|9/18/2014 11:01:00 AM|
Family - School of peace, prayer, and joy
Even in the middle of a crazy day
Catholic News Service
A family is pictured on a field in 2013 outside their home in Nashville, Kan. The family and how it has changed in the last several decades will be under discussion when the extraordinary Synod of Bishops convenes at the Vatican Oct. 5.
Fr. Theodore LangeMOUNT ANGEL — One common experience we have in life is that some days are just hectic and some are just crazy. The drama of human life unfolds before us and catching up seems more like a fairy tale than something to live in the near future. The demands upon family time, work, sports, drama, music etc. can leave us without time to pray on a regular basis. Can you relate to this experience? In these times the Lord calls us back to himself in prayer and to experience his peace and joy. It is possible for a family to be a school of peace, prayer and joy, even in the midst of a crazy day.
Family prayer, especially the Holy Rosary and reading Sacred Scripture with an open and loving heart, is a way of inviting the Spirit of God into our families and allowing grace to work in our lives and change us from within. I think God wants to do so much in each family and prayer from the heart is like a fountain of peace in the home. Even if you currently are not praying as a family you can begin today. I believe one memory we would like to gift our children with is the memory of family prayer. This memory will be an instrument of grace and peace the rest of their lives. Even beyond a “gifting of memory” we are called to form our children to love God with all their hearts, souls, and strength (Lk 10:27; Mt 22:37) and to live as Jesus shows us in the Gospels.
In the Gospels we learn how to live and how to live in communion with the Love of the Father. We often times read in the Gospels that Jesus is in prayer. Why? He is teaching us how to live in communion with the Father. What a gift you can give your children — to learn to live in communion with the Love of the Father. So many blessings, gifts of the Spirit, virtues, strength, consolation and wisdom come from a life of daily prayer. Whether it is five minutes or 20 minutes the time to get back to daily prayer is today. Daily family prayer is essential for fidelity to the mission of the family in the modern world. Prayer brings your family under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, opens the door for mercy, peace and freedom. St. Paul writes about a peace that is beyond all understanding (Phil 4:7). If this is something you would like for yourself and your family then prioritize your life and make some tough decisions so that prayer is a meaningful part of your family. There are no secrets. Fidelity and love will bathe you in God’s grace. Fidelity to prayer imparts upon our children the discipline of prayer, sacrificial love, Godly priorities, and ultimately leads them to the greatest gift: the Joy and peace of being in communion with the Love of Our Father who art in Heaven (Mt 6:9; Lk 11:2).
The writer, a formation director at Mount Angel Seminary, attained a sacred theology bachelor’s degree from the Gregorian University in Rome in 2007. He has served in parishes in western Oregon.
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