As we journey through this the Year of the Family, we have had various exercises meant to guide us to a greater appreciation for the family. In continuing this exploration of the family, today we will discuss prayer and the family.
In the 1940s, Al Scapone developed a slogan for the Roman Catholic Family Rosary Crusade, an initiative founded by Father Patrick Peyton, CSC. The slogan: “A family that prays together stays together.” Father Patrick’s mission was to spread the practice of families praying the Rosary together as a means of drawing closer to God, as a family. That was in the 1940s. Today, in our age of television and technology, praying as a family is even more important than ever.
When we baptize our children we promise to teach them our faith. A wonderful way to do this is to ensure prayer is a central part of the family’s daily rhythm. Start each day with a morning prayer and ask the Lord to bless your family throughout the day. Even if time becomes an issue, tracing the sign of the cross on your children’s forehead as they walk out the door will remind them that the Lord is with them. At meal times, in addition to the prayer before meal and prayer after meal, take a moment and have all present reflect on the particular blessings they have received that day. At bedtime, have the entire family pray the Rosary together. Have young children name those they wish to pray for, and older children pray for particular intentions.
Whether you pray the Liturgy of the Hours, attend Eucharistic adoration, pray the Holy Rosary, or simply trace the sign of the cross on your children’s forehead, make prayer “family time”. It will become a daily reminder that the love that binds our families together is rooted in our Lord Jesus Christ. Let me repeat the slogan of the Roman Catholic Family Rosary Crusade: “A family that prays together stays together.”