I felt the need to pray a whole rosary (5 decades) for the salvation of my family. But I felt like praying 3 Hail Marys instead. Yet my conscience kept bugging me to say the rosary because I always picture at the end of time God saying ‘‘you had time and didn’t want to pray the rosary, your prayers weren’t sufficient for your family’s souls’’ and stuff like that. To be completely honest, the Rosary is kinda dry and labourous at times because I can’t fully focus on the mysteries.
I know that there was no obligation that we had to pray a rosary for our family’s souls, even a simple prayer was good enough. But there was one night where I had the time to pray a rosary for my family but I chose to do other things instead because it was ‘‘too wearisome’’. Would this be a grievous sin against sloth or charity? Or both?
I usually pray 3 Hail Marys every night for the souls of my family, but this one night as I described I did not do either.
(Also my family is lukewarm and haven’t went to confession for many years)
Personally, I would say this was not a sin, as I would assume there was not an intent to do harm. In the end, God is not a Coca Cola machine you insert certain amount of cents into and good things come up. In other words, true 3 Hail Marys can bring as much or more than a dozen Rosaries (I do not want to diminish the power of Rosary, which I like much and have received so much grace via) . It is all about grace of God.
That being said, this is definitely something you should cover with your confessor or priest in general, as they will much more know your situation and disposition and will be able to interact (plus have much more experience, needed God’s gifts and education than I do). Since even if this was not a sin, it is something worth processing to move you forward on your ways to God.
The way to escape “I don’t feel like it” and also “I felt the need” is to remember who you are, a servant of the Lord. (The word Lord implies a servant of the Lord - if you say “You are my Lord”, you are also implying, “I am Your servant”)
A servant does not do his doings based upon his own will or desires or feelings, but pays attention to his Lord and fulfills the words and intentions of his Lord.
Is it your Lord’s will that you pray for your family? Then, "behold, I am your servant Lord; as you desire of me in my service, 'Hail Mary… ’ " 53 times.
Instead of “what do I feel like?”, ask, “Who am I, Lord?” and in your question is the answer, “If you are my Lord, then I am your servant”.
And one day also he will say to you, “No longer do I call you ‘servant’, but I call you ‘Friend’”.
Grave matter is mortal sin if deliberately freely committed in full knowledge.
Grave matter is mentioned in the Catechism (free to read online, read all the chapters on the Commandments and you will have a greater understanding of venal vs mortal sin).
It is not grave matter to pray 3 prayers instead of 5.
Grave matter consists of breaking the commandments, eg: fornication, masturbation, pornography, stealing, using Gods name in vain, adultery, absolute willed envy of someone,
And the Catechism lists sub categories under each of these sins, eg: do not kill also means don’t have a deliberate willed hatred/ unforgiveness of someone.
Honour the Sabbath also means: go to confession at least yearly during the Easter season, not to receive Eucharist in mortal sin, not to deliberately hide mortal sins in confession, to do the Ash Wednesday and Good Friday fast, to do some form of penance on Fridays of the whole year, to not eat meat on the Fridays during lent, to attend mass on holy days of obligation, etc