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Want to Grow in Holiness as a Family? Look to the Holy Family

Every time Chris and Jennifer Sariego and their four children leave their home in the greater Los Angeles area and get into their car for a drive longer than 15 minutes, the family prays the Rosary together. “We call it the minivan Rosary,” Chris said. “If you have an active, on-the-go family, the minivan is a great place to say the Rosary.”

It’s one of the ways their family is growing in holiness together as a domestic church, in the hallowed footsteps of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, whose feast we celebrate the Sunday after Christmas.

In their daily life together, families can grow in holiness by imitating the Holy Family.

Pray together. The Holy Family certainly prayed together. Their life was a living prayer as they grew together in faith and love. Holy Cross Father David Guffey, the national director of Family Theater Productions, encourages families to make the most of prayer, starting with saying grace at the table. “Take a moment and invite members of the family to offer prayers of intercession. Pray for someone or offer a prayer of gratitude for something they’re grateful for in their life,” Father Guffey said.

Family prayer sheds light on what’s in children’s minds and hearts, what and who they’re thinking and worrying about, and what they’re thinking about God, he added.

Grace at every meal is a given for the Sariegos. “It doesn’t matter whether we’re in restaurants or not,” Chris said, explaining that they offer a public witness when they’re out to eat as they bless themselves and pray. Doing so aids them in teaching their “children that being a witness to the faith is important,” he said.

Bless one another. Couples should bless one another, and parents should bless their children, counsels Father Guffey. It is nice to imagine the Holy Family doing such family blessings themselves.

“To know their parents are praying for them, and giving a little blessing, is a beautiful thing. My parents blessed me every night, and it stuck with me,” he said, saying this prayer practice calls down “aid, grace and blessing on the person.”

William Keimig, catechetics professor and assistant director of Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Catechetical Institute, recalls when daughter Elizabeth was sick and he started blessing the 2-year-old with holy water. After she was well, she asked, “Daddy, can you keep blessing me?” So blessing with holy water became a part of the family’s nighttime routine with her six brothers and sisters as a way to communicate trust and peace in the Lord.

Eat together daily. Make it a priority to eat at least one meal a day together. The Holy Family certainly gathered for food and fellowship. The Keimigs have added a tradition to Sunday dinners to make them extra special. “Before the meal,” Keimig explains, he and wife Heather and their children enjoy “‘Sunday medicine’ — a little bit of dessert first. It could be a few pieces of chocolate to give a sense this day is a day of special joy.”

Read more at National Catholic Register 

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