Have I told you lately that I love you?

On the 21st of each month, my dad brings my mom flowers to mark their “monthly” anniversary. On the paper around the flowers he writes the number of months they’ve been married. They were wed on October 21, 1967, and, as far as I know, my dad has never missed a month. “Happy 509” will be what he’ll write next month.

My husband and I aren’t organized enough to recognize our anniversary on a monthly basis, but five years ago, when Bill and I celebrated our tenth year of marriage, I decided to declare a jubilee year for our family starting on our anniversary date. I thought the church had an excellent idea with its Jubilee 2000 celebration, which included Masses and events throughout the year. Like the pope, I saw no reason to contain our celebrating to one day. (And like the pope, what I declare in our family tends to come to pass, though not always without dissent.) Continue reading

Silence is golden—even for kids

Children older than about 4 benefit from learning how to be silent (for little ones it is next to impossible). We learn to be comfortable with ourselves; we give others a break from our chatter; we may even hear the voice of God. Some ideas:

• Send kids to their rooms, not as a punishment but as a place to go. They may do anything they want for a half hour—but no TV, computer, or iPod. Make sure there are art supplies, writing supplies, or building materials.

• No talking until the next stoplight. When arguments flare in the car, declare a moratorium on talking until a certain landmark.

• Take kids to Eucharistic Adoration; stop into an empty church for 10 minutes. Sit, kneel, or walk around the church in silence.

by Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Here’s a sample issue.

Step away from the laundry

I would be a much more spiritual person if I didn’t need to do the laundry.
Our parish offers excellent adult education programs on matters of faith and also has various types of prayer groups. The programs are offered in the evening on just about every day of the week, every church season of the year. 
And Bill and I hardly go to anything. 
We haven’t always been like this. As young adults, Bill and I attended Theology on Tap (Catholic speakers with beer to follow) religiously. We stayed after church for the Advent and Lenten series. We were involved.  Continue reading