Early in fatherhood, I came to realize that children not only want structure but in order to reach their full potential they need structure. So, my wife and I make sure to incorporate Jesus into our daily activities. We say grace before every dinner, we pray before bed every night and we all attend mass on Sunday. I know we could do more but we will continue to keep our lives structured around Jesus and hopefully our daughter will do the same.
Something that I’ve been trying to do lately is really listen and apply the readings and homily each week to my life. Sounds simple and like something I should already be doing, but I noticed that I pay pretty close attention at church, appreciate the readings and what the priest says after, but almost immediately forget everything when I walk out the church doors. I challenged myself to not only retain that info, but to apply it to my life.
The influence of my family has shaped my faith. I attended Catholic Schools, weekly Mass, Novena’s, family rosary, watched my parents attend daily Mass and Rosary. I saw how my siblings found spouses who were Strong in the faith. My Dad’s advice before I got married was “Is this a Man who will get you to Heaven”? That is the goal in life, if so marry him.
I now look forward to daily mass. Find strength in The Divine Mercy chaplet. Jump through a million hoops to keep my kids in catholic schools. We pray before each meal, on the drive to school, Novena’s & Family rosary during lent. I hope my kids see daily prayer as a normal occurrence. We look at our personal sufferings and offer them up for other who truly suffer. We volunteer at church & in the community because you do for others as God would do for you. I hope my kids see God’s answer of “NO” is the same as Mom’s “Because I said so”. I hope I’m living my faith as an example to my kids.
Go to Confession and Mass as frequently as possible! I have received so much grace since I began doing this about 3 years ago.
Pray first thing in the morning or during your commute (listen to Rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet if driving). This keeps you focused and close to the Lord through the daily grind. I subscribe to the Magnificat, which has the daily prayers, Mass readings and reflections.
Bless your family members frequently. They are our greatest gifts.
I took some pictures at the second oldest Catholic University in the United States during a recent visit. Here is a statue of Jesus welcoming visitors to the Grotto of Lourdes at Mount St. Mary’s University. From this angle, it looks like he is admiring the scenery of Maryland.