After another full, fun week of learning and play, Saturday afternoon brought my children and I back to our monthly our parish collaborative's Children's Rosary Club.
We had not been to the club for several months due to conflicting plans and, this month, we got there just as it was scheduled to start, only to find that, instead of the usual Children's Rosary crowd, there was a family baptism group in the church.
As I looked down to see the little babe all in white, I wondered if our Rosary Club meeting had been canceled or moved to another location. Before I could catch anyone's attention to ask, though, I noticed that the folks from the baptism were departing and the woman in charge of our club was heading to the altar. Whew! I had not mistaken anything.
We had prioritized Children's Rosary Club this month. It was happening. And I ended up so happy!
Because the special baptism had set our club activities back a bit, we had not, in fact, arrived just in time to pray the rosary Instead, we were early enough to help set up the small display that welcomes us at each club meeting.
How special it was to see Luke take precise care as he worked to align the club's Mary Statue, candle and vase just right. Since I had a camera in my bag from our morning outing, I snapped a quick photo of him doing so.
Of course, as soon as it was time to pray, I put my camera away. Admittedly, though, by the fifth decade, I was tempted to take it out again.
Jack did something that will long be etched in my mind's eye: he led a whole decade of the rosary for the small group of us gathered there!
Jack doing so was not only cute to me, but rather special. We've yet to have a month when Jack has fully participated in praying the entire rosary at our monthly club meetings. So, I was surprised when he whispered to me that he'd like to lead the final decade. (Granted, his enthusiasm to do so may have had something to do with his desire to use the microphone that our rotating leaders got to use!) Still, it was beautiful to hear Jack lead us in prayer.
Oh, to have a recording of Jack's delighted voice as he repeated the words about the mystery and then led the Our Father, ten Hail Mary's, Glory Be and Fatima Prayer! As his mother on earth, I found it so precious. I can only imagine what Our Mother in Heaven thinks when she hears each of us, her children, pray! Such sweet, heartwarming music.
Moreover, I can imagine how pleased Our Mother is each time she sees us bent in concentration as we pray or create with her son in mind.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of sharing such an experience with her.
After the Children's Rosary, my kids and I typically wait a half hour or so in the church in order to partake in the sacrament of Reconciliation. Because the kids are not exactly '"sit still" types of kiddoes, this half hour, followed by the time it takes for my older two to make their confessions and for me to do so as well can be challenging. For while my children honestly attempt to remain appropriately quiet, reverent, and respectful, they find it an honest struggle to do so.
The children's struggle, in turn, sometimes becomes my distraction. I admit, as much as I aim to concentrate on making a full, unrushed confession, my children's noises from the pews outside the confessional can make it hard to do so.
Such was not the case though.
I knew that Nina had found a prayer card, plastic medal and relic of St. Jude at the back of the church, which she was focused on as I entered the confessional. She had also spotted a Padre Pio prayer card and blessed oil, which delighted Jack by giving to him. And, Luke recalled that we had our nature notebooks and pencils in our bag, leftover from our morning activities. So, he busied himself with drawing. All, therefore, were quiet in the church.
Not only were they quiet, they were concentrated.
As I confessed, received absolution and prayed my penance, Nina, too, took up her pencil and notebook. When I returned to the kids, then, I found Nina and Luke completely engaged in drawing and Jack in watching them. In fact, they were so immersed in their work, that they did not pop up with boisterous relief as they usually do, ready to make a quick exit from the church to a place where they could use their voices and bodies loudly. Instead, they asked for more time to sit and sketch.
Nina observed the statue of Mary and the baby Jesus that we had put our Children's Rosary rose bouquet underneath.
Luke inspected the altar, imagined all of the implements used during the Mass and created an Altar Gang-like sketch.
Both caused me, and I would think, Our Lady, to smile.
I am so glad we made time to pray the rosary with other parents and children from our parish and to partake in the sacrament of Reconciliation yesterday. The graces of our choice became immediately apparent!
Undoubtedly, each person around the world that participates in the
Children's Rosary shares in special blessings. If you'd like to learn more about starting a Children's Rosary Group at your parish, simply contact Blythe Kaufman.
How might you choose to make time for faith traditions today and how might it enrich your day in simply ways or profound ones?