AMORIS LAETITIA – THE JOY OF LOVE AND FAMILY
The Church is celebrating the Year “Amoris Laetitia Family” an initiative of Pope Francis, which aims to reach and be implemented in every parish, diocese and family. The family (as the Domestic Church) deserves a year of celebrations, so that it can be placed at the center of commitment and care from every pastoral and ecclesial reality.
Goals of this Special Year of the Family are: share the content of the Apostolic Exhortation; proclaim that the Sacrament of Marriage is a gift; enable families to become active agents of the family apostolate; make young people aware of the importance of formation in the truth of love and in the gift of self; and broaden the vision and scope of the family apostolate.
Each month, we will provide a Meditation from Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia to help our families grow and celebrate during this extraordinary year. This month we reflect on: Family Prayer.
Family prayer has its own characteristic qualities. It is prayer offered in common, husband and wife together, parents and children together. Communion in prayer is both a consequence of and a requirement for the communion bestowed by the sacraments of Baptism and Matrimony. The words with which the Lord Jesus promises His presence can be applied to the members of the Christian family in a special way: “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Family prayer has for its very own object family life itself, which in all its varying circumstances is seen as a call from God and lived as a filial response to His call. Joys and sorrows, hopes and disappointments, births and birthday celebrations, wedding anniversaries of the parents, departures, separations and homecomings, important and far-reaching decisions, the death of those who are dear, etc. — all of these mark God’s loving intervention in the family’s history. They should be seen as suitable moments for thanksgiving, for petition, for trusting abandonment of the family into the hands of their common Father in heaven. The dignity and responsibility of the Christian family as the domestic Church can be achieved only with God’s unceasing aid, which will surely be granted if it is humbly and trustingly petitioned in prayer.
1. Is prayer at the center of our family life? If not, why?
2. How can we better build a rhythm of prayer into our family’s life? In what way
can we mark significant family moments throughout the year with prayer?
3. What are our family members’ preferred ways of praying — vocal, meditative
or contemplative? Is there a way to incorporate each family member’s preferred
way of praying into family prayer?