One young Catholic family on a Journey towards Intentional and Communal Sustainability. One Artist, one full time Mama and two babies, we'll tell you about all our successes, and failures, as we try to make it in our overly Consumeristic society on just the bare necessities.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Make It!- Making Room for the Rosary

As you may already know, we are a Catholic family. And today, October 7th, is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

It's also my dear sister's birthday.  Happy birthday, Genevieve!  I love you!

I am not nearly as devoted to the Rosary as I want to be, or as I should be.  But recently, I rearranged my house.  I do this pretty often, actually.  Maybe every month or so a room will be completely re-done, or partially at least.  So this is my "Make It" for today, even though technically I did this a few weeks back. 

Our Family Shrine, with Tryptic by Gwyneth Holsten
Make room, then Make A Room, for Jesus and Mary.

Joey and I have always had a small family shrine.  When we were engaged, Joey found a beautiful sofa table at a thrift store, then he ordered a Prie Dieu (or kneeler), and a Resin Crucifix. When we got married we lived in a 2 bedroom apartment.  There, our Family Shrine lived in our master bedroom. Since Joey lived by himself for several months before we got married, when I moved in, I basically filled the second bedroom with boxes from my apartment that I never got around to going through until we moved into our house. So the shrine stayed in the bedroom.  It was seriously dusty- both because it was under the air conditioner vent and because it was never used.  When we prayed together, we either did it on the couch in the living room, or anywhere else.  There was too much visual clutter and not enough space to properly use our beautiful little shrine.

a view from the kitchen door
Then, when I was 8 months pregnant with Charlotte, we bought and moved into our current home.  We set up the shrine in a prominent corner of the living room- and basically forgot about it.   I often prayed my rosary while rocking the baby to sleep, and Joey prayed his while riding the commuter train into class downtown, and when we did get the chance to pray together, it was often while we were lying in bed just before falling asleep- or more often, WHILE we fell asleep.

But I've become more and more convinced that it is more important, especially as Charlotte gets older, to pray our family rosary together, awake, and in a special place.  So I made one.

Tryptic by Gwyneth Holsten, Family Bible, our rosaries (Charlotte's is the prettiest don't you think?), Holy Water, a small Bible for study, and our Relic of St. Roch (not pictured are the statues of St. Roch and Our Lady of Victory)
In our house, we have a small dining room off of our kitchen.  We also have 2 "living rooms"- one in the front of the house connected to the dining room, and the other on the back of the house connected to the kitchen and garage.  I've made the back living room into a toy/play room, which has made my life so much easier!   All the toys have a place- in THAT room!  But the front room has been re-purposed a million times.  And that's where the shrine was.

So instead of having a tiny, squishy dining room and a useless living room, I switched them- partly.  I put the table on one side of the living room with a coffee area on the other side (2 comfy chairs and a table) and the loveseat, shrine and a bookcase in the dining room- now "sitting and praying" room.  The loveseat faces the shrine.  This is amazing!  Now, every time I sit down to nurse or anything else, there's Jesus, in my face!  I haven't failed to pray the rosary yet this month, and even better, Charlotte is reminding me when I do forget.  Yesterday, she brought me my rosary and asked to pray.  I love having that little Holy Minute (or 20) with her and Beatrice in the middle of the day or, like today, after dinner with Daddy too!
View from the new dining room into the old one

So, I made myself a space in my home for prayer, and I'd like to challenge you to do the same.  Not just a space in your schedule, because we all know how ever changing those can be when you have small children, and not just a place in your pocket where you forget about it until you wash your clothes, but in your home for you to share with your children and spouse, and anybody else who may be visiting.  Mother Teresa said "The family that prays together stays together, and if they stay together they will love one another as God has loved each one of them. And works of love are always works of peace." And our own Bishop Conley this week recounted the story of a friend who owed his marriage to praying the rosary together every day. 

From my coffee chair
So whether you pray the Rosary, which is a beautiful scriptural based method of meditative prayer, or some other form of prayer and meditation, make room for it in your life both spiritually and actually.

Good Catholic art (again, by Gwyneth) and a little Catholic Library round it all out.


  1. That really is Beautiful Family Altar!
    What a great idea! I've gotten to the point where every night I pray a decade with my "older munchkins"It's amazing how they "force me" to pray at night. What's sad is it's not that I don't want to,just that life kind of takes over.

  2. Thanks!
    I know what you mean about life just taking over. Especially with young children! As many times as I've made the resolution to pray the rosary every day, I've failed. But this seems to be working wonderfully! Try setting aside a special place for you and your older kiddos- maybe just where you keep your rosaries all together, maybe with a crucifix or small picture of Mary.

    This made me think- Prayer cards are much more than just slips of paper- they're tiny pieces of Holy Art! Especially if they're blessed! We framed a bunch of our favorites and have them lining the wall up our staircase where you typically put your family portraits. We tell guests that they ARE our Family Portraits, because the Saints ARE our Brothers and Sisters in faith! Find a few cheap $1 or $2 frames at the dollar store or Micheal's and frame up a favorite to sit with you in your new family shrine! Just because it's small doesn't make it just as important.

    Good Luck!

  3. We used to all sit together on our bed when they were fewer and smaller. I'll have to drop by and see it in person!