Life is about to get busier for the families of elementary and high school students for sure this month, but that does not mean your faith falls to the wayside. Summer tends to bring people together with vacations, family get-togethers and fun. Fall has its benefits though with the structure of school schedules, religious ed, and sacramental preparation. Here are ways to keep the faith during the busy months of September and October.
Daily grace before meals
When kids and families become more occupied with studies, sports, and other activities, grace before meals as a family is essential as a time of prayer. Perhaps spending extra time in prayer at grace before other meals of the day such as breakfast and lunch is an additional opportunity for prayer. Most people associate grace before meals at dinnertime, but praying it more often is wonderful way to grow closer to God and one another.
Weekly gospel reflection evenings
Making the time to reflect on the upcoming Sunday Gospel reflections is another opportunity to pray as a family. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website offers resources for families to experience Lectio Divina to think and pray deeply on the Sunday readings for Mass. Selecting one day during the week where every family member is available to participate in this time of reflection will keep it as a steady family meeting each week. When your family attends Mass on Sunday, the discussion that happened during the week will aid you in your love of Christ and of the gospel message.
Attending Mass together as a family unit
Nothing is more important in family life than attending weekly Mass together. It is not always possible for every member to attend together every week for varied reasons, however doing this as often as possible is a tremendous blessing for all. If you have not done it yet, pick the best Mass time for your family to make the commitment to attend Mass each week as a family unit. Perhaps, have a special meal together after Mass either at home or at a favorite local restaurant. The family that prays together certainly does stay together, and the Mass is the most sacred and highest form of prayer.
Make it a point to be consistent as a family in terms of your faith life. Cut back on activities if your family is not finding the time to pray together and attend Mass as a family each week. Pray about the ways you and your family can grow in faith, hope, and love to stay centered on love of God and of others. Place the sacramental life as the most important part of each of your days and that of your family, and you will find yourself deeper in love with your faith and with one another.
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