New Year Resolutions
Once again we begin a New
Year! Traditionally, it’s time for resolutions.
What are your New Year Resolutions? How about making just one resolution and
keeping it for the whole year? How about giving this resolution a title, a slogan,
a sort of motto to live by?
Evangelization Starts At Home!
The “New Year Family Blessing” is the first suggestion that
comes to mind on the first day of the year. Father and mother together bless
their children with their special prayer. Then the children bless their parents
with their special prayer that they have prepared.
Since the Last Supper, the Catholic
Church has been greatly influenced by the Jewish People, our close cousins in
faith. However, over the two millennia of Christianity we lost touch with some
of the beautiful Judaic traditions. In the Eucharistic prayer of the Roman
Canon recited during the Mass, the Roman Catholic Church calls Abraham
"our father in Faith". The Shabbat celebration in the Jewish homes was,
and still is, a very special occasion and provides an exceptional spiritual
support for the family.
In the Christian tradition, Sunday is the
Lord’s Day. Sunday Family lunch or supper is a privileged occasion for the
transmission of faith.
Quality family time spent together on Sunday helps each child to feel more
relaxed, secure, and confident and helps each member of the family to be more
understanding and accepting of each other. Celebrating together the Lord’s Day
at home is also the greatest way to help children feel positively connected to
our Catholic heritage.
After participating in the Sunday
Eucharistic Celebration, each family can establish its own tradition to make
the Lord’s Day a meaningful, memorable and a joyful experience.
Another innovative resolution could be the dedication
of a family prayer-shelf or prayer-corner or prayer-table set up in
the home. This will help to draw our attention to the sacred rather than the
secular. The Catechism (#2691) tells us, “For
personal prayer, this can be a ‘prayer corner’ with the Sacred Scriptures and
icons, in order to be there, in secret, before our Father. In a Christian
family, this kind of little oratory fosters prayer in common.” Also, the
family can select a special item that would represent the time of the liturgical
year. A small bowl would contain the special prayer requests for the coming
week. The prayer corner is a constant reminder of the Lord’s presence in the
house and that Jesus participates in family life.
Each of us Christians has a patron saint.
our Name’s Day, is not only a reminder of our patron saint, but
reading about her or his life inspires, exemplifies and motivates.
The physical home of the Ecclesia domestica should be filled with reminders
of our faith such as a placing a crucifix above a doorway. The
first Friday of each month, the children could sprinkle Holy Water throughout
the home and ask for Our Lady’s protection.
In the morning of the first day of each
month, parents can trace the Sign of the Cross with their thumb on their
child’s forehead while asking for God’s blessing and their Guardian
Once a year the family can plan
together a place of pilgrimage and pray for each other when they
are at the site. Together they can send postcards to other family members and
friends as a missionary gesture.
As a New Evangelization gesture,
each of us can give a copy of this page
to one young family, folded in a
Happy New Year card.
Editorial by Laszlo
DeRoth published in the
Issued by the
Fr. Francis P. Duffy
Knights of Columbus