The family is the most valuable unit of society. Our families help us feel safe and accepted and it is where children are molded into responsible adults. The family lays the foundation that influences the course of one’s life in Christ. Spending productive family time is therefore important for every household because it strengthens and enriches one’s spiritual journey.
God uses our familial relationships to help us become the people He created us to be. He considers families as agents to change the world therefore he encourages us to participate in his plans as a unit. This is why family time must be treated as the most important part of our lives because this is the way we strengthen our relationship as a whole.
Nowadays, many Catholics face challenges that make it harder and harder for us to spend quality family time together. Despite all the distractions and responsibilities weighing us down, we need to find the chance to get together and celebrate sacred family time.
Here are some eight simple ways that we can celebrate sacred family time and grow together as members of God’s universal family:
Like daily meals, praying and saying the rosary must be done together. As a family, these practices do not only bring husband, wife, and children together physically, but also unite them spiritually. Family members may say their individual prayers, but asking for God’s grace and blessing as a unit can open their minds and hearts into His vision of them as a family. This is an opportunity to ask for guidance as they seek to heed His words and lead a fulfilling life.
Receiving the Holy Eucharist
Every Sunday and on Holy Days, Catholic families must make it a point to worship together. The Holy Eucharist is a source of love and one of the important elements at the heart of our Catholic faith. Receiving the Holy Eucharist as a family makes our spiritual bond stronger and it gives us the opportunity to talk about what the Eucharist means for us.
Going to Confession and Asking for Penance
As a family, we must realize the essence of asking for forgiveness for our shortcomings in whatever roles and responsibilities God entrusted to us, be it husband, wife, mother, father or children. Being imperfect individuals, we must be humble enough to confess and repent our sins. By doing this as a habit, we become more aware of our limitations and weaknesses and find a way to overcome them. This awareness also helps us lead a more balanced and virtuous life.
Cultivating Family Traditions
Families often have traditions that capture their faith in God and cultivate their love for one another. These include special gatherings on religious holidays like Christmas, Easter, and All Saints’ Day. Traditions, ideally, should focus on values and relationships rather than material things. Parents can use these traditions as teachable moments to highlight Catholic faith and values.
Joining Charity Events
God is our source of provisions and sustenance. It is our responsibility to give back what we have to others so that they, too, may know God’s grace. This is why doing volunteer work is good for families. As a family, we can choose a charity or cause that we believe in and invest our time and resources in this advocacy. Doing charity work is a wonderful opportunity to teach young ones about the importance of compassion, solidarity, and kindness.
Offering Support in Day to Day Activities
Simple activities like eating dinner together or watching a movie can go a long way in bringing family members closer. To be present in each other’s life requires effort and is a true mark of love. Supporting and attending one another’s recitals, games and life events are just as important as setting aside a particular day for big family events.
Having a Spiritual Talk
Communication is said to be the key to a harmonious relationship. Families benefit the most from this practice as it nurtures an open mind and heart from one another. Parents can make use of this time to assure their children of their love and support and encourage the young ones to open up about their problems or difficulties. It is also a time where they can read and learn God’s words together.
Reading Catholic Books and Other Media
Reading Catholic story books and devotionals together can keep us focused on God and the Church. While learning more about God’s word and plan, we will also be able to discuss the gospel values we learned from what we read. Media is becoming increasingly important in people’s lives so it is necessary for families to invest in media that will strengthen family ties and faith.
We must always cultivate love and intimacy in our homes and carry it outside through helping others and serving their community. Practicing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy is the mark of a true Catholic family.
Family time is a work in progress that requires constant effort and participation as well as the guidance of Catholic values. How do you spend sacred family time as a Catholic family?