(All Little Oratory posts here)
We’re doing a chapter twofer today, since I don’t really have a lot to say about Chapter 9, which is “Who prays and who leads prayer in the Little Oratory?”
In my house, currently, the one who leads prayer is me. The one who prays is also me, because I live alone. When I was growing up, my parents took turns leading the prayers. When we were in the car going to school, Dad lead the prayer. At home, mom usually still leads the prayer before meals, and other prayers, it was whoever felt like it.
Chapter Nine says that the “women is the heart of the home”, but also that the “family needs this masculine side of things in the same irreplaceable way that they need the feminine. The family needs leadership and a strong example.” (108, 109) I really suggest that you read chapter 9, because one, it’s short (ha) and two, it’s beautiful writing.
Chapter 10 addresses difficulties you may have in the house, from actually making a prayer table (finding a space, keeping it clean, etc. ), having time to pray, “making” children behave during prayer time, and the well-balanced spiritual life.
Basically, whether you have kids or not, a husband/wife or not, you need to make time to pray every day. This is sort of nonnegotiable if you want to have a relationship with God that is deeper than surface area stuff. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just like the oratory doesn’t have to be elaborate. But you do need to pray. We’ve talked about lots of different types of prayer throughout this series, and some of them will speak to you more clearly than others. But prayer is non-negotiable. Start small, but start.
If you’re worried about kids not paying attention–it doesn’t really matter. I’m sure–I know–my brother and sister and I didn’t always pay attention during family rosary. Sometimes we forgot where we were in the mysteries, or sulked because we wanted to watch Rugrats, or were thinking about the sleepover we were having that weekend. Whatever. But he important thing is that our parents prayed with us, on a pretty regular basis. There were Catholic statues in our home. We had holy water fonts in our bedrooms. Prayer was something we did on a regular basis, and it was something we saw our parents doing on a regular basis. We each had our own rosaries and had Catholic movies we watched to learn about the saints. Eventually, all of this seeps in, and we remember these things. Sometimes you may despair of them learning anything (I teach first grade CCD, I know about this), but you’ll be surprised at how much they are actually learning and absorbing. Your example is a powerful one. Make it count.