Communicate together, Heal together
Recently our family has had to deal with injustice and dishonesty toward our family. It was painful, particularly because the other party does not see any wrong done by them and made it clear we are never to interact with them ever again. We tried to express gratitude for the wonderful opportunities they made possible for us, but the words were not appreciated. Our family has had to walk away from a good thing that went sour. We have talked and discussed all the details within the confine of our home to help each other get past the pain and move onto forgiveness. It was our youth that reminded us that new opportunities will come along, and that is exciting.
When we allowed the topic to come up, further healing came. We listened to each other, corrected each other, and praised the efforts of one another. We acknowledged the difficulties and injustice, but also marveled at how could Christ take all the hatred He was given, the pain? How could he forgive so deeply in the moment of the injustice!? He did it for us to learn from. Sharing the pains together as a family has made us stronger as a family, and gave us firmer footing.
Pray together for those who hurt you
Christ was not joking when he said, “Pray for your enemies, do good to those who hurt you, pray for those who persecute you.” Every day each of us encounters personal hurt. We can be truly hurt by the words of others. And frustration only grows when we cannot patch the issue with more words. There comes a time, rather early on in injustices, that we must pray for those who pained us. We must take Jesus’s words to heart and action; not alone either, but as a family and with Christian friends.
I learned more personally this lesson within the family at daily prayer. Our daughter had encountered a person whose personality clashed with hers. Instead of avoidance and being mad, she asked friends to pray for the other girl, and mentioned the girl in our family night prayers. Within a month, they were getting along so very well and enjoying each others presence. A trust had formed not only between them, but between my husband and I with the girl. Only gratitude for the learning experience and for the girl lingers. And that is Good!
Order Life Around God
I was warned by a relative, whom I look up to as wise, that we had our priorities out of line. He expressed concern and I told him I would think more about it. As the summer progressed I began understanding what he saw that I had not. We were putting our kids’ activities before the first duties to God and family necessities. We were spending money where it was not prudent at this time in our lives. Thankfully, God took direct care of ending those activities by means outside our control, but not without pain, and not without much blessing. But why could I not have been more prudent to begin with? Why do we parents invest so much time and energy into activities that may not be what our kids REALLY need to be doing? It seems like a disease at times!
In our recent situation, the activity was ended by a chain of unfortunate events and we were left with “free time.” I looked out the window one of these days and saw my daughter working on a hobby she has not done in over a year. I said to my husband, “That’s what she should be doing. Exploring her own interests naturally.” What God actually did for our family was cleared out the source of sorrows, stresses, and drama so we could experience freedom to follow Him wherever he leads. As a family we are seeing the blessings of NOT being scheduled around unnecessary activities. We share with you the importance of scheduling our family lives around Sunday mass, monthly confession, daily family Rosary, and a daily sit-down family meal. These are the daily routines that keep families on the Rock.
Model especially when it is difficult
In the home parents must witness to the family the higher call Christ demands. In the world, each member of the family must model His high ideal, especially in difficult situations. In injustice, we must be just. In suffering, we must strive to be patient and kind. In confrontation, we must behave to gain a clear mind and keep returning to words of forgiveness and gratitude, or if need be end the conversation with grace and walk away.
On a morning my own deep knowledge of injustices done to my family became very raw with sorrow. My dear friend saw me and with compassion listened, then advised me: “We are called to be the ones in the world who model Christ’s higher call, so in every situation, God’s grace can usher into people’s lives.” The words were absolutely true and gave me new insight on the Christian call to holiness. At a later time, with serious words we clarified with our youth that anger needs to stop somewhere. Even the smallest gossip proves we still are angry…it musts stop with us so forgiveness and love may take its place.
As Christians we are expected to stop vice in its tracks so it cannot go any further. As for our family, we choose to stop it here! But we need each other to be strong to live virtue rather than vice. It cannot be done without communication, prayer, and living our lives around God.
Choose your King
So often we do devotions as individuals. The family has the gift to develop devotions in community with one another. Praying the Rosary, reading the Bible, going to Mass and confession, going to Adoration; all of these are main forms of devotion. But what can the family do that takes it a step further? They can have a Home Enthronement.
A decade ago I use to organize Home Enthronements for families in our town through word of mouth. I had to give it up for many years now for health and family reasons. However, a series of events occurred since August that made it clear I should return to this apostolate and offer my services to families again. I am amazed at the smooth progress being made in getting started again. But what is it? And why do it for your family? Then How?
Home Enthronement is when a family asks Our Lady to come into their home and prepare them to enthrone Christ as King of their family. In the fewer terms: The family asks to be built on the Rock, and to be sheltered from the storms of life by Christ, their King. They make their home a domestic Church, a “tabernacle” for the neighborhood. In the ceremony, done in the home with a priest, the family consecrates itself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary; images of the Two Hearts are blessed and hung in the center of the home; the whole house is blessed; and Brown Scapulars are given and anyone needing enrolled could be at that time. It is beautiful! The requirements of the family then is to pray daily together, renewing often the consecration prayer together; attend Sunday Mass. Many families wear the scapular, and maybe hang one in the home or on their door. In our town, we give Benedictine medals as a gift to the families to hang above their exit doors. The family home is literally transformed and strengthened.
If you are interested in having your family and home enthroned to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, go to www.wafusa.org , then go to Shop, then to Home Enthronements. Buy your family the Home Enthronement Kit. It will have everything you need in it, except the Images of the Two Hearts. Read the booklet and ask your parish priest to come do the ceremony with you all. If you have any questions or if you want to know how to offer this in your parish, where to get images to print, etc. you may contact me through my blog at www.theeighthstation.blogspot.com .
Be a Light in Darkness
None of us have to look far to see the world is very dark. People are confused in morality and religion. We do not have to look far to learn – Catholic Christians need to grow brighter! What better why then with Christ’s Light permeating from our homes and from the foundation of our lives being built on the Rock!? Vice and evil need to stop somewhere. Stop it before it leaves our families, so it stops spreading into the world. Build your family on Rock which is Christ and His Church!
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Colleen is wife to her wonderful husband and mama to three boys and three girls. She spends her days reading stories, practicing skip counting, and sweeping Cheerios with a baby in her arms. She enjoys sharing her Catholic Faith with others, and trying her best to live out her vocation generously, graciously, fully. She loves the Traditional Mass. She also appreciates anything crafty or chocolatey, and is blessed to reside in the great state of Kansas, which actually is not all black-and-white – she has the red shoes to prove it.