Many families in our Saint Brigid faith community, in recent weeks, have returned from summer vacations. Many of their children have enjoyed summer camps and other leisure activities, and have started another school year. As families settle into a routine, this may be a good time to remind families of the need for daily prayer in the midst of their busy lives. They can pray in many ways, such as praying before meals, praying the rosary, or praying to ask God to bless their daily activities.
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has challenged families to pray together as a true sign of Christian witness. He has often repeated the refrain: “The family that prays together, stays together.” Pope Francis spoke of the Christian family as an institution that prays, keeps the faith, and experiences joy. He reflected on the joy of living in a Christian family. At the recent World Meeting of Families, as reported in the media outlet, “Catholic News Agency”, he stated, “Announce with joy the beauty of being a family! Announce to children and young people the grace of Christian marriage. Give hope to those who have none.” He also stated, “Be the seed of a more fraternal world! Be families with big hearts! Be the welcoming face of the Church! And please pray, always pray!”
The following prayer, composed by Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, called “A Family Prayer”, reflects the desire of Our Holy Father for family unity and fidelity. (www.kofc.org)
As we reflect on this prayer, and the profound words of Our Holy Father, and as our children adapt to the rigors and discipline of school, we are invited to make time to pray daily as a family as we seek to get closer to the Lord who loves us.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of our family.
Enlighten our hearts and minds that we may live more fully in this vocation to love.
In our daily life and work, may we reflect the self-giving love which you, O Father, eternally show with your Son and the Holy Spirit.
Let your love be evident in the peace that reigns in our home and in the faith we profess and live.
May our family always be a place of generosity, understanding, forgiveness, and joy.
Kindly give us the wisdom and courage to be witnesses to your eternal design for the family,
and grant that the Holy Family of Nazareth may always guide our path to holiness as a family.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever. Amen.