I started praying the rosary regularly in college. These familiar beads that I’ve long seen hanging from rearview mirrors and sitting on tables suddenly became more than a mere decoration once I fell in love with Jesus Christ. The rosary helped anchor me through the ups and downs of vocation discernment and directed my imagination as it wandered with reckless abandon in prayer. The Rosary hasn’t left my pocket since then. In fact, now I feel off-kilter if I don’t have it–along with my keys, wallet, and phone–when I head out the door.
Life’s certainly gotten more hectic with a growing family. Some days I can make it through a whole rosary, but often I claim victory if I make it through one decade prayerfully. Some days I use the beads in my pocket to pray the simple “Jesus Prayer” (“Lord Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner”) or I clutch them in intercession when my patience is tried by an obstinate student. They help me be that “contemplative in action” I strive to be.
My wife and I often pray a decade of the rosary with our kids before bedtime. When I say “with our kids,” I mean that we’re in the same room together while they run circles around us or injure themselves in falling off of pieces of furniture. For this season of life, it’s more important that our children see that their parents prioritize this devotion that one day (hopefully) they’ll be calm enough to sit through.
Whether it’s a cheap plastic Rosary or one made out of the finest cedar of Lebanon, I can’t encourage you enough to reclaim this ancient form of prayer and a true gift to the Church. Keep one in your pocket. Pray it with and for your family, because, as the saintly Padre Pio said, it’s the right weapon for these times.
“The Rosary is a long chain that links heaven and earth” -St. Therese of Lisieux