I recently received this message from one of our readers:
I was wondering if you have any resources on dealing with less than loving parents. My parents fall in this category. Our oldest is 10-years-old, so I have been dealing with this issue for quite some time. I have experienced a lot of heartache and disappointment over the years.
I know this reader is not alone in her experience. I have been engaged in several conversations lately with friends who are also struggling with family dynamics. It’s the same song, second verse. For many, the frustrations are rooted in lack of support from family members when it comes to living out our faith. The season of Easter marks the celebration of many sacraments. While these are most certainly joyous, grace-filled occasions, they can also be marked with stress and disappointment when loved ones choose to abstain from celebrating with us.
Fr. John Riccardo says peace on Earth is unthinkable but peace in our families is possible. Throughout May, Pope Benedict XVI has requested that Christians across the world pray for families, emphasizing that society itself depends on strong families (read more about the Pope’s monthly prayer intentions here). As I read and meditated yesterday on his May prayer intentions, it dawned on me that our Holy Father has given us a true gift this month — a gift to bring about more peaceful family relationships.
May is also the month of Mary, and the Rosary is traditionally referred to as Mary’s prayer. A friend wrote on her Facebook wall that she is praying a Rosary for her husband each day in May. So I thought: Why not combine the Pope’s May prayer intention for families with the Rosary? What a blessing it could be to pray the Rosary for thirty-one days straight, specifically asking for peace within my family!
Blessed Mother Teresa says, “I never look at the masses as my responsibility. I look at the individual. I can love only one person at a time. I can feed only one person at a time. Just one, one, one. You get closer to Christ by coming closer to each other. As Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least of my brethern, you do to me.” So you begin … I begin. I picked up one person — maybe if I didn’t pick up that one person I wouldn’t have picked up 42,000. The whole work is only a drop in the ocean. But if I didn’t put the drop in, the ocean would be one drop less. Same thing for you, same thing for your family, same thing in the church where you go, just begin … one, one, one.” (Words to Love By, p. 79).
Peace on earth. One person at a time, starting with the people in my family. One family at a time, starting with my family. It’s the place to begin. Will you join me in praying the Rosary for your family once a day for the remainder of the month? And if you have specific resources to share with the reader above, please leave a comment below.
Looking forward to praying together!