There is such richness in our family experiences. It is important to take time to reflect, to name and to celebrate the presence of God in all our daily lives and to also recognise the presence of God in the troubles and difficulties of everyday life. In doing this we will be able to see the constant presence of God at the heart of our families.
Family life changes and what suits one family as to prayer and expressing their faith may not suit another. Families need to come together and decide together where and when they pray and how they pray. They need to decide what they are comfortable with when it comes to prayer or talking about faith or expressing it.
It may be that a family creates its own family prayer, that they pray the Rosary together, that they pray scripture together or they come together daily to simply reflect on their day. What is essential is that when families come together to pray, wherever it is, they must first remind themselves that God is there and then consciously place themselves in his presence, and ask him for help.
Praying and reflecting as a family at the end of a day may be as simple as asking each other to think about: What has made you happy today? What has made you sad, angry or sorry today? What has been difficult today? Who do you want to pray for? It is about taking a moment as a family to create a space to reflect on how God has touched each of their lives that day.
Another simple way to take a little time to reflect is to STOP!
Sorry – To say sorry
Thank you – To give thanks
Others – To offer prayers for others
Petitions – To offer petition requests either for ourselves or others
The resource ‘Family Spirituality’ offers guidance and a wealth of suggestions as to how families can deepen their spirituality amongst the challenges of everyday living. As Bairbre Cahill says in its introduction, it is not about putting God at the heart of your life as a family – God is already there – it is about helping recognize, name and celebrating His presence.
The Catechism tells us the Christian family is the ﬁrst place of education in prayer. Based on the sacrament of marriage, the family is the “domestic church” where God’s children learn to pray “as the Church” and to persevere in prayer. (‘Prayer in the Family’ by John and Beth Viatori p6). For young children in particular, daily family prayer is the ﬁrst witness of the Church’s living memory as awakened patiently by the Holy Spirit. (CCC, 2685).