I’d like to make some new resolutions about practicing the faith in our family during the year. Do you have any suggestions?
The family is the most essential space for the formation of values and character. Practicing your faith as a family can happen both internally and externally. Consistent prayer together builds habits that can last a lifetime. With younger children, praying together as a family in the evening or at dinnertime could be fairly doable most nights. In the evening, select a few common prayers such as the Our Father, Hail Mary, or Guardian Angel prayer. Ask each of your
children to thank God for three things that day and include a time for children and adults alike to pray out loud for special needs in your family. This practice could be done with older children, committed to intentional efforts in the midst of increasingly busy schedules. Look for other opportunities to practice the faith outside the home as well. Sunday Mass should already be part of your family’s weekly routine. Consider setting other monthly goals as well. This could be a family service project in your city, attending the sacrament of Confession together, or hosting a hospitality night in your home. Get your children involved in the planning process. Ask them where they’d like to volunteer or who they think is having a hard time and might need a special night just for them. Rather than simply imposing new practices, your whole family can have a dynamic role understanding and integrating faith and life.
Everyday Stewardship – Recognizing God in your Ordinary Moments
Practicing Graciousness in the Desert
Looking back over my journey of parenthood, I know there were days when I traveled the extra mile for my children. I made their toast the way they like it, let them play in the park an extra ten minutes, or let them go to the movies with their friends and I finished up the chores on my own. And then, it happened: the attitude. The request for the smallest thing from one of them is met with disdain or bewilderment.
Sometimes you can be made breathless with the ingratitude of another person who takes so much and with so little shame, only to scoff at the idea that they, too, give even the smallest amount. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, we will admit that we do the exact same thing to God. Haven’t we all been the Israelites in the desert at one point or another? God has parted our Red Sea in some way. He’s led us out of some great trial, given us some great blessings. But then we run into a little resistance somewhere along the way and we throw up our hands. How could you do this to us, Lord? How could you ask this of us? No, I can’t go any further. No, I won’t do any more. Persisting in the blindness to the many ways God continues to protect us is nothing short of a temper tantrum. It robs our Everyday Stewardship of its graciousness, of our ability to accept with joy the trials of life because we are also constantly aware of its blessings.
— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS