Column: Find time for faith in family’s busy schedule

Deacon Tony Zimmerman is the lead archdiocesan consultant for the office of marriage and family life.
Deacon Tony Zimmerman is the lead archdiocesan consultant for the office of marriage and family life.

by Deacon Tony Zimmerman

Labor Day has come and gone, signaling the end to our summertime and, with it, the vacations and times of relaxation and family fun.

Now we dive headlong into the daily grind of school days, children’s activities, sporting events and meetings, whether at church or school. Even grandparents find their time stretched as they try to attend a game or event of one of the grandchildren.

The new season of television shows with all the cliffhangers to be resolved and the new shows we are told we cannot miss are there to take up what little family time we have left with one another after a day of work, activities and homework.

As we try to fit all these things into our already busy lives, something else inevitably gets squeezed out. One of those things is daily family prayer. So how can we be sure to protect our family spirituality from being overwhelmed by all the demands we face each day?

One answer is time dedicated each day to a family recitation of the rosary. In eight days, we will enter the month of October, which is dedicated to the holy rosary. October 7 is the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary.

In the fifteen or so minutes we take as a family to pray to Our Lady for her help and intercession for the needs of our families, we will be blessed with two gifts.

The first gift is time to turn off and turn away from all the distractions of the day and spend time as a family, our “domestic church,” so that we might pray together for all our needs. Through the 31 days of October, we begin to instill in ourselves and our children the discipline of reserving a certain time each day for prayer.

This time of prayer is also a time of homework of a different sort for our children as we travel through the events of our salvation story through the four sets of mysteries which are prayed with the rosary.

The other gift that this devotion offers us is that age-old promise: The family that prays together, stays together. My mother- and father-inlaw have faithfully prayed the rosary together each evening through 62 years of marriage. All of their children continue strong in their faith.

Does this mean that a family who prays the rosary together each day will never face struggles? We know that struggles are part of life. But it keeps us close to our Mother Mary, who always stands ready to intercede with Jesus for the graces and support we need in our daily lives. Queen of the most holy rosary, pray for us.

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