This actually happened this morning. Our 10-year-old was ready for school early (miraculous in and of itself) and I caught him on the couch with his rosary in hand, quietly praying the Divine Mercy chaplet!
Here’s how it happened. One of the best bits of parenting advice I’ve picked up over the years was to let your children “catch” you praying. Last year I decided to pray the Divine Mercy Novena starting on Good Friday and ending the Saturday before Divine Mercy Sunday. I was alone in our bedroom, but with the door open, sitting quietly on the bed praying the chaplet. Jack passed by and noticed me. He came in. ”Dad, what are you doing?” I explained and he said, “Can I do it with you?”
For the next eight days the whole family got into it and the kids (even the younger ones) looked forward to the prayer and didn’t want to miss a day. They loved having a rosary in hand and counting through the prayers. Way more focused than our normal nighttime prayer ritual. Some nights we did the whole chaplet together, other nights we would do a decade or two together, then I would finish after putting the younger ones to bed.
We did the novena again this year beginning on Good Friday, and once again all the kids were on board and excited. You can only imagine how surprised and excited I was when our 4th grader owned the prayer for himself. I am well aware of the influence parents’ actions have on their kids, even beyond our words. St. Therese of Lisieux was influenced by her fathers devotion and dedication. Blessed Pope John Paul II‘s devotion was forged by seeing his father’s example. And on and on with the Saints. What are we doing to truly be “Saint Makers”?