The Value of Prayer in the Family
LIFE'S ESSENCE - Katherine R. Oyson (The Freeman) - October 9, 2019 - 12:00am

My late mother, Antonia Uy-de los Reyes was a prayerful woman. When I was growing up together with my three siblings, we always prayed the rosary every night after our dinner.  Storytelling by my mother would follow after saying the rosary.

My Mom’s prayer gave her the grace in fulfilling the mission in life of my nephew to become a priest – Fr. Simon de los Reyes Boiser, SVD. There was a woman who came all the way from abroad coming home with him during the last year towards his priesthood when he was visiting his parents, Simon and Gretel (my sister), there. My mother prayed the rosary many times every day and prayed so hard for my nephew to become a priest.

Fr. Boiser is now a missionary in Hamburg, Germany.  Truly, prayers triumph over any curve balls that are thrown in one’s path.

In the book, “Mother Teresa of Simple Faith,” compiled by Lucinda Vardey, Mother Teresa wrote: “Prayer is needed for children and families. Love begins at home and that is why it is important to pray together. If you pray together you will stay together and love each other as God loves each of us. In whatever religion we are, we must pray together. Children need to learn to pray and they need to have their parents pray with them. If we don’t do this, it will be difficult to become holy, to carry on, to strengthen ourselves in faith.”

Sister Theresina, the regional superior for the British Isles and Ireland, shares her own experience:

“It is from the family that the child is supposed to get the first spiritual formation, and within the family it is meant to be nurtured and grow. This is not happening much at all now. The majority of parents we come in contact with have lost their faith and therefore have lost any kind of dependence on God. They are deprived of all the gifts that God can give them to raise their children properly; they are deprived of the wisdom and discernment to guide their children when needed. Many parents say to me, ‘I’m sorry, I just can’t control my children, they are out of control.’”

There is so much suffering in families these days all over the world that it is important to pray, and it is important to forgive. People ask me what advice I have for a married couple struggling in their relationship. I always answer, “Pray and forgive,” and to the young people who come from violent homes, “Pray and forgive,” and to the single mother with no family support, “Pray and forgive.” You can say, “My Lord, I love you. My God, I am sorry. My God, I believe in you. My God, I trust you. Help us to love one another as You love us.”

We pray to the Holy Family (Mary, Joseph and Jesus) for our family: “Heavenly Father, help us to stay together in joy and in sorrow through family prayer. May we love one another as God loves each one of us more and more each day, and forgive each other’s fault as You forgive our sins. May the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus make our hearts meek and humble, and help us to carry out our family duties in a holy way. Amen.”

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