The new liturgical year started yesterday, and I was thinking (I know it’s not an original thought) that it’s time for some New Year’s resolutions, perhaps of the liturgical variety.
So we pulled out the Advent calendar and wreath, bought new candles, and cleaned off the prayer table, which has to this point been sadly neglected. The next question is, in this latest attempt to bring some sort of consistent prayer and general structure into our family life, what might have a chance of actually working?
It’s true, we have two kids and our schedules can get pretty crazy. (I’m sure they pale in comparison to many people’s schedules, but I’m a home-body, and a little lazy, and it all feels pretty overwhelming to me!) I’ve seen plenty of great ideas for prayer with kids. We have copies of saint books, missals, Bibles in several languages, children/family/mother oriented prayer books, Liturgy of the Hours…the list goes on. Icons, rosaries, crucifixes, candles. We have all the stuff of a great prayer life, we just don’t seem to have the stick-to-itiveness required to put some or all of it together and make it work.
So what to do? Thank God He does not require immediate perfection! I’m tying my husband down this evening (as literally as necessary! ) to talk about what we want our prayer life to look like as our family continues to grow. What do we want our children to learn from this prayer time? How can we effectively lead them and ourselves to a deeper relationship with God?
I think (I hope!) this Advent will be a time of trial and error in an effort to find a style of prayer that is both fulfilling to my husband and I and functional for a two-year-old. (Obviously, I do not expect a few minutes of family prayer to be sufficient for the full prayer life of an adult, but it has to be engaging enough to get us to do it every day!) I don’t expect to stumble upon a magic formula that will work for the rest of our lives. I know that as our relationships with God and each other grow and change, so will our prayer. But for those relationships to grow and strengthen in holiness as we would like them to, I believe we have to get started praying more seriously, and we have to start praying together as a family. Pray for us that we persevere! I’ll try to keep you updated on how it’s going. And feel free to drop an email to remind us of what we’re supposed to be doing!