Start Here

Practicing small acts of love in our families is the best chance of success we have at practicing the love of Christ.

So, if you want to measure how well you're doing at living the Gospel, start first by how you treat your family.

What Matters

At the beginning of this year I told my wife my New Year's resolution was to drink more water. So, naturally, I told her I needed a new water bottle.

"Why do you need a new water bottle to drink more water?" She asked.

The short answer is: I don't.

What I need is to develop a schedule of drinking more water (one glass in the morning, one glass mid-morning, etc.).

Would the new water bottle motivate me to drink more water? Maybe for a couple weeks. But it wouldn't last. 

It's the same with prayer.

When developing a relationship with God, concentrate on what matters - your time.

Perhaps you use the rosary you already have, or read from your grandmothers prayer book.

But, first, schedule a time and stick with it.

What's Most Important

Dad and son are watching the game in the family room. Mom comes in and tells son it's time for bed. Then, mom kindly proceeds to tell dad and son it's time to pray. 

Dad would rather watch the game at that moment (after all, it's the fourth quarter) and pray later.

Son stares at dad to see what dad will do. 

Dad turns the TV off and begins to pray.

But I'm not the hero of this story. Mom is.

If it weren't for her patient reminder of what's most important, I would have failed to teach my son a valuable lesson that evening: family prayer takes precedence over everything. 

Yes, even the game.

When You're Going Through The Motions

Ask a married couple who has been married for 25 years if they have ever felt like they were just going through the motions.

The answer is probably yes.

No matter if you're a professional athlete playing in front of 55,000 people, a professional skydiver who averages 25 jumps a week, or a person who works in retail, everyone, at one time or another, feels as though they are just going through the motions.

This happens in our spiritual lives, too.

Sometimes the words aren't there. Other times the words only feel like, well, words. For a moment, the feeling of God's consolation goes away.

So, what do you do?

You keep going through the motions. 

By the grace of God, you keep your same prayer time. You stay faithful to Sunday Mass. You remember to pray before your meals. You remember to pray with your family.

By staying the course, what we come to realize is the motions, too, are holy.

Don't take it from me. Take it from Mother Teresa.

It probably won't last 40 years like it did for her. But it's important enough to remember, because we've all been there.