Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Glimpses of Family Life

Last night, after I was done for the day at my grandparents, I went over to visit with my goddaughter and her family. They are a beautiful young Catholic family (the parents are both in their late twenties) with five children seven and under. My goddaughter is the youngest at almost four months. She's also absolutely adorable. I haven't seen her since her baptism in March so I was excited to be able to go spend some time with her and her family.

When I showed up at their house last night the mom was out at the store picking some stuff up and the dad was getting the kids ready for bed. They were all in their pyjamas and already had had their baths when I arrived. Dad made them a bed-time snack and then ran around picking up the toys. He then lined the four oldest up in the bathroom and went down the line washing their faces and brushing their teeth. It was very cute.

The highlight for me though was bed-time prayers. The three older children knelt down before an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary with their dad and prayed a decade of the rosary together, then prayed an act of contrition, and then prayed to Jesus in thanksgiving for particular blessings of the day and in intercession for friends, family, and particular needs. I joined in on this and felt quite blessed and priviledged to be able to pray with the family. I don't know that I would have been able to pray a decade of the rosary at ten, let alone at three or four. They were absolutely adorable and so sincere in their prayers. The thanksgivings and intentions the children had sure reminded me that unless we are like little children we will not enter into the Kingdom of God. The oldest boy, who is seven years old, prayed that his friends at school would become Catholic (he goes to a public school). He then commented that he was quite concerned because the other kids at school say "bad stuff" sometimes. His dad then encouraged him by reminding him that he is to be a Christ-like example for the other children. It was so beautiful to see the child's sincere concern for his peers and his desire to pray for them.

It's such a blessing just to be able to step into a family home and witness the beauty of family life. When I'm away at school I sometimes feel as if it's an artificial setting. I'm surrounded by people my own age with similar interests, all focused on their studies, and I have very little interaction with families. I find it so encouraging to be able to visit with families such as my goddaughter's and see the Gospel of Life being lived out in the domestic Church. As a young family with five children finances are limited and they live in a small house yet the children are all well fed, clean, and most of all deeply loved and without a doubt happy. The joy and love in the household is obvious! To see the interactions within a family such as this truly reveals Christ's presence at work in the family and reminds me of how important it is to do all we can to protect the sanctity of marriage and human life.