On January 1, Mary's feast day, Monsignor really urged us all to make this year the Year of the Rosary in our homes. If you already say it daily, he said to really try to contemplate the mysteries and not just rattle off the words. And if you don't say it regularly...start. You can do it in baby steps, maybe just a family rosary once a week.
Then I read Mary's post about Our Lady and left a comment that made me want to write more about it here. Growing up, my family said the Rosary every night, from what I can remember. My parents said we could all say it while we were still toddlers, and every night around 7:00 my Dad would yell "Time for the Rosary!" and then he and my Mom would kneel down in front of our little altar setup in the living room and begin praying. All of us kids would come running from whatever we were doing and kneel down and pray with them. Sometimes as we became teenagers, we may have dreaded that nightly ritual and showed up a little late to the party. But my parents never said we HAD to pray the Rosary, they just announced when they were doing it, and we could join if we wanted. My Mom swears that the reason her six children all turned out so great is the Family Rosary and the Home Enthronement.
And so my own little family is trying to follow suit.
(old video...Maggie was 3, Eamon was 4, Andrew was 6, and J-P was 8)
We seem to go through cycles of saying the Rosary nightly, and then times where we can't seem to get our act together. But I promise you that on the nights we make sure to do it, I look around at my children praying and my husband leading them and I can't be any happier in those moments. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. Even though it's never a perfect recitation, I try to remember that the family that prays together, stays together, right? It is such a nice way to end an evening before tucking in the kids for bed.
Jen is sharing the link to her Saint Name Generator again, where you simply click a button, say a prayer, click again and "get" a Saint for the year. The database has lots of saints, and if you land on one you've never heard of, there's even an additional link to learn more about him/her. It's awesome and I don't know how people just create things like this...it's totally above my pay grade.
I decided I really wanted to take this to heart this year and make sure I not only picked a saint but continue to learn more about them and pray for their intercession in my life. So guess who I got? St. Gianna Beretta Molla!! I was so excited because I know her! When I was pregnant with Alexander, I was very interested in learning all about her, and got this book to read. Phil and I decided that if the baby was a girl, we would name her Gianna (and call her Gia). I love her because she was so pro-life, pro-family, and also worked outside the home. What a role model for me!
But then I panicked because St. Gianna is someone people pray to when they want to get pregnant. So if I focus my attention towards her, does that mean baby #6 will be coming in 2013? Maybe I just need to pray to her about being more open to another baby sooner than I plan ;)
Of course, being the dutiful wife that I am, I made Phil choose a saint for the year too. After praying for the Holy Spirit to pick a "good one", he got St. Dominic! Do you know what Saint Dominic's claim to fame was? The spreading of the Marian devotion of the ROSARY!
I think Our Blessed Mother is trying to tell us something.
And I am definitely listening :)