While we often give much thought to how we can individually allow others to see Christ in us, it occurred to me that as a family we hadn’t really given this much thought. So, this Lent I want to focus on 5 qualities that we as a family consider important. Not only those that we feel we do well at, but those that we have to consistently strive towards.
Pray Constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17) “Pray without ceasing”//To this my youngest, Thomas age 9 said, “Oh I do that one all of the time! I pray in the morning before school that I will have a wonderful day, or if I have a problem. Then at night, I pray as a family and say and Our Father and Hail Mary’s as I fall asleep.” What a neat insight into my son’s spiritual life that this exercise had given me!
Speak Truthfully (Proverbs 12:22) “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,but those who are truthful, his delight”// Surprisingly here, Thomas added, “That one can be tough because sometimes I say yes or no to questions before I really think about whether I have done what is being asked” “So, I pressed, do you do this on purpose?” “No, I don’t really mean to- just answer because I am used to giving that answer..but sometimes I haven’t done what I am supposed to have done. ” Do, you try to fix that? To make your answer truthful by then doing it?” “No, and that is what I am working on”
Serve Faithfully (1 Samuel 12:24) “Serve him faithfully with all your heart, for you have seen the great things the LORD has done among you” // Our family places great importance on serving others both within the parish setting and in those we encounter. Over the past 12 years, though my service in various ministries has increasingly grown I find that I actually have more time. Or perhaps the time that I have apart from serving is simply more enjoyable because of the joy that it has given me. As a Eucharistic minister to the nursing homes, My husband has also stepped in to lead Why Catholic when needed and to serve at mass through the collection and communion. 15 year old Peter has been an altar server since 3rd grade and now serves additionally at mass in his school. Thomas helps me prepare for Children’s Liturgy and is fervent in supporting the missionary Childhood association and the needy in our area. I say this not to praise these works but to speak to the call to serve that we feel so profoundly.
Love Patiently (1 Cor 13:4) “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated”// Perhaps one of the most beloved wedding readings, it is so incredibly important to keep in mind in our families. Hand in hand with
Forgiving Generously, (Col 3:13) in “Bearing with one another and forgiving one another”// it requires being accepting of one another’s faults, failings and misgivings and meeting these with Love. This is a daily challenge for me as a mom, in my desire to lead with love while also helping to form them in their chosen paths in life. For my 15 year old it means committedly resolving this Lent to be kinder in his responses to his little brother, as he seeks to annoy. Without a doubt, I am sure that each of us can find ways to be more loving and forgiving to one another not only during this season of Lent but all year long!
In Peace and Love,