2015 December, available at: ForYourMarriage.org

Archive for December, 2015

December 31, 2015

New Year’s Eve is a great time for a family “year in review.” What were some highs and lows from the year? How did you grow as a family? What do you hope for in the new year?

On the Nativity

In his weekly audience, Pope Francis spoke of the Child Jesus and how much he teaches all of us about humility and faith. He encouraged parents and grandparents to learn from their own children.

December 30, 2015

Little gestures go a long way: buying your spouse’s favorite treat, complimenting him or her, and so on. These are all simple ways of re-affirming your love and strengthening your bond with each other.

December 29, 2015

It’s still a good time for a Christmas movie. Both “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Carol” have family themes that can lead to good discussion afterwards. Or try a new movie – check out the list on the USCCB website.

December 28, 2015

Today’s feast day is a stark reminder of the evil in the world, even after the beautiful event of Christ’s Incarnation. Pray today for all the innocent children whose lives are threatened by abortion, abuse, or violence.

Homily on the Feast of the Holy Family

Pope Francis encouraged families to go on pilgrimage together and to make their homes places of prayer, drawing from the readings for the Feast of the Holy Family.

December 27, 2015

“As the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.” (Col 3:13) A big part of being a holy family is giving and receiving forgiveness. “I’m sorry / I forgive you” are part of the daily litany of the Domestic Church. Never hesitate to say these healing words.

December 26, 2015

Don’t take down those decorations yet! The Christmas season has only just begun. So keep playing Christmas music and rejoicing with your family at our Savior’s birth.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2015

“Today the Son of God is born and everything changes,” said Pope Francis on Christmas Eve. In his Urbi et Orbi message on Christmas Day, the Holy Father called for mercy and peace throughout the world.

December 25, 2015

“By his Incarnation the Son of God united himself in a certain way with every man.” – St. John Paul II, Letter to Families. Jesus draws near to you and your family. He lived in a family, and wants your family to be a little holy family too.

December 24, 2015

Spend time today amid the last-minute hustle and bustle to be prayerful and silent with your family in anticipation of Christmas morning. “O holy night, O night divine!”

December 23, 2015

Visiting extended family this Christmas? Consider proactively scheduling in time for a date with your spouse. Parents will have free and willing babysitters, and all spouses benefit from a brief time of reconnecting with each other.

Address to Employees of the Holy See and Vatican City

Pope Francis encouraged Vatican employees to take care of their families and to prioritize their relationships with spouse and children.

December 22, 2015

Shorter days and colder weather mean more time inside. Resist the temptation to be always “plugged in.” Winter evenings are great for family time: games, chatting, looking at family pictures, etc.

Created & Called Into Love

“God who created man out of love also calls him to love – the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being…Since God created them man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1604 Tommy was […]

Two to Tango

Troy and Kathleen Billings live in a rural western suburb of Chicago with their five beautiful children, ages baby to college bound, and have three little souls in Heaven. They met at the University of Notre Dame when paired up to perform a dance together for a Christmas show. It was not until several years later when, by the grace […]

December 21, 2015

Christmas can be a difficult time for those who lost loved ones recently or who are without a family. Is there someone your family could reach out to and encourage?

December 20, 2015

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb.” (Lk 1:41) Infants and young children can teach us so much about joy, trust, and the important things in life. Pray today to have the heart of a child, and give thanks for the children in your life.

December 19, 2015

One week left to sing Advent hymns! Browse online or in a hymnal and learn a new song as a family. “Savior of the Nations Come” and “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” have simple tunes.

December 18, 2015

Advent check-in #3: Are you spending more time praying or shopping for gifts this Advent? There’s nothing wrong with buying gifts, but there’s also still time left to make Advent prayerful and Christ-centered.

December 17, 2015

Walk or drive around your neighborhood to look at Christmas lights tonight. Afterwards over hot chocolate, read Isaiah 9:1-6 out loud: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. …”

How to Talk to Your Kids About Star Wars

Parents, take advantage of a cultural phenomenon to discuss some big topics with your kids, like bravery and sacrifice and temptation.

December 16, 2015

Advent is a time of waiting, and waiting is hard! Sometimes we wait for something that may never come (restored health, financial security, a child, reconciliation). As Advent shows, what we are really waiting for is Christ, who never disappoints.

December 15, 2015

Acting out the Christmas story as a family (or group of families) is a great way to experience the beauty and power of Jesus’ Incarnation. If acting isn’t your strong suit, reading the Gospel narrative out loud makes it come alive in a fresh way, too.

December 14, 2015

If you are doing a cookie exchange this year, go as a family to share cookies and visit with shut-ins and people having a hard time this month.

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2015 December, available at: ForYourMarriage.org
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