Marriage & Family Life: Prayer doesn't have to be perfect
by Diocese of Des Moines | October 12, 2020
October is a month dedicated to our Blessed Mother, and on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, Pope Francis encouraged all of us to “rediscover the beauty of the prayer of the rosary, which has nourished the faith of the Christian people through the centuries.”
I took Pope Francis’ invitation to heart, because honestly this hasn’t been a strong devotion in my prayer life in recent years. My personal prayer time is usually filled with other things, and while I’ve always been attracted to the concept of the family rosary, with four small children at home this devotion has remained just that; a concept.
It’s not that my family doesn’t try to pray the rosary. It’s just that usually we can get through half a mystery before someone wanders off, a couple kids are fighting, someone is distracted (me as often as anyone), or there are tears. After all that struggle it is easy to feel like it’s just not worth it.
Pope Francis has reminded me, it’s worth it! Our Father receives and cherishes all our prayers, those prayed with great devotion, and those prayed while we are distracted, tired, and even at times rushed (no judgment)!
Often times at home, I’ll ask my kids to participate in some chore or task around the house. And their help is always a mixed bag. They sometimes work imperfectly, or they slow me down, or I find myself acting as a referee. Yet even if I feel like I could do the job more quickly, or better, without their help, I still delight in their participation. As a father, it’s a joy to share my work with my kids, and in that time together we share our lives with each other.
This is how God looks at us when we pray! It’s imperfect, certainly, and yet it is how God invites us to participate in his work, and it is how he shares his own life with us.
This month, Pope Francis has reminded us that our prayers matter, and that the rosary is an especially powerful prayer, especially in times of difficulty and trial.
So no matter how often, or how perfectly, you pray the rosary I hope you’ll join me in responding to the invitation of Pope Francis.
Let us grow in this beautiful devotion, so that as we reflect on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, “we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise!”