With the cold and snow behind us we hope we are gearing up for those times of sunshine and celebration in our lives and in the life of the Church. Be it a child’s First Communion, graduation, weddings or just a long awaited vacation, it is an important reminder to include our faith in these watershed moments.
The benefit of recognizing and using our faith lies in seeing where we have come from and how God has used the blessing, struggles and opportunities in our lives to bring about this celebration. Of course, the way in which we communicate to God is in prayer. In the life of our faith there are four basic forms of prayer: adoration (giving praise to God), petition (asking God for something), contrition (asking forgiveness), and thanksgiving (thanking God). It is important to keep these forms in mind when formulating how to involve God in one of these moments of celebration.
Here are a few examples of how include Christ in your celebrations:
- This is certainly one of the most obvious ways to continue to make Christ part of the celebration. After the Mass, celebrate this great experience with a party and begin it with a toast and prayer for your child. Thank God publicly for deepening the faith of the child.
- Consider purchasing a religious icon or sacramental to give to graduates as they go out to make their way in the world. A good example would be a crucifix for their dorm or a rosary for when they feel alone.
- Solemnize your participating in the event with more than a toaster or alarm clock.
- Give a parent’s or friend’s blessing by thanking God for them, praising Him for their union and petitioning God to provide them many years together.
- Remember your Sunday obligation to utilize all four forms of prayer at Mass! Visit http://masstimes.org/ to determine the parish and mass times at your vacation location.
- Use downtime in the car to pray together as a family with the Rosary or Chaplet of Divine Mercy
- End each day of your vacation by thanking God for the fun and relaxation you shared that day.
As Catholics it is always important to shroud ourselves in the culture of our Catholic faith. The great blessing and benefit of Catholicism is that we are not limited to only a place of worship, but are part of a great well spring of community and a bastion of love, mercy and celebration. Thus, when we participate in a celebratory occasion, it is always appropriate to be mindful of God’s purpose and presence in it.