The family that prays together
PATRICK NOVECOSKY writes about instilling a devotion to the rosary in children . . .
by Patrick Novecosky
Almost six years ago this magazine ran an article in Defending the Faith on why Fridays (like Sundays) are different than every other day. That article changed me. It changed my family.
The article prompted me to go deeper on Fridays to honor the day when Christ gave everything for me. I talked to my wife about it, and we decided to pray the rosary together after we put our children to bed. We also decided to stop eating meat on Fridays year-round. And since I work across from a parish, I resolved to go to Mass on Fridays.
Maybe a week or two after we started praying the rosary on Friday nights, my son (who was seven at the time) crawled out of bed, got a drink of water and another goodnight kiss. As he came around the corner, he looked at us and asked, “What are you doing?”
“We’re praying the rosary,” I told him.
“Can I pray it with you?” he asked.
Being the suspicious father, I suspected he just wanted to stay up a little later than usual. However, I acceded to his request and he joined us on the couch.
I was dumbfounded. My boy wanted to pray the rosary with us! He happily joined us the following Friday. Then, just a few weeks later, my five-year-old daughter got out of her bed for a drink of water while we were praying. “What are you doing?” she asked. Our jaws hit the floor, but we knew God was up to something good.
To make a long story short, our Friday rosary has turned into a family tradition. With five children between the ages of 11 years and 10 months, it sometimes resembles a circus more than a prayerful gathering. But, despite the distractions of our toddlers, we’re doing it — and it’s marvelous.
I tell this story because prayer is the glue that binds us. It binds us to Our Lord, and it binds us together as the Body of Christ. Family prayer binds us to each other.
Prayer deepens our love and affection for our children, and it’s a training ground for them so they learn to make prayer a part of their daily lives. The Culture of Death is pressing in on all sides. Family prayer — and prayer among believers — is truly our nation’s only hope.
PATRICK NOVECOSKY is Legatus magazine’s editor-in-chief.