What I want you to do for now

(Image: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)

8 min • December 26, 2021

My little children, have a happy time together this Christmas season. Know that your dear father loves you more than you can know. And that he wants to be with you. And he will be with you one day, if you keep praying. And even now, if you love him and he loves you, you are in each other’s hearts. But for now, this is what you should do:

Do your morning prayers together, as a family. You don’t need many prayers, God knows what you need even before you ask. Do the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be, first thing, together, every morning. Include the little ones in this! It’s important they do at least this with you!

Read a little bit of some holy book, it doesn’t have to be much. If you’re older, you can read my Book Snippets that I post every day. There’s enough of them now, that you could get a good variety just by clicking for a random one. And I don’t have any plans to slow down on posting them either.

(By the way, I have plans to make the book snippets even easier to read. I’ll tell you about it later.)

Just read a little, maybe one or two snippets, it doesn’t have to be more than 5 minutes. The point is to get your mind on God and holy things, before the busy day sweeps you away like the current of the sea.

After all this—the short prayers and the short holy reading—you’ve only given 5-10 minutes to God in the morning! See? It doesn’t take too long, and it’s not too hard.

Then, happily go about your day. Trust in God for everything you need.

Pray to your guardian angel throughout the day, asking for help in everything you do.

Ask the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph for comfort whenever you’re sad, and they will help you, comforting and healing your poor heart. Yes, I am confident they will do this. Because they are good parents!

Throughout the day, put the Audio Bible on. It doesn’t have to be loud, it can be something just a little quieter than your inside voice. The point is to have it be something you can hear while you do your chores or homework, so that you might catch glimpses of it, to learn what God thinks about everything and wants you to think. This is the easiest way to read the Bible.

At the end of the day, when you’re all tired from a hard day of work, stop working and rest together for a little while. Don’t worry about the work that’s not done, work never ends. It’ll be there tomorrow for you to do.

After resting a little while, do a decade of the Rosary together, even the little ones. Have them draw a little in a saint coloring book.

After you all finish the first decade together, you who are older can do the rest of the Rosary together, while one of you reads a good kids Saint book to the little ones. They will love it, and they will love you.

Don’t worry about how to pray the Rosary just let. I’ll write about that later for you, to give you advice and tips. It’s not nearly as hard as some people make it. But for now, just pray it and if your mind wanders, don’t worry.

After about 25 minutes, you’ll have done a full Rosary, and the younger ones will have learned a little about some saint, and will have bonded with an older sibling or a parent! And even over holy things! In only 25 minutes!

The last thing to do together is to pray your family prayers. It would be good to start with the St. Gertrude prayer, and then do the Guardian Angel prayer and the St. Michael prayer. It’s kind of like you’re asking Jesus’s protection to sprinkle over you all, which empowers the angels to fight for you and protect you.

And it doesn’t take more than 2 minutes to do!

Now I said “the last thing to do together” because now, you should go to sleep. But not all of you will fall asleep at the same time! When you’re older, you need less sleep, so you can read in bed.

But how are you going to convince the little ones to go to sleep, if you yourselves are staying up and being active and busy? They’ll be up until midnight, and guess who will have to take care of them? You! So to make your own job easier, if for no other reason, stay in bed!

Besides, this is a great time to read some book that lets God speak to your heart. I always recommend the New Testament, whatever Catholic translation you like best, but my favorite is the RSVCE. But it’s also okay to read the lives of the Saints or writings of the Saints and Doctors. Just as long as you’re letting God fill your heart with encouraging thoughts, it doesn’t matter too much what you read.

Before each of you fall asleep, it’d be good for you to reflect on your day, how you acted, the good you did and the ways you know you did wrong against God.

Pray and ask him to forgive you for your sins, but trust that he is forgiving you, and resolve to bring those things up in your next confession, with the love of the prodigal son toward the father, and know that he will have the love of the father toward the prodigal son toward you.

And thank God for the good he gave you. How can we love God if we aren’t grateful for all his kindness and the good he does for us! So thank God for everything good that happened that day. You don’t have to do this together, that’s why I put it last, so you can do all of this in bed, by yourself, before you lay all the way down. (Otherwise you’d get too drowsy and won’t do it.)

But it would be good to do a mini version of this with the little kids right after the Rosary is done, before you do your prayers together. This will teach them how to do it, and show them that it’s good. Otherwise, how are they going to know about it, if you all do it by yourselves in silence? They have to see it first. But they don’t have to join if they’re too little. Otherwise you end up with confused little children who don’t know why they’re praying, and so they don’t like praying.

Let that be your whole day. Wake up with God, go about the business God gave you, rest together as a family, and then rest with God. It’s not hard, it doesn’t take too long, and I promise you that it will get easier over time.

Oh, while you sleep, it would also be good to put the Audio Bible on. You can use any phone to do it. Use a USB to copy the music files onto your phone from your PC, and you should be able to play it from your phone. (And yes, this is perfectly legal. I looked it up extensively, trust me on this and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.) You’re young and have time to figure out tech, you can figure this out. Then just put it on where you can hear it throughout the night as you drift in and out of sleep. If you listen to it a little every day, and be faithful to this practice, you will thank me in 20 years.

One last thing, and it’s important: you who are older, you are also responsible to help keep those who are younger safe. Just because you’re not their parent doesn’t change this! You know what the dangers are, so you have to help them. Keep them safe from all of it. Help your poor parents in this way. St. John Paul II said “we all are truly responsible for all.” You’re part of “all” so do your part. But don’t worry, it’s not too hard. And God will reward your hard work.

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