The past several months have brought upon challenges and changes that have disrupted our normal routines. This time has caused us to slow down, stop, and reevaluate all areas of our lives, particularly our spiritual lives. With churches closed and the sacraments unavailable, we’ve been given the opportunity to reconsider the importance of the domestic church.
According to the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, “The family is, so to speak, the domestic church.” (Lumen Gentium #11) This means that it is in the family where we first learn who God is and how to seek His will in our lives.
While churches open back up and the sacraments resume, it is important to remain aware of the significant influence the domestic church has on our families and the world. Prayer and faithful discussion in the home sets the foundation for a life of true devotion and attentiveness to the voice of God.
If you aren’t already setting aside time to eat together, this is the first step. Jesus was intentional about communing with the Apostles at dinner. It was there where He instituted the Eucharist. When we take time to commune with our families, we grow in intimacy with one another and learn more fully what it means to be in communion with God.
To love God is to know God. Being mindful of the ways He blesses us in our everyday lives allows us to develop a deeper trust and understanding of His goodness and faithfulness. Gratitude has been described as the “gateway” to spiritual discipline. It not only allows us to reflect on the things God has given us, but it makes us more aware of His love.
Struggling to get your little ones to sit still and stay focused during the rosary? Gather the family after dinner, grab your rosaries, and engage both your physical and spiritual being while praying a walking rosary. Take time at the beginning to set your intentions for the rosary, and then take turns reciting each decade. Encourage your family members to focus on the mysteries and meditate on the fruit associated with each.
Your children should know that worshipping God is your family’s top priority. Attend Sunday mass weekly as a family, even while on vacation. Encourage family members to participate in the mass by reciting the prayers and singing, or even consider encouraging them to participate in the choir or as a lector.
The sacrament of reconciliation is also a beautiful opportunity to be strengthened and renewed as a family. Set aside time monthly to attend the sacrament together, and make it a celebration. Frequenting the sacrament with your children will help ease their fears and emphasize the gift of God’s merciful love.
Talking freely about the presence of God in the home allows your children to understand that faith is not something to check off a to-do list once a week. Rather, it is a relationship that requires thought, attention, and time. Beginning with one of the prompts below, you can open the door to deeper conversation within your family and your relationship with Christ.
You are your children’s first encounter with Christ and His Church. It is your responsibility as their parents to remind them of their inherent goodness and worth, while pointing them to the one who loves them above all things.
Thank you for the ways you love and serve your family and the Church! Please share your favorite ways to pray as a family below.
For more ideas on how to build up your domestic church, visit https://www.kofc.org/en/what-we-do/faith-in-action-programs/family/family-fully-alive.ht
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