Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed.
– Matthew 28:8a
Christ is risen! Now that we have learned to discipline ourselves with prayer, fasting, and mercy, we add in joy. This is a sometimes-neglected teaching in Catholicism. Again, joy is more than emotions: joy is a decision to be happy and thankful because you are constantly bringing to mind all that Christ has done for you.
Celebrating doesn’t mean you get to do whatever you want. Authentic JOY comes when you put JESUS first, OTHERS second, and YOURSELF last. This is a challenge! You may want to take this time to revisit the commitments that you made at the beginning of Cana90. Some of them you may want to keep. Others, you may like to change. Hopefully, your heart is more unified with your spouse’s and together you are strengthening your family culture. Modify your commitments as needed and keep going!
Grow Your Family Culture!
This coming Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday. If you are able, find a local parish having a Divine Mercy Celebration of Prayer and join them. This is a beautiful devotion, and the formal prayer, when recited, is shorter than the Rosary and hence young child-friendly. Ask each family member:
- How do we need Christ’s mercy? How can we show the mercy He has show us to others?
- Remember your commitments of mercy. How did they help you better understand the mercy of Christ?
- Spend some time with Jesus! Visit a local Adoration chapel once a week as a family. Don’t feel obliged to spend an entire hour there. Just a visit could be a great start, especially if this is something new for you or your family. Pro Tip: If you have little ones, set realistic expectations for yourself. Maybe five minutes is all they can muster, even with coloring books. That’s OK! Five minutes in the presence of Jesus is way better than none.
- Create a brief family prayer and reflection to do before or after Mass. Example, kneel down after the closing song and take a few seconds of quiet. Then pray a formal prayer of your choosing and ask Jesus to help you through the coming week.
- Create a space to do family prayer at home. Were you able to do this during Holy Week? If not, why not try it now? If you did, why not keep it going? Giving ourselves a sacred space to connect with the Lord can help encourage prayer time.
- Look to set a specific family prayer time. Some people prefer formal prayers like the Rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet. Doing morning or evening prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours can be great if you have older children who can read. Some folks like to sing songs, so bust out that guitar, keyboard or Spotify playlist. Pro Tip: Again, look to have realistic expectations for children. Giving smaller children something to do with their hands can really help facilitate this experience for the older ones and yourself.
Messy Family Podcast Resource for the Week: