Raising Faith-Filled Kids One Word at a Time: Accept

Portrait of affectionate family of four in isolation

A lot of the su ering I have known has come from failing to practice acceptance. Acceptance is neither resignation nor throwing in the towel. It is not a passive stance. Instead, it is taking the irrefutable step of saying yes to what is, rather than wishing for something else. Once we say yes to life on life’s terms, we give ourselves the power to choose our response and allow God enough room to act in the situation. Let us pray: “God, I know that this situation is di cult and disheartening. But I will not lose hope. I will rise to this challenge, knowing that even my smallest e orts will be outmatched by your desire for my well-being. Help me accept what is, so that I will be open to discovering with you what will be.” —Tom McGrath

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Raising Faith-Filled Kids One Word at a Time: Serve

Mother assisting daughter in washing plate in kitchen at home

Research shows that children whose parents volunteer to help others are far more likely to volunteer when they grow up. My mother has inspired her children and grandchildren in this way for decades. She coordinated
so many events at the parish when I was growing up that we began to think that setting up tables and chairs was the Eleventh Commandment. Now in her 80s, Mom continues to volunteer—working with young people with special needs, washing and ironing the altar cloths, and working an afternoon each week at the thrift store that supports the local hospital. Here are two questions to add to your prayer before meals that will inspire your family to serve now and in the future: What am I grateful for today? Whom did I help today? —Tom McGrath

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Raising Faith-Filled Kids One Word at a Time: Sort

Mother assisting daughter in washing plate in kitchen at home

Parents spend a lot of time sorting. We sort the laundry and the silverware, toys and coupons, junk mail and bills. We sort through which invitations and opportunities will make it onto the family calendar and which ones we’ll decline. There’s often too much to do, and it can be hard to keep sane. So how do you decide how your family will spend its precious time and energy? Jesus says, “seek ye first the kingdom of God,” which means put God’s will in the center of your life. Prudence, the virtue that helps us make decisions based on wisdom rather than impulse, can help you sort. When your family is feeling overbooked, exercise prudence by asking, “Which activities bring us closer to one another and to Christ, and which simply make us busy?” —Tom McGrath

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Raising Faith-Filled Kids One Word at a Time: Witness

family-trip

While driving on the expressway, a driver cut me off . Impulsively, I voiced my opinion of his character. Suddenly from the back seat, my two-year-old daughter repeated the nasty word I’d just spoken. I was shocked to realize
just how closely my daughter was watching me. Before I despaired over all the i y behaviors I’d exhibited in front of her, I decided to focus on the good behaviors I had modeled: praying before meals, speaking respectfully to her mother, singing enthusiastically at Mass, helping our elderly neighbor with yard work, readily forgiving others in the family, and speaking respectfully of people of other races and faiths. Every parent makes an occasional blunder in front of his or her child. But what positive values are you displaying day in and day out? —Tom McGrath

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Raising Faith-Filled Kids One Word at a Time: Continue

Close-up portrait of sweet newborn baby sleeping quietly in male arms. Indoor shot, concept image

I remember the day we brought our eldest daughter, Judy, home from the hospital. As I held my newborn
daughter, I felt tremendous peace and joy. And then she started to cry. Immediately I had two thoughts: First, shouldn’t there be someone here who knows what they’re doing? And second, I became terri ed with the realization that I was o cially on parent duty for the rest of my life. Becoming a parent changes your identity forever. You are for now and always this child’s mom or dad. This is an enormous privilege and an enormous responsibility. The trick is to “just keep showing up”—to begin each day with a prayer that I can provide what my children need and the commitment to, as best I can, do what love requires. —Tom McGrath

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Natural Family Planning

natural-family-planning

 What is natural family planning? Natural Family Planning (NFP) is a highly effective, safe approach that allows couples to work together in managing their fertility. By learning and observing the natural changes in a woman’s body, couples learn when the woman is fertile and infertile. NFP is safe, environmentally friendly and has no costs associated with it. NFP conforms to […]

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