“Can you talk about the mystery?” We hear that phrase every single morning. I can depend on it almost as much as I can depend on her asking for breakfast as soon as her eyes open. This year our family committed to beginning our day with a decade of the Rosary, and from day one, our three-year-old has asked us this question. Most days it comes before we even announce the Mystery, and she’ll ask it again if our answer isn’t comprehensive. It doesn’t matter that we’ve prayed these mysteries over and over now; she wants to talk about it every time.
At first we tried to keep our reflections short and sweet, but Miss Curiosity always has questions. Why did Jesus get lost in the Temple and not hold his mom’s hand? Why did they run out of wine? After a month or two, her questions started to go a little deeper as she imagined the mysteries more vividly. What do thorns feel like? Why did Jesus have to die? Soon we were spending more time talking about the mystery than praying the decade, but we noticed that there were far fewer complaints about prayer time, and we were more focused together.
Her natural curiosity has completely changed the way we approach the Rosary because her questions give us the chance to talk about deeper things, such as practicing virtues, remembering people who need our prayers, and trusting God even when we are nervous or afraid. It’s also made the Gospel come to life in a new way as they imagine the earthly life of Jesus. They recognize the mysteries in sacred art or in the Mass readings and they can recall what we’ve talked about.
But perhaps the greatest fruit in all this has been the opportunity each day to talk about the faith together and to practice sharing that faith with each other. Often, when the younger one asks me to talk about the mystery, I’ll turn to our older daughter and ask if she can respond to her sister, or vice versa. It is sweet listening to them talk back and forth about what Jesus’ life and describing in perfect little girl detail (including what color sparkles Mary must have had on her robe). I’m glad that this little bit of time each day is helping them to know Jesus and preparing them to share the joy of the Gospel with others.
How do you help your children reflect on the mysteries of the Rosary?
Copyright 2019 Megan Swaim