Archive for ‘tips and advice’
Have you taken a family pilgrimage lately? This ancient Christian practice is spiritually edifying. Investigate pilgrimage sites near you, like a shrine or major church, and make plans to visit.
Honor Martin Luther King, Jr. today by serving others somehow, maybe someone “forgotten” by society (the homeless, elderly, disabled, etc.). Children will learn from your example.
“As a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you.” (Is 62:5) A couple’s wedding day “glow” is a sign of God’s love for his people – what a beautiful reminder of the sacramentality of marriage. Even after many years, do you rejoice in your spouse? Pray for those graces today.
Balancing the budget tip: practice the $50 / 24-hour rule. Before buying anything over $50 (or set your own amount), wait 24 hours to see if you *really* need it. This cuts down on impulse buying and gives you time to think.
Help strengthen marriage by remembering your friends’ and family members’ wedding anniversaries. A simple “congratulations” by phone, text, email, etc., lets them know you value their commitment and are praying for their marriage.
Courtesy goes a long way in marriage. Pope Francis calls “May I?” one of the three “magic words” of family life. Being polite and kind to your family members is always a good idea.
“Do not let the sun set on your anger.” (Eph 4:26) Great biblical advice! Even if an issue is not completely resolved, make it a point to say “I’m sorry” and “I love you” after an argument and before bed.
“The family is…the place where an individual can exist ‘for himself’ through the sincere gift of self.” – St. John Paul II, Letter to Families, 11. Are people in your family cherished for their inherent goodness, beyond any “usefulness” or skills they bring to the family?
We’re back in ordinary time now – but remember that daily marriage and family life is anything but “ordinary”. It is a sacramental sign of God’s presence in the world and a way to show Christ’s love in the little moments of daily life.
“He saved us through the bath of rebirth.” (Ti 3:5) As we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, remember each of your family members’ baptisms, too. Share stories from each other’s baptism days, bless each other with holy water, and enjoy a special celebratory treat together.
Tomorrow is the last day of the Christmas season. One last chance this year to sing Christmas carols, enjoy Christmas treats, and rejoice in our Lord’s birth!
“Fatherhood and motherhood represent a responsibility which is not simply physical but spiritual in nature.” – St. John Paul II, Letter to Families, 10. Parents, take seriously your task in nurturing your children’s faith. Godparents are a great help here.
One practical way to help the poor this month: keep in your car or purse some small toiletries and snacks to give to a homeless person you may encounter. A smile and word of kindness are great gifts, too.
Today is the traditional date for the Epiphany, when the three wise men brought gifts to the baby Jesus. Can you give a gift to someone you love today? Maybe the gift of kind, uplifting words to your spouse?
There is a beautiful blessing for the home on Epiphany (or near that date): “May all who enter this home find Christ’s light and love.” Visit www.usccb.org/christmas for the full blessing.
January is poverty awareness month. How can you as a family help the poor, especially those in your own community? At the least, remember in your prayers today those who are struggling to meet their basic needs.
“Go and search diligently for the child.” (Mt 2:8) Despite Herod’s evil intentions, his words in themselves are true. During the Christmas season and always, let us “search diligently” for the Christ Child through prayer and service to others.
For family prayer today, invite the pope into your home by reading out loud his Christmas homily, found on the Vatican website www.vatican.va. (Search under Pope, then Homilies.)
Today on Mary’s feast day, ask our Blessed Mother to bless your family throughout this new year. “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
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?
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.