Linking up with Blessed is She today!
Disclaimer: this is such a little thing that it hardly warrants an entire blog post, but it has made a difference for me and might perhaps be helpful for someone else as well.
My devotion to praying the rosary daily started out as a Lenten cop-out.
For Lent I gave up listening to the radio in my car so that I could increase the amount of silence in my day. As Lent wore on, the sacrifice got more and more tiresome. I already listen mainly to Guadalupe Radio, and I was missing some of my favorite faith-building shows and podcasts. Enter the tweak.
My little compromise was this: I can only listen to the radio after praying the rosary.
This practice has been so fruitful and beautiful that it actually outlasted Lent! Praying while driving has always been good for me because I have a hard time sitting still and listening when I’m in my house. While driving my brain is still and focused, and perhaps more importantly my kids are strapped down. Ahem. Buckled up.
Admittedly some days I am more focused than others. I think that’s just how it goes, always.
So this is how it works for me. I grab hold of my rosary as I back out my driveway, and hold it in one hand while I drive with the other. When I get to my destination, I mark my place with a bobby pin. When I get back in the car, I finish praying.
Another help: the Rosary Army podcast. Before my conversion I received my first rosary from them for free and downloaded the podcast which consists of a man and woman praying the rosary. It’s a great help for those occasions when you aren’t able to count the beads yourself, or if you’re a newb and don’t know the prayers by heart!
One more: I sometimes find myself wanting to pray the rosary while I am cooking or cutting vegetables and it’s difficult to hold a rosary in hand. Those times I count out 10 beans and just move them back and forth from one pile to another on the counter to keep count.
Daily prayer with toddler and baby has been going surprisingly well. I’ve been getting the little pebbles together every morning after breakfast. We gather around the little oratory, pass around the rosaries and light our Candlemas candle. We pray. I promise toddler that she can blow the candle out. No one’s long, silky hair has caught on fire yet. We try to keep the fighting to a minimum. I consider it a win. The whole process takes us about five to ten minutes. We keep it simple at Casa Stone.
The surprising thing that I’ve noticed so far is the extent to which Lillian enjoys the ritual. She likes things done in the same way every time, and everyone has to have the same rosary. She can almost make the sign of the cross.
One thing I’ve struggled with is figuring out which prayers I want to pray daily. I knew I wanted to pray the morning offering, but I couldn’t remember the words…so I created a little printable cheat sheet for myself! I meant it to be printed as a 4×6 so that I could use it as a prayer card to keep tucked away and then nipped out when I needed it.
To print a copy for yourself, just click on the image to view the full size and then right click to save the image. Enjoy!
This week I have been thinking about teaching my Lillian how to pray.
I have found it tricky (on the level of defusing a bomb) to be a Christian out loud in front of my children, and in secret in front of my husband. Sometimes it’s like living with a divided heart. Oliver does not enjoy seeing religious images popping up in our house. And yet I enjoy seeing beautiful reminders of my faith throughout the day. Our little compromise is this: I can hang up crosses received as a gift, and I can put some images in my bathroom and on the wall immediately above my little bedside table.
It’s a small space, but I am trying to turn bedside table area into a little oratory so that we can have a beautiful focal point to gather in front of after breakfast to start our day. (For more info about oratories plus picture inspiration, go here!)
So far I have a crucifix, an image of the Visitation of Mary from The Little Oratory book which I won in a giveaway and a print of the Holy Family that I got from Edel last year (Lillian LOVES that one!). I can’t afford very much, and my husband wouldn’t be comfortable with anything too “shriney” popping up in our bedroom. I keep thinking that I may as well create some images for myself!
So here is a one-two punch: the prayer Anima Christi and the Sacred Heart of Jesus all in the same image! These two do not technically go together, but as with so much in the Catholic faith they still kinda do! Click on the image to view the full size, and right click and save if you would like a copy of this 5×7 printable image for yourself! Enjoy!