This week, as part of our Lenten journey, I challenge each family to pray together at home. At school and at the parish, we work very hard to teach you and your children to pray. However, that prayer and Christian life is meant to go beyond the walls of our school and our church. Take the prayers you learn into your home and pray as a family.
Give your family the gift of five minutes of prayer together tonight. Prayer is one of the three pillars, or areas of focus, of Lent, and it is one of the core actions of our Christian faith. I suggest you pray a decade of the Rosary or the Stations of the Cross.
When I pray together with my children at a time other than bedtime or meal prayers, we will typically pray a decade of the Rosary after dinner. This prayer takes our family about seven minutes. We begin by asking if anyone has something to pray for, then we pray one Our Father, ten Hail Mary’s, and one Glory Be. We might include a simple song or another prayer that the children brought home that week. Now, do not over-glorify the Mulloy household. The prayer time often includes reminders from mom and dad that, “We do not hit each other with our Rosaries,” and that, “We don’t pray to Jesus in our goofy voices.” The time together is simple and meaningful, and it shows our children that practicing our faith as a family is important.
If your family is ready for something a little longer than five minutes, perhaps you’d like to pray the Stations of the Cross. Praying the Stations of the Cross has been a long standing tradition in our Christian faith. In its simplest form, it is a reflection on the suffering and death of Jesus. There are many versions of the Stations of the Cross available, some with song, images, and others with simple reflection. A family could pray the Stations all at once or do them over several evenings, depending upon the age and readiness of the children.