A family that prays together, stays together.A phrase that is well known to most Catholics.
I am certainly not the right person to talk about how a family that prays together can stay together, as my family doesn't have the habit of praying together. However, I would like to share on what I have experienced when a group of people come together to pray.
I have a group of Catholic friends online whom I met through Skype. Every night at 8pm (Malaysian/Manila/Perth time) when I am around, we always pray the Rosary together, with or without the presence of a priest (a priest in Italy initiated the online Rosary prayer group). I joined the group one year ago, and a few of us who have constantly showed up almost every night have become close friends. After each Rosary session, we usually spend time together to share, or sometimes we have leisure talks - about our countries, our jobs, our families, social issues and even our Faith; sometimes, non-Catholics would question us on our Faith and Teachings of the Church and when that happens, all of us would stand up to defend our belief. I really thank the Lord for meeting us together, even though we have not met each other in person (some of us have webcam, though) we are all united in prayer.
Now, after I've been confirmed by my employee as the company's permanent staff, travelling became more often. I would be away not for a day or two, but the whole week. When I'm outstation, there is problem for me getting online as connection is not always available. It is during these times that I miss my online friends the most. I miss praying together with them.
That is what I found to be not right. Supposedly, I should miss my family members when I'm away, but that is not the case. Those people whom I think of the most are those who prayed together with me.
From this, a conclusion can be drawn -- whenever people gather to pray, God will be there in their midst and His very presence caused everyone to be spiritually bonded to each other through the love for God and His love for them. In other words, people are united through and in prayers. Another instance, if I've got a choice I'd choose to attend Mass in the parish church I always go to over the past 12 years, even though I don't know all the parishioners there. In the same way, even though I've never met my online friends in person, I got attached to them because of prayer. And so is family that prays together.
Indeed, a family that prays together, stays together.
Be sure to teach the families to pray all together - father, mother and children. For the family that prays together stays together, and if they stay together they will love one another as Jesus loves each one of them... - Mother Teresa of Calcutta
My parents were not frequent Mass goers when I was much younger until I was baptized and confirmed. Therefore, praying together has never happened then. We did manage to pray together once in a while many years ago, but it didn't last too long before it finally stopped. To get my brother to pray with us has always been a difficult task since then. To make matter worse, after that particular unpleasant event that had befallen my dad in our parish, my parents tried to avoid going back there and they became 'travelling' Catholics who go to different parishes every week. It's even more difficult for me to get everyone together to pray now.
Dearest parents out there, I sincerely ask you to please teach your children how to pray at a very young age and make family prayer a habit. Introducing our loving Heavenly Father to the children is the best insurance policy in the whole wide world which you can buy for them.
As for me and my family, I also ask for your kind prayers, that my family would come together once again to pray and may we be united in prayers. Thank you!
Prayer for the Family
Photo courtesy of Inspire Me Inc.