When I was young, the radio and TV commanded an equal amount of attention. I recall that we used to watch a weekly TV show that featured Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. Even though I don’t remember most of what he said, a few tidbits–important ones–have stuck with me. One has even entered popular culture though with significant, if important, alterations. “The family that prays together, stays together.”
And we did. Grace, of course, at meals but also the rosary. If my memory serves me correctly, it was Sheen himself who led it on a radio station–broadcasted even in Los Angeles County. Not every night and not compulsively, my sister and I would be stretched out in our side-by-side twin beds and Mom and Dad would squeeze in between us for this bedtime ritual.
Family prayer is most likely rare in today’s busy culture. So many families can’t even gather for communal meals. Too bad. The family that prays together has been supplanted by the family that plays together in our increasing secularized society. Not that play is a bad thing. But think how different life could be if we could etch out a few moments for prayer and/or for a gathering and sharing of the day at the dinner table.
Last Advent, David and I re-initiated the practice of the Advent wreath and that has led into a new nighttime ritual–a short reflection from a meditation book by Max Lucado and a few moments of quiet reflection…it’s our dogs, this time, who snuggle up in between us.
I had to share this photo of Sparky taken last year. Both of our dogs join me each morning when I say to them–come on, let’s pray. This is what happened once, post-prayer.