Praying together as a family often causes more vice (my frustration at my fidgety, goofy, distracted sons) than virtue to enter into the collective air that our family breathes.
Sing this. Listen to that. Stop licking the table.
Family prayer can feel like I am doing something to my kids for my benefit, rather than raising their hearts and mind to God for their benefit. Recently, in confession, I admitted that family prayer was not working and it was something that I had stopped trying to do altogether. Facepalm.
During that confession the priest wisely counseled me to keep it simple, brief, and pure. He said that family prayer doesn’t have to be anything spectacular, simply prayer with your family. Another month went by and it wasn’t until I confessed it again that I was convicted something needed to change.
So here it is. We are committing to the following plan through the remainder of Lent.
+ At night we will pray together the Act of Contrition (to help my 8 yr old prep for 1st Confession).
+ In the morning before the boys head out the door for school, we pray the suscipe by St Ignatius of Loyola.
Nothing fancy, but it’s prayers we say together as a family.
Voila! Family prayer.