During the season of Lent we are given time to reflect and make time for God more intentional. As a family, we can try to identify ourselves more with this season by doing activities that foster this intentionality in our relationship with God and with one another.
The best way to start is by mastering the agenda and seeing what is possible for you and your family. It doesn’t have to be something major, even something small can significantly and positively impact your relationships and spiritual growth.
The ideal first activity would be to get out of the house and into a new atmosphere that fosters interior silence and reflection. Nature was created for us to enjoy, replenish and give thanks to God for what he created! Just the sight of its beauty and silence can make it easier for us to hear God and enter into conversation with Him. Jesus was the first to enter into the desert to speak to our Lord and open himself up to his will.
As the days come and go it can be easy to stick to a rigid routine and hurry to get ‘me’ time (if that exists) and straight into bed. But what God asks of us isheroic virtue with simplicity. Instead of getting the kids bathed or finishing up sandwiches, maybe try and sit with your child, however old they may be, and just offer an ear. Listen attentively, open your heart to their world and what they want to share with you, if anything. As parents, we should ‘lay our lives down’ for our children and let them know, however defective we may be, that we love them tenderly. Most of the time children don't need advice they need to be heard.
Taking a moment each week, or even each day if your schedule allows, for the family to sit down to read or pray together can make a huge impact in the life of your family. Take a classic Lenten book or St. John's Gospel and work through it thoughtfully - reading a small portion and pausing to contemplate on the passage or to discuss it together. If reading won't work, saying a family rosary or doing the Way of the Cross together could be more appropriate.
Lastly, do some form of charity work. It can be in your parish, diocese, neighborhood, etc. Get creative! What are the needs you see around you? Is there a homeless man you see everyday? Maybe you and your family can create little safety or food bags, keep them in the car and every time you see a homeless man you can hand it to them. Get creative. Love and charity should blossom with creativity.
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