposed to this spirituality. I often joked with people that, soon after we told her parents of our plans to be married, I heard her mom and dad praying the rosary. I figured that they weren’t happy with our plans. Barbara told me not to worry; they knelt by the bed and prayed the rosary each night.
When I visited her family in Pennsylvania, I saw a statue of Mary in her grandmother’s home and heard how that statue would travel to neighboring homes as families gathered to pray. Over the years as we visited her parents, everyone knew that each night at 8:30 p.m. all in the house would join in praying the rosary with Mother Angelica and the Sisters in Irondale, Alabama.
Why not begin this          “tradition” in our homes? Each night on EWTN, the rosary is prayed at 8:30 p.m. How about “downtime” as the family gathers to pray to Our Mother in heaven?  If you don’t have access to EWTN or Catholic Radio, just set a time, gather with your rosaries and pray.
I have always heard the personal development gurus say that doing something for 21 days will form a habit. There are 31 days in May.
On May 10, we celebrate Mother’s Day. Why not offer a gift of roses to Mom by praying the rosary for or with her that day?