Sunday, December 28, 2014

Lord, Help Our Families to be Holy!

  When you look to the Holy Family for guidance, DO NOT turn to your own family and think: Boy are we in trouble.  Instead, realize that even with the holy family, sometimes things were messy, chaotic, and totally unplanned.  Then, we can relate and simply pray: “Lord,  please help us overcome all obstacles in the way of the Holy Family.”
Being on the honor roll or star football player, playing piano or winning the next award, is nothing compared to loving and serving God.  It is right for our children to do their best, but their worldly best is nothing compared to striving for their spiritual best.  And how do we accomplish that in them?  We simply do our own best and leave the rest to God. Isn't that what the Holy Family did?
After 10 kids and the wisdom that comes with age, I clearly understand that my failings are opportunities to open myself up more to the power of God.  Through failure comes humility and through humility comes God.  He can do more to bring our children to him than we can.
As the miracle of family unfolds we become intensely aware of how fragile and challenging life is: so much responsibility, so many chances for failure or tragedy.   But love opens our hearts and leads to God. Through our children, we feel our helplessness since we cannot guarantee much of anything beyond our own love.  Instead, our dependence on God grows.
Our theories don’t always net the results we expected and even our best efforts sometimes fall short.  Yet love is always there and where there is love there is God, even when we don’t realize it because God is love. Through family, we  die to self and live in a bigger world of giving and caring.  There are easier ways but not better ones because through our family, giving becomes less of a task and more a desire  

We do not simply become better one morning just because we have children, but they makes us want to become better and set us on such a course.  Our family helps us to experience life and God on a deeper level. So although we may not be the holy family we so desire, it is the destination that the Holy Family will lead us to. 
When I was a little girl, the nuns at St. Albert the Great taught us to put JMJ on the top of our papers for: Jesus, Mary and Joseph. It was a way of keeping the holy family in our mind and hearts and doing all for Jesus through the intercession of Mary and Joseph.   I am going to put JMJ over my front door in 2015, as a reminder that as my family walks out into the world and again back into our home, that all is for Jesus as we ask for the help of Mary and Joseph to be a holy family.
The desire for a holy family is the reason my friend Shellie and I started up our daily email prayer group and Facebook page Mary's Moms.  Our only intention is family holiness.  It is what matters most and all else will fall into place.  To join us in prayer for our families with Mary’s Moms and receive the daily novena prayer and saint of the day email me at pattiarmstrong (at)
For more inspiration, check out Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories From Everyday Families. Your children will laugh while learning big spiritual lessons with Dear God, I Don't Get It! and Dear God, You Can't Be Serious. 
         Follow Patti at Twitter and like her Facebook pages at Dear God Books,  Big Hearted Families and  Catholic News & Inspiration on Facebook.  

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