Let the Children Come to Me

Let the Children Come to Me May 14, 2024

Since last year, my family has been attending a ministry called Children’s Rosary at our parish. Every second Sunday of the month, families come together for thirty minutes to pray the rosary before Mass, led by the children. What’s unique is that Children’s Rosary is an international movement, growing in multiple countries!

brown rosary
Marco Ceschi/Unsplash

It’s been a learning curve figuring out how to keep our two-year-old son still for a whole half hour before Mass! However, each Sunday gets a little bit easier, certainly with the help of the Blessed Mother. As we pray the rosary in the parish chapel, I think about Christ’s words in Matthew’s gospel:

“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; 

for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

— Matthew 19:14

a statue of a woman holding a child under a tree
Anna Hecker/Unsplash

When children are in our company, especially in prayer, do we give them an opportunity to participate? Better yet, do we give them an opportunity to lead? The Association of the Miraculous Medal, an apostolate of the Congregation of the Mission Western Province, provides great tips on praying the rosary as a family:

  1. Choose a prayer space to pray that is best for everyone
  2. Adorn the space with sacramentals and religious articles
  3. Find a posture that is most comfortable and conducive for prayer
  4. Have something to look forward to after the rosary (i.e. dessert, game night)
  5. Invite people to take turns choosing the location, decorating the space, or even leading a decade of the rosary
efmale statue

The month of May is dedicated to Mary, a time to reconnect and deepen our relationship with the Blessed Mother. When I reflect on the relationship of the rosary and family, I often go back to St. John Paul II’s apostolic letter, The Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The widely-recognized phrase “the family that prays together stays together” is found here . St. John Paul II notes that praying the family Rosary is a means of filling daily life with different images, mysteries of the rosary. He says:

The family that recites the Rosary together reproduces something of the atmosphere of the household of Nazareth: its members place Jesus at the centre, they share his joys and sorrows, they place their needs and their plans in his hands, they draw from him the hope and the strength to go on. (no. 41)

Thomas Oboe Lee/Wikimedia Commons

My wife and I can’t help but step in the shoes of Joseph and Mary, watching Jesus grow up and experience life with innate curiosity. It’s a tender moment to step back and appreciate the mystery of life that Joseph and Mary were brought together to raise. Similarly, my wife and I remember to appreciate being present to our son as he roams and explores his environment. The moment of pause is important! St. John Paul II continues:

To pray the Rosary for children, and even more, with children, training them from their earliest years to experience this daily “pause for prayer” with the family, is admittedly not the solution to every problem, but it is a spiritual aid which should not be underestimated. (no. 42)

Taking a pause for prayer is something that my wife and I make a daily effort to cultivate in our home. Though my son cannot speak yet, his vocabulary continues to grow as he strings more words together. When the second Sunday rolls around and we step into the chapel, my family knows this is the time to pray and be together. When Christ invites the children to come to him, perhaps he does to remind us that the invitation is a time to pause and be present, no matter what else is taking place in life.

brown grass near body of water during daytime
Giorgio Trovato/Unsplash

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