A meditation on the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary for a family who will be moving soon.
We’re counting down the days until the big move.
Everyone has something to be excited for: a new job, a new house, a lovely yard, and a welcoming neighborhood. We have an ice cream store and a beach right down the road. Five plus parishes to choose from.
But the upheaval in our life is undeniable. We’re all feeling the stress of moving away from family and friends. The house is a mess. And our emotions can be even messier.
We’ve been praying through the transition, but it usually looks something like this:
Everyone takes turns saying their intentions. Somebody brings up praying for our move. We proceed with all the Our Fathers and Hail Marys of the Rosary.
We talk about it with our kids sometimes. But the other day something clicked in my head. We needed somebody to relate to. And we needed more grace.
So who should we turn to?
The Holy Family, of course.
We sat down for our nightly family Rosary, and I decided to mix it up. To go deeper and dive into this move during our time of prayer. Instead of asking for free-for-all intentions, each member of the family shared two things about the move: one thing they were excited for, and one thing they weren’t.
Then we launched into the Joyful Mysteries. But we paused before each and reflected, out loud, together, about the Holy Family’s experience and how we could relate to it in our life right now.
They really went through a lot. They were quite the mobile family. The perfect examples for us to learn from, to turn to for advice, and to ask for their intercession.
It was an absolutely beautiful family Rosary. We took our time, and talked about our thoughts as they came up. I prompted the kids to share how they thought the Holy Family felt.
The Holy Family was scared. They were sometimes excited. They were tired. It wasn’t fair.
But they navigated it all with heroic virtue.
Let us pray…
The Angel appeared to Mary with a calling, an invitation. Gabriel invited her to become the Mother of God. We don’t usually get an Angel to tell us exactly what God expects of us. So Mary’s call, while very clear, was also very important. And, I imagine, a bit overwhelming.
Mary was engaged to Joseph, so naturally she had to tell him about the baby. Since they weren’t married yet, Joseph decided to call the whole thing off. Out of fear, he was going to run away. Mary didn’t fight him, but she trusted in God and stuck to her decision to follow His Will.
Then God sent an Angel to tell Joseph: “Hey, it’s okay, marry the girl.” He explained the situation to Joseph, to help calm his fears. And St. Joseph responded with grace, by accepting his vocation as the foster father of Jesus.
Sometimes, God calls us to do scary and difficult things. He invites us to follow Him on an unexpected journey. Right now, we’re getting ready to move. It can feel scary and overwhelming, and sometimes we want to run away from all the stress.
During this mystery, we ask Mary and St. Joseph to pray for us. Please intercede for the grace to face this move with faith and strength. Help us embrace God’s will for our family with our whole hearts, like you did. We ask God to calm our fears and give us the courage to answer His call.
When Mary found at that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant, she set out right away to visit her. She walked 80 miles, and the trip took her 4 or 5 days! She stayed with her cousin for 3 months, until John the Baptist was born.
What a long trip! What a long time to spend away from her family and her soon-to-be-husband. But Mary didn’t hesitate. She packed up and set off “in haste.” That means she went right away, in a hurry. Mary was excited to follow God’s will, and travel where He wanted her to go.
Thankfully, we don’t have to walk everywhere we need to go. We may be moving far away, but we have cars and boats and planes to get us there.
During this mystery, we ask Mary to pray for the graces we need during our move. Please intercede for us for the grace to pack our boxes and bags and move willingly. Traveling can be hard, and you understand that. But you were excited to go, anyways. Help us find ways to be excited about moving and following God’s will.
Mary was 9 months pregnant when she had to travel to Bethlehem for the census. I can’t imagine she really wanted to go anywhere just then. She probably would rather have stayed home with her family and rested while she waited for the birth of her baby.
There were difficult things waiting for her in Bethlehem. It would be hard for her, because the trip was long and she would be bouncing on a donkey the whole way there.
Then there would be nowhere nice to stay. All the inns were full. She would have to give birth in a cold stinky stable. It would be hard to adjust to life in the crowded city with a newborn baby.
But there were exciting things to look forward to, too. A new baby is one of the happiest joys in the world. Mary couldn’t wait to meet the baby Jesus and hold Him in her arms.
When we move, there will be difficult things and exciting things. It will be hard to adjust to a new routine in a new home in a new town. But it will be an adventure too. There will be cool new places to visit and things to do.
In this mystery, we ask Mary to pray for us through the hardships and joys. Please ask Jesus to give us the grace to adjust to life in a new place. To help us build new routines and learn all the things we need to know to settle into our new home. And help us focus on all the exciting things we have to look forward to. Especially, may we take comfort in our family, just as Mary took comfort in the support and presence of St. Joseph in her difficult journey.
Mary and Joseph were just fulfilling their religious duty. They brought Jesus to the temple to offer Him to the Lord as the law told them to. It was a very special day, and they probably thought it would be a pretty quiet one.
Then they ran into some strange new people.
First there was this really old guy. He was standing around watching people go in and out of the temple when suddenly the Holy Family caught his eye. So he snatched up the baby Jesus and started saying some crazy things about Him.
This child will be the downfall and rise of many. A sword of sorrow will pierce your heart. Now I can die in peace.
What an unexpected encounter!
Then there was the widow prophetess. She took her turn ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the baby Jesus, and then she turned and told everyone else about Him too.
How did Mary and Joseph respond to such interesting new friends? I’m sure they were a bit taken aback. But at the same time, they put virtue into practice. They were kind and loving to these well-meaning strangers. The strangers were, after all, inspired by God.
In this mystery, we ask Mary and Joseph to help us out as we meet new people in our new homes. We ask them to pray for the grace of an open heart. Even when people seem weird or different, we desire to see God in them. Dear Jesus, please help us make friends that will always point us to You.
The Finding in the Temple
The Holy Family did a lot of traveling in their life. They had to go to Bethlehem for the census. Then to Egypt to escape Herod’s plot to kill baby Jesus. Then back home to Nazareth. And every year, a trip to Jerusalem for the Passover.
So much packing and moving around.
I bet they really enjoyed the time they got to be with family. There’s something so special and familiar about spending time with your family. It’s a comfortable and comforting feeling.
So it’s no surprise to me that Mary and Joseph got a little distracted by their family and left tween Jesus behind in Jerusalem. Suddenly, they realized He was missing. They searched all around their family and friends and didn’t find Him.
Finally they had to travel back to Jerusalem, and they found Jesus there in the temple. “Didn’t you know I must be about my Father’s business?” He asked them.
Sometimes, we get so caught up in our comfort zone of family and friends, that we’re not “being about the Father’s business.” In those times, we have to redirect ourselves. We have to run back to the Father, to the Church, to our Faith, and seek God’s will in prayer.
In this mystery, we ask Mary to intercede for us that we may have no distractions in following God’s will. As we move away from family and friends, please help us to redirect our lives towards God. Pray that we may re-discover Jesus, just as you re-discovered Him in the temple.
Pray Through Your Experiences
Whatever you’re going through right now, I encourage you to pray through it. Not just to state your intentions and pray as usual, but to dive in. Go deep. Reflect on how the mysteries of the Rosary are similar to what you’re experiencing, and asking for the graces to respond with courage and virtue.
This type of Rosary meditation is good for so many situations. We’ve already used it to pray through the transition of having a new baby in the house, and I have a brainstorm list of other family situations to use it in.
It’s great for starting deeper conversations than how-are-you-I’m-fine, and drawing out emotions from kids who are normally reluctant to share.
It helped us remain focused and meditate deeper. We were able to imagine how to apply virtues in our life. And we felt the outpouring of grace on our family.
If you’re moving soon, like we are, print out these reflections as your starting point. Read them out loud to your family, or use them as a starting point for your own personalized meditation.
Pray through your life experiences. It makes a big difference when we step out of the routine of prayer, and have a personal conversation with our family and with God. The Rosary has so much to teach us.
It’s time to dig in.
Sign up to get more great prayer resources delivered to your inbox: