+ J. M. J.
“The family that prays together stays together.”
It stores our blankets. It is within reach of a very daring and precocious little one year old. It’s covered in water stains. I picked it up for $5 five years ago at a garage sale. And it is the most important thing in our home. It’s our home shrine/prayer corner.
The fact that there is now a place dedicated to praying in our home, reminding us to take a time out to praise God and seek His help in spite of so much going on, caused an immediate change in our home.
1. There is peace in our home! It is a tranquil chaos. The tone of the day is set when we don’t “get around to” praying–there is a set place and it is first thing. The girls aren’t running on all cylinders right out of bed so they are still and pay attention.
We tell Jesus we love Him and thank Him, consecrate our day to Him. We tell Mama Mary we love her, ask for all graces for all of us, and ask her to help us imitate her Son. We ask St. Joseph to pray for us. We ask our guardian angels to guard us from all evil and guide us to virtue that day. It’s also a time we bring up any prayer intentions and practice basic prayers with D1. She has most of The Sign of the Cross down and knows the Rosary has something to do with “Ail Harry” over and over again. XD
And, who would have thought, the routine to pray at the same time together did a 180 on our life. Things are calmer and less stressful because the tone of the day has been set.
2. Routine keeps things running like a well-oiled machine. Going back to the same place at the same times every day improved our time management. DH and I thrive on things happening routinely at the same time. In our home it’s easier to prioritize and more difficult to put things off being reminded we need to go pray now.
So rather than playing with the girls until 5:00 and it’s supper time and there’s nothing ready to eat, knowing Thérèse expects to go say “hi” to Jesus after her nap puts me in the right mindset to start getting things done. When lifting my heart to God it gives me drive to please Him, and that means doing what I have to do in my calling, which at that moment happens to be putting supper on the table.
3. It’s a holy reminder to be good to one another. The old adage, “The family that prays together stays together,” is so so so true. Not only are we going to God together as a family throughout the day and that in itself is awesome, but it is an ongoing reminder that: God, You are so good to me. Help me be good/patient/kind to others. It’s a recurring examination of conscience, and Lord knows we all need that
4. Bedtime Rosary (even if just a decade) & prayer marks bedtime. Going to bed on time sets the tone for tomorrow.
I only wish DH and I had started this before the kids arrived when it would have been simpler, without so many things demanding our attention and physical exertion. But there is no time like the present!
We are really trying to make it a month without “skipping”. We really want to, with God’s help, build this ongoing good habit in our home so that we can serve one another and take His love to the world by serving others. (Cheesy, yes, but it’s the truth!)