Any parent who has ever helped their toddler change their clothes knows the struggle: You’re trying to guide them (“take your arm out; put one leg into your pajamas at a time; slide the shirt over your head …”), and they seem to be sabotaging the process at every turn — you pull the shirt up over their head, and they’re pulling it back down. The two of you aren’t working together, so nothing is getting accomplished. You’re not working like a team. What does this all have to do with family faith? The connection between sports and families is easy to see once you think about it. And in the context of faith and family, this example is vitally important.
One of the sad consequences of the coronavirus outbreak is the separation many of us feel from our parish communities. Public Masses are suspended and parish gatherings, including religious education classes, are canceled. But families can still stay connected to God and his Church during the COVID-19 crisis, and they can form their children in the faith as well. It begins with seeing the family through the eyes of our faith. Read the ways your family can be a true domestic church during this time.
The Sermon on the Mount found in the Gospel of Matthew proclaims some of the richest and most familiar teachings of Jesus: the beatitudes. The Beatitudes are: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven; blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted; blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth; blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied; blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy; blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God; blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God; blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven; blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven. Find help for your Catholic kids to understand them.
Oh, is there no greater joy to be felt than every Easter when we read of the stone being rolled away and the angels declaring, “He has risen!”. As we leave Mass on Easter morning, perhaps the sun is shining on us. Maybe the early birds have returned from their winter away, flitting and calling among the open branches. Some of us may jump over puddles of melted snow on our way to our cars or homes, thankful for warmer days. Maybe you are holding your child’s hand as you walk and wonder how you could make this joyful moment last forever. Talk About It: How do you carry the light of Easter with you throughout the year?
The global pandemic is forcing families to focus on their relationships like never before. Whatever else God might be doing at this time, it seems clear that he is calling us to discover the power and importance of the domestic church. With Masses suspended and churches closed, we simply don’t have access to the spiritual resources we normally rely on. We are, quite literally, stuck at home with little choice but to figure out how to encounter God as we shelter in place. Go online to read more about supporting our domestic church life.