Archive for ‘Daily Marriage Tip’
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?
“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.
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.
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.
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. …”
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.
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.
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.
“Have no anxiety at all, but…make your requests known to God.” (Phil 4:6) Do you pray together as a family about the things that cause you anxiety? Praying out loud lets you hear what is in the hearts of your spouse and children.
On Our Lady of Guadalupe’s feast day today, enjoy Mexican hot chocolate with your family and say a rosary together. Even better, say some of the prayers in Spanish. “Dios te salve, Maria…”
Advent check-in #2: Take a look at your schedule the next few weeks. Is your family “booked” or split up most evenings, or do you have time to be together? There’s still time to make Advent prayerful and peaceful.
Have you set up your Christmas tree yet? The USCCB website has a beautiful blessing for the Christmas tree that is well-suited for family prayer. www.usccb.org/advent
“Prayer increases the strength and spiritual unity of the family, helping the family to partake of God’s own ‘strength’.” – St. John Paul II, Letter to Families. A great encouragement to pray together as a family today!
A simple prayer for the Domestic Church today: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!” Meditate on an image of the Miraculous Medal today with your family.
Generosity is a virtue, but too often couples overspend around the holidays and rack up credit card debt. Simple gifts are great, as is time spent together (always free!).
“Although they go forth weeping…They shall come back rejoicing.” (Ps 126:6) Every marriage faces times of sorrow and weeping. Trust in the Lord’s care for you as you await the promised time of rejoicing.
Holiday traditions tip #2: Enjoy coming up with (and tweaking) your family’s unique holiday traditions, and don’t be afraid to try something completely new this year. Over time it will become clear which traditions are keepers and which become amusing family stories.
Holiday traditions tip #1: For newlyweds, blending each other’s Advent and Christmas traditions is fun but also challenging. Take time to learn what your spouse’s childhood traditions are, and why they matter to him or her.
St. Francis Xavier travelled the world teaching the Gospel. Some families are called to this, but all families are called to be missionaries to their own members and all whom they encounter. How can you share the Gospel today?
Shorter days in the winter can make people feel sluggish or even depressed, with negative effects on family life. Try to spend some time outdoors on sunny days and keep your home well-lit and cheerful.
When you receive Christmas cards in the mail, pray that evening for the people who sent the card. Display the cards visibly in your home to remember those family members and friends throughout Advent.
Advent check-in #1: Does your family have a plan for Advent this year? Even simple traditions like the Advent wreath and Christmas crèche help prepare your hearts and home for the coming of Jesus.
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from…the anxieties of daily life.” (Lk 21:34) Advent is a time of watchful expectation. What anxieties make you “drowsy”? Talk about them with your spouse, and pray for peace.
You may be starting to think about what to get your beloved for Christmas. Consider a “Gift of Words.” Put 10 (25, 5, whatever) reasons that you love your spouse on separate pieces of colored paper and put them in a jar or envelope. Voila! A priceless gift from the heart.
The Thanksgiving feast is over, the house full of stuff or people. Or perhaps you’re traveling. In the holiday hectic schedule have you thanked God for a house to gather in, food to share, family and friends with whom to share memories?