25 Day Consecration to the Holy Family

Consecration to the Holy Family

Introduction


Holiness of the Family

There is no perfect family, with the exception of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Even so, God calls every family to live in holy union with one another, so that the family may be held up in grace and become a beacon of light in the darkness. The family is made to be a reflection of the Holy Trinity. As we examine all that God hopes for in and through the family, we will begin to know more about the nature of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. While our own family will ultimately fall short of this perfect holiness to some degree, it is always good and necessary to know what God desires for the family, so that we will have something to strive for, something to lead us ever forward in our journey to holiness. 

The uniqueness of each family resides in their own set of persons and circumstances. The persons themselves comprise a harmonious community that is able to reflect God’s goodness in a very specific way. Every family’s journey is different and so the means by which they learn and live the virtues is how they are able to make progress. While some virtues will be better lived out by one family, another family will better live out a completely different virtue. Although the family should strive to live by all the virtues, specific ones may be at the heart of the family and thus become a witness to the world. It is important to never compare side by side our own family to our neighbor’s family. Each family is unique in God’s eyes. The goal for the family should be to be who they were created to be and to be that well. The family should be ever-striving to align their will with the Will of God and to allow the Holy Spirit to lead them in their particular path to holiness. 

As the family begins to strive for holiness, it all starts right where they are, in the midst of their circumstances, with the very people that God has placed in their lives, in the present moment. Often we think it best to wait for situations to resolve or timing to be better before we can turn our lives around or before we can start to make changes to our family life. The Lord desires us to “Be not afraid” and to start where we are, in the midst of whatever our family looks like now. We can all begin with changing one habit or starting one new devotion and build from there. Like Peter taking that first step out on the water, we must take that first step in faith and then try our best to keep our eyes on Jesus, knowing that we can always reach out to Jesus if we start to fall or begin sinking in the water. Jesus will always save us, so we need not fear.

St John Paul II is a champion of marriage and family life. He believed in the holiness that all families are called to and their role in the new evangelization. JPII wrote numerous times about the family during his time as pope. He bravely and boldly proclaimed the truth of the Christian marriage and it’s extension through the family. He was persistent in presenting the inherently positive effects of Christian families, both on the individual members of the family, as well as on their community, their nation and the world. 

While the family is no doubt under attack in our world today, the Catholic Church is there to redirect our gaze to the full potential of the family and the graces that flow from a family life centered on Christ. There is no time better than now to begin building a Christian society from the ground up. From your family and mine, may we begin to foster the dignity of every human being in our children and our children’s children. May we strengthen our family through the handing on of our faith by way of liturgy, catechesis, prayer, living the sacramental life, and bringing the life of the Church into our homes as we take seriously the role of being the Domestic Church. In the family, we create an authentic community of persons where we can learn who we are, what gifts God has given us, and how we are called to use our gifts for the building up of the Kingdom of God. Love is what lives in the family through the power of the Holy Spirit. Where the Holy Spirit is invited into the family, the love of God dwells. 

By focusing on the building up of our own families, our view shifts away from the chaos of the world, onto doing our part to establish a civilization of love and unity, with a firm foundation of virtue, through the transformation of our own lives lived only for Christ. When the world looks at our family, they should be led to desire a deeper understanding and relationship with Jesus Christ. They should see peace, love, mercy, sacrifice, faith, hope, and truth being lived out on a daily basis. Created in God’s own image, when we are confronted with such witness to the Christian life, the human heart will be convicted by the Holy Spirit. Through the Christian witness of our family, the Holy Spirit is able to transform the world one heart at a time. 

This Holy Family Consecration was created as a way for families to come together, to learn about the virtues lived out in the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. It is a commitment to building up and strengthening your family in faith and holiness. Through the roles of fatherhood, motherhood and childhood, each person of the family is called to live Love from right where they are and to become the Light of Christ in the world. Through meditating on the cardinal and theological virtues in light of each of these roles in the family, the goal is to help each person to see how these virtues can be lived out by them personally. All virtue starts where we are and grows in its refinement with the help of the Holy Spirit. The family can pray daily to the Holy Spirit to increase these virtues in them. As the family grows and matures in virtue, they should be led to a deepening of prayer; both personal prayer and family prayer. In turn, the family will also grow in faith, so that they can be sent out to evangelize both in word and deed. The family is designed to be a witness to the world of the joy of Christ, may we all step into our role of being Christ’s light in the world of darkness.

The Call of the Christian Family

St John Paul II wrote so well about how the family, by its very makeup, is in communion with the Blessed Trinity. In this way the family is able to see within itself what God has for humanity and what the family is called to do for the world through grace. Marriage and the family are a channel of God’s Grace with the potential to draw the entire culture into the rediscovery of our relationship to God through Christ. The graces that flow through the family have the potential to change the culture from the ground up. 

But this model of the family requires our participation. It requires the parents to embrace the truth of who they are in Christ. It requires them to realize their covenant through the daily living out of their marriage vows. It requires sacrifice to be lived out and held up as the center point from which the graces of the cross flow. It requires obedience to the Will of God for themselves, as well as in the formation of their children. It requires the recognition and living out of the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. It requires the increase in the gifts of faith, hope and charity through their openness to the power of the Holy Spirit. Husband and wife are called to lead their family first through their own example, but then further through the outpouring of charity toward all of humanity. 

The Catholic Church provides the family the framework from which to live as a domestic church. Through the daily living out of the sacramental life, the family draws from the Church the sanctifying grace of the Sacraments, so that they can build themselves up in faith, hope and charity, in order to witness to the world the Light of Christ that dwells within them. As the family is built up in holiness, it does so not to set itself up on a pedestal, but in order to transmit this saving power of God through the family out upon the world. As one family is strengthened, they become a beacon of hope and inspiration for others because the Light of Christ cannot be contained, but will go out and spread the Good News in both word and deed.

Format of the Consecration

  • This is a 25 day consecration to end on the 25th of any month you choose. The 25th day reminds us of both the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25) and the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ (December 25).  Also, the number 25 signifies grace upon grace.
  • Each day you will pray a rosary with your family, read aloud the daily reflection and recite the Prayer to the Holy Family together.
  • The consecration starts off with 7 days that are devoted to St. Joseph, praying for the father of the family, followed by 7 days devoted to Mary, praying for the mother of the family. Throughout each of these seven days, the reflections will highlight one of either the 4 cardinal virtues (prudence, fortitude, justice, and temperance) or the 3 theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity). Then there are 7 days devoted to the Divine Child Jesus, praying for the children of the family. Since Jesus was virtue itself, fully Divine, and the perfection of virtue lived out, the focus of these 7 days will be on the virtues preached by Jesus through the parables. 
  • The first Wednesday of the month is traditionally dedicated to Saint Joseph. On this day you will pray especially for the father of your family, whether present or not. If this is you or if you are single, you may pray for yourself. The First Wednesday Devotion consists of praying a rosary meditating on the Joyful Mysteries remembering Saint Joseph’s love, life, role and sufferings, along with receiving Holy Communion in union with the love Saint Joseph had for Jesus the first time and each time he held him, his son, his God and Savior, in his arms.
  • The first Friday of the month is traditionally dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. For the purpose of this consecration you will pray especially for the children of your family, whether present or not. Again, if this is you or if you are single or have no children, you may pray for yourself. On this day you will pray a rosary and meditate on the Sorrowful Mysteries remembering Jesus’ love, life, role and sacrifice made for us on the Cross at Calvary, along with making an Eucharistic Holy Hour in Adoration and offering each member of the family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in prayer. 
  • The first Saturday of the month is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  For the purposes of this consecration you will pray especially for the mother of your family, whether present or not. If this is you or if you are single, you may pray for yourself.  The First Saturday Devotion consists of going to confession (within 8 days), receiving Holy Communion, praying a rosary meditating on the Joyful Mysteries remembering Mary’s love, life, role and sufferings, along with spending 15 minutes with Our Lady meditating upon all 15 mysteries of the rosary.
  • In the final 3 days (days 22, 23, & 24) leading up to the Consecration Day (day 25), you will either abstain or fast as a family. Ideally this will be done from sun up until sun down, but at a minimum the family should commit to at least an hour on each of these days. 
    • On the 22nd day of the month you will abstain from things you watch or see that are distractions from God. If this is not possible you can set aside a minimum of one hour without TV, phone, social media, etc. Consider filling this time with the reading of Sacred Scripture or watching a movie about a Saint, or getting out in nature and enjoying God’s creation together as a family.
    • On the 23rd of the month you will abstain from noise and spend most of the day in silence as best you can. If this is not possible you can set aside an hour of silence on this day. Consider filling this time of silence by meditating upon the early years of the Holy Family, their time together in Nazareth. What was Mary like as a mother? What was Saint Joseph like as a father? What was Jesus like as a child?
    • On the 24th of the month you will fast from food (if you’re doing this in December, yes that is Christmas Eve until sundown, in preparation for our King.). This fast can be on bread and water or the Lenten fast of one regular meal and two smaller meals that do not add up to a full meal. Consider this day meditating on our spiritual hunger and thirst for the Lord. Or  maybe you could clean out your pantry and donate food to the nearest food pantry or even volunteer at your local soup kitchen as a family. 
  • On the 25th of the month, Consecration Day, you will come together as a family to recite the Consecration prayer and celebrate! Consider planning something really big this day. Make it special. Have all your favorite foods. Truly feast together as a family!

Things to remember

  • This is not about making your family perfect or trying to fix another person.
  • This is about transforming your own heart and uniting it to the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. It is within your own heart that God begins healing the family. When you begin to see others through the eyes of Christ, relationships are transformed and families are made whole. Whole and healed families build whole and healed communities and the light of Christ spreads outward from there. It begins with you. Be open to your own heart changing.
  • This Consecration format is meant to help guide you.  The days of fasting and abstinence and praying the full Rosary are part of the consecration, however, please do not quit if you feel overwhelmed.  Do what you can do as a family (or by yourself) and do it from your heart.  You may have a day where only a decade is prayed.  You may find fasting hard if you have never done it before.  It is important to remember that prayer from the heart to the best of your ability is meaningful and God walks with you from where you are to the place where He wants you to be as long as you stay on the path with Him and don’t give up.
Saint Joseph

Day 1

St Joseph, Father of the Holy Family

Virtue of Prudence

Prudence disposes us in all circumstances to form right judgments about what we must do or not do. 

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Reflection

Saint Joseph was a righteous man. When he learned that Mary was with child, in his society, Mary would have been humiliated and even stoned to death for her pregnancy out of wedlock. We can see how much Joseph cared for Mary, as he decided to divorce her quietly so as to save her from any undue harm. Although he did not at first know all that was going on with Mary and this baby, Joseph acted in prudence by choosing to protect Mary and the baby, while also obeying the Law of Moses that he was obliged to keep.

This inner struggle in St Joseph’s heart was a heroic exercise of prudence. As he held onto the details of the situation and lifted them up to be measured in the Light of the Wisdom of God, he discerned that it would be best to divorce Mary quietly. This decision was made based upon his righteousness, which told him that it was important to uphold Mary’s dignity, the child’s dignity, and his own dignity. In practicing prudence, it is important to note that St. Joseph did not sin against God by seeking to divorce Mary quietly, for this was the law and he was being obedient to it. Furthermore, we see Joseph taking on this role of fatherhood in a profound way even before the angel appeared to him and revealed to him the plan of God for this situation. St Joseph chose to protect Mary and the child, even though he knew he wasn’t the father, he still made a decision to protect them in the most human way he knew how. Divorcing Mary quietly would not draw attention to her or the situation, thus possibly alleviating any harm that would come to her and the child as a result.

As the story progresses, we know that the angel then appears to St Joseph in a dream and the Lord gives a command to him to take Mary as his wife and the baby as his child. The plan of God and his part in it was then revealed to St Joseph and he acted immediately in obedience. Joseph takes on the actual role of fatherhood in the Holy Family from this point forward.  He becomes the Guardian Heart of the Holy Family, guarding and protecting both Mary and Jesus.  Where we at first see St Joseph’s human prudence in discerning to divorce Mary quietly, we now see the supernatural prudence that he responded to in order to be able to take Mary and the child into his family. Before, where his human understanding saw only one way, here we see that through his readiness and openness to the Will of God, he was able to act immediately upon the revelation of God. We must always remember to be open to the possibilities God has in store for us that we often cannot see. Supernatural prudence is exercised when we are willing to take on the crosses God sends our way, even when human prudence may have had us avoid it.  

In our own lives we can exercise prudence by holding our decision making in our hearts and using discernment. Discernment is a virtue where we allow the Holy Spirit to help us make right judgement in our decisions. Every action we make is a call to holiness if we want it to be. We can exercise prudence in the way we act towards others.  We can exercise prudence in our finances. But in all things we should always be open to all the possibilities God may have in store for us. A prudent Father forsees evil and protects his family.

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.

Day 2

St Joseph, Father of the Holy Family

Virtue of Justice

Justice disposes us to give to God what belongs to God and to others what belongs to them. 

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Reflection

Oftentimes we only think of justice as giving to others what is their due, but this virtue can only be lived out rightly when it is seen in the light of the justice that all human persons owe to God. By the sheer nature of our existence, God is due our praise, worship and adoration above all else. St Joseph is a great example of this as he was obedient to God, which he did immediately, fully and joyfully. When the angel appears to him, revealing to him the plan of God in relation to Mary and the child in her womb, St Joseph’s response was righteous action. There is no spoken response recorded in scripture from Joseph like we see with Mary, but through his immediate action of taking Mary as his wife and the baby as his child, we see his “yes” being lived out in full obedience to God. 

Through the virtue of justice, Joseph knew that whatever God asked of him was to be obeyed. He understood that his whole life should be lived in humble obedience to the Lord. Out of respect and honor to the Lord, Joseph surrendered everything to God and trusted in His providence. St Joseph believed that God knew better than he and that God would guide him in all things. He was willing to give his life as an offering back to the Lord.

St Joseph also freely extended justice to others, which started with Mary and Jesus. Justice requires our seeing beyond ourselves and being willing to sacrifice for God and the other. Joseph takes Mary and the child in as his family because the Lord asked him to and because doing so honored  the justice due to Mary in whom he was betrothed to and this child whom she was given. 

In our own daily lives we can exercise the virtue of Justice by beginning our day with thanksgiving and prayer to the Lord. Perhaps reading the daily Mass readings. On Sunday we keep the third commandment by attending Mass as a family. As a family we act justly toward one another through our service of one another based upon our role in the family. The father serves the family through leadership, protection, and provision of the faith and wellbeing of the family. The mother serves the family through physical and spiritual nurturing, and exemplifying God’s own heart. The children serve the family through honoring their parents and assisting wherever they are asked in the affairs of the family. When we are serving others based upon the justice due to both God and all human persons we become imitators of the Holy Family.

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.

Day 3

St Joseph, Father of the Holy Family

Virtue of Fortitude

Fortitude disposes us to do what is good in spite of any difficulty.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Reflection

It was the virtue of fortitude in particular that was demonstrated by St Joseph when the life of Jesus was threatened by Herod. Herod had ordered the killing of infants in a fit of jealousy after the Magi had informed him of this great new King. St Joseph listened again to the angel, believing in what was being revealed to him, and he did not hesitate to flee in those unexpected circumstances. The courage to flee in the night into an unknown land saves the Divine Child from Herod’s reign of terror. 

St Joseph’s action of fleeing in the night in response to the angel’s message actually prevented Herod the opportunity to enter his home and harm the Divine Child Jesus. As a result the Holy Family had to cross a desert, which is a fierce landscape that would require the courage and fortitude of a lionhearted man. This decision also required the Holy Family to live in a foreign country for a period of time. In Egypt they were without family and friends, during their newborn son’s first years of his life. The spoken language was not their own, the customs were vastly different to their own, not to mention it was a completely pagan nation. The virtue of fortitude not only demonstrated by Joseph in his agreeing to such hardship, but also in his ability to persevere in spite of it. The Holy Family spent their first few years together as a family in a sort of exile, but they had each other and they had the providence of God.

Many times in our own lives we face situations that require fortitude. Situations where we face tremendous hardship or even a sort of exile. Sometimes we find that something immoral or unjust is at risk of affecting our family and we must stand up even when society is against us. Today’s culture throws so many things our way that can lead us to have to face tough decisions head on. Though we may not have to cross an actual desert or live in exile, these situations can make us feel like the world is coming after us in much the same way Herod went after the Divine Child. In all this, we must have the moral fortitude to fight for good in our families and protect the family from the things that are harmful to our souls. 

In today’s society these situations can take the form of extraordinary circumstances such as trauma, terminal diagnosis, accidents, financial hardships, and so on. Or it can take the form of ordinary things such as movies and music that exploit the dignity of the human person, rampant pornography, violence, acceptance of the moral evils like, contraception, abortion and gay marriage, the list goes on. In the family, the fortitude to persevere and/or guard against these things can be hard, but like St Joseph, we must rely on the strength of God to help us overcome and remain in the love of God. As these evils get thrown our way, it is through supernatural fortitude that we are able to continue to follow God’s ways and not give up despite the ongoing attempts by the enemy to kill, steal and destroy the family. 

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.

DAY 4

St Joseph, Father of the Holy Family

Virtue of Temperance

Temperance disposes us to control our desires and to use rightly the things which please ourselves.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Reflection

St Joseph is known as the Most Chaste Spouse because he exercised the virtue of temperance in all things. Having a firm foundation in prudence, justice and fortitude allowed Joseph to exemplify the virtue of temperance; he was not ruled by impulse or emotions of the moment. St Joseph did not seek his own worldly comfort, which would have led him to care more about his reputation, rather than his obedience to God. 

When Joseph is asked by the government to travel to Bethlehem for the census, we see him choose to set out with his family, sacrificing pleasurable things such as the comfort of his home in order to obey the law. Surely along the journey food would be scarce, their means of travel was not ideal, and the timing was really poor as they knew that Mary was nearing the end of her pregnancy. All things pointed toward this being a very tough journey ahead of them both, but Joseph still sets out to Bethlehem with his family.

Additionally, tradition holds that both Mary and Joseph were ever-virgins, both willingly choosing at their betrothal to safeguard each other’s purity.  Mary’s body was reserved for God and Joseph respected her dignity, thus preserving his body in virginity as well. While married couples are not typically called to celibacy like Mary and Joseph were, they are indeed called to chastity. Practicing chastity is a form of temperance. Chastity in marriage would exclude anything that is harmful to the dignity of the other spouse. This includes the total gift of self to the spouse, body and soul. It requires self-sacrifice instead of self indulgence. It is the respect of the holiness of the body, mind and soul of the other, so that we may see God in the other and thus treat them as a temple of the Holy Spirit. 

We can choose now to plant this virtue of temperance in our family and ask God for the grace to do it. We can choose to nourish it so that temperance will grow and spread out amongst our communities, our nations and eventually the whole world. Goodness and love are attractive to a searching soul. So many people in the world are searching, although they don’t know what they are searching for. When goodness and love is presented to them, through good holy families and relationships, they will see it and truth will be revealed to them in a powerful way.  The witness of our family should speak to the heart of others in a way that allows the Holy Spirit to lead them to conviction and love. Grounding ourselves and our children firmly in the virtues can begin to change what society looks like from our own family outward.    

Saint Joseph was pure, chaste, modest, and self-sacrificing, all the marks of a temperate man grounded in virtue. As the Spiritual Head of the Holy Family, Joseph elevates all families and places them in the light of Christ as a model to the world of the love and virtue of the Holy Trinity.  


Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.  

DAY 5

St Joseph, Father of the Holy Family

Virtue of Faith

Faith is a Divine virtue by which we firmly believe the truths which God has revealed.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Reflection

How many times do we see Saint Joseph step out in complete faith and trust in God, not knowing what is to come?  Saint Paul tells us that faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). St Joseph, being a Jewish man would have been prayerfully hoping for the Messiah. Little did he know God would answer these prayers by bringing the Messiah to him personally, as a child to be fathered and protected by himself. What an incredible responsibility.  

Joseph had faith that God himself would provide all that he needed to accomplish this promise made to all of mankind. Although human reason would tell the best of us that what was being asked was too big, too scary and seemingly impossible, St Joseph doesn’t doubt God’s plan, nor did he doubt God’s love for him. Being confident in God’s providence is why his faith is able to be so strong. Without knowing the whole plan, Joseph was able to forge ahead because he believed in the goodness of God more than he believed in his own strength or his own reason.

Confidence in God’s love for us is the very foundation of the gift of faith. Many of us don’t truly believe that God loves us because of suffering we have endured. It is important that we understand that it is not God who wills our suffering, but suffering was brought into the world by Satan who tempted Adam and Eve. It was when they sinned that suffering and death entered the world. The Good News is that through the sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary, God’s love is there holding us up even in the midst of suffering. 

Do you have any idea how much God loves you? Jesus showed us how much he loves us by suffering on the Cross. He took all of it on, for you, for me, for every person in your family, for your neighbors and your friends, for your enemies, for the entire world, for all of humanity that ever lived and ever will live. When we walk confidently in God’s love for us, our faith grows exponentially. We no longer believe the lies that are being flung at us by the enemy, about our self worth, about who we are and what we were made for. We begin to walk in the understanding that we have a Good Father who wants to bless us, who wants to show us that his blessings look different from what the world considers a blessing. Faith is living in an interior freedom that is gained by accepting forgiveness, forgiving others, and purging ourselves from sin. People who walk in faith like St Joseph did, can move mountains, or in his case usher in a Savior. Families are meant to live in complete confidence in God, in complete faith.  

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.

DAY 6 

St Joseph, Father of the Holy Family

Virtue of Hope

Hope is a Divine virtue by which we firmly trust that God will give us eternal life and the means to obtain it.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Reflection

Saint Joseph had hope in the Messiah who would save the world. When he presents the firstborn Son at the temple in obedience to the Torah, sacrificing the turtle doves, we see supernatural hope being infused in St Joseph through his interactions with Simeon and the prophetess Anna. As he and Mary bring the baby into the temple, it is proclaimed then in the Canticle of Simeon, “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32. Scripture goes on to tell us that Joseph and Mary were “amazed”. Hope does amaze us because it is the recognition of God who is amazing. St Joseph in this moment recognizes that the hope for Israel’s Salvation is in his care. He receives that hope and treasures it in his heart as a constant reminder of the glory of God. Hope inspires awe and wonder in us at the glory of God. It compels us to move forward by encouraging us in the love of God. Joseph knew that this child who was the hope for the world at the proclamation of Simeon, thus the Presentation at the Temple was the Presentation of the Hope for the world. 

St Joseph lived in joyful hope for the coming of that day when his adopted son, Jesus, was to bring unity back to mankind. Although he was not alive to see it, he spent his days on earth dreaming of all that was to come. St Joseph died in the arms of Mary and Jesus, knowing that the fulfillment of the Salvation of the world would be completed in them. Joseph continues to hope from his place in Heaven. Seated at the left of Jesus Christ the King, St Joseph wants to intercede for you and your family in order to bring forth the unity founded in the hope of Jesus Christ. 

Many of us know what it’s like to be in depression or despair. These are part of our human sufferings, but there is one who brings lasting hope to us and that is Jesus Christ. Christ is our hope! When you are able to recognize that you were made for a purpose, to know love and serve God in this life and to live with Him forever in eternity, you live in hope. We believe that our eternity will be spent with the Lord, where there is no more suffering and no more tears. We are only on this earth for a very short period of time in comparison to eternity. When we hope in our final home, therein lies the peace of God. 

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.

DAY 7

St Joseph, Father of the Holy Family

Virtue of Charity

Charity is a Divine virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Reflection

The charity of St Joseph was born first through his virtuous life and his love of God the Father. Joseph was one of the first adorers of Jesus Christ present in the world. As the adoptive father of Jesus and the husband of Mary, he took the Blessed Mother and the Creator of the Universe into his home, which was a gesture of genuflection towards the tabernacle of Mary’s womb and the Divine Child held within. Then once Christ was born, Joseph gazed into the eyes of the Divine Child, adoring and praising God in his real presence, born upon this earth, for this incredible gift of love. When we are in Eucharistic Adoration, it is a mirroring of St Joseph’s daily adoration of the Divine Child Jesus. In their home in Nazareth, God was in their midst at all times in a real physical way. St Joseph must have been transformed through this perpetual presence of Jesus in his home. This daily adoration our Lord is what purified Joseph as husband and father and strengthened him in his vocation. Additionally, Saint Joseph would have had the child Jesus work with him in his carpentry.  Even in our daily work we can adore God.

St Joseph was also able to hold the source of all charity in his very arms, a grace gifted to not many people. He lived the rest of his life, and even died, in the presence of Divine charity. There is no doubt that this charity burned a holy fire within Joseph’s heart, which purified every act of love that he gifted to the world. The kind of Divine charity that St Joseph experienced and lived out was unconditional love, mercy and goodness. This charity was not only willing to sacrifice continually for others, but it also lived life to the fullest. Through his relationship with God, St Joseph became a beacon of charity.  

We too can have this holy fire lit inside of our hearts; the Flame of Love that transforms our hearts and purifies our souls. We recognize the glory of God as we genuflect and make the sign of the cross, acknowledging the Divine presence in the tabernacle as we accept the source of all charity into our hearts.  We receive Christ in the Eucharist at Mass and are nourished by the source of all charity. We sit in humble adoration in front of the Monstrance and gaze at the source of all charity, allowing Him to also gaze upon us and love us right where we are. These acts of adoration help us to grow in the love and charity of God, which extends beyond what a human being can normally conceive, and gives us the ability to live out of that charity in our daily lives.  We can go to work and school with this Divine Flame of Love within us.   A family that goes to Mass and adoration together can pray for the Lord to cultivate the charity of God in their hearts like St Joseph. 

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.

Our Lady of Victory

DAY 8 

Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Holy Family

Virtue of Prudence

Prudence disposes us in all circumstances to form right judgments about what we must do or not do.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Reflection

After the Annunciation, Mary has to then tell Joseph, her espoused, all about what happened; how the angel came to her, how she said yes to being the mother of the Messiah, how she was now pregnant, and how she was unsure of what all would come next, but that she trusted in God. Would he believe her? How was this all going to work out? There must have been an endless line of questions running through her mind. We know from scripture that “Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.” (Matthew 1:19). This must have been a deep sorrow of Mary and she must have been troubled about what she was going to do, being pregnant and on her own.

The response of Mary in this troubling situation was one of prudence. Mary trusted in the Lord and so she prayed and waited for the Lord to act. She prayed for the conviction of St Joseph. She knew that she was unable to convince him, but that the Holy Spirit had the power to do so. Mary waits for the Lord and in her waiting it allows the Holy Spirit the space to act. Then we see that the Lord was faithful by sending an angel to Joseph to reveal His plan to him. 

This virtue of prudence demonstrated by Mary was no small act. If St. Joseph would not have taken on the role of being the head of the Holy Family, it would have left Mary in a lot of danger. This was no small waiting that Mary did! The safety and security of her life and the life of her child were at serious risk. She needed Joseph’s yes and there was a realization that only God could make it happen for her. So in supernatural prudence, she prayed and did not try to force anything that was outside of the Will of God.

The virtue of prudence can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, but in this instance, Mary teaches us, and especially mothers, the value of waiting for the Lord. When we submit to the Will of God and wait for His command, we are aligning our will with the Lord’s. This is where we find order in our desires and we begin to live in the fullness of who we are and what we were created for. Prudence teaches us to allow space for the Holy Spirit to act. It requires faith and trust in the power of the Holy Spirit. It moves us to pray and reminds us that we are not in control, but that we must rely on God’s providence in our lives. When we try to control or force an outcome of a situation on someone else it often worsens the situation.  Prudence teaches us patience and trust in the Lord. 

The reality of Mary’s situation was that she was not able to change Joseph’s mind and heart, but she knew the Holy Spirit could. Motherhood is filled with decisions that need to be made, both big and small. Oftentimes these decisions can have big effects on our lives and the lives of our family. By practicing prudence, we submit our will to the Will of the Father, allowing the Holy Spirit to move and act in whatever way is necessary for the fulfillment of God’s purpose. Today we pray for mothers to be guided in the virtue of prudence at all times. For them to grow in this virtue and to teach and demonstrate it well to their family.

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.

DAY 9 

Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Holy Family

Virtue of Justice

Justice disposes us to give to God what belongs to God and to others what belongs to them. 

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us 

Reflection

The Blessed Virgin Mary always gave to God what belonged to God, we see this in her fiat, her unequivocal yes to the Father. Mary gives her body as the tabernacle for her Son and her soul as the Mother of God and the mother of all of humanity. In turn we see Jesus give His body, blood, soul and divinity, on the cross for the salvation of all of mankind. Mary was there at the foot of the Cross when Jesus gave up His body for us. This was the first Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where she stood offering her Son back to the Father, giving God His due. In God’s justice for the sins of mankind, He gave His only begotten Son to extend mercy to mankind. This Divine Justice is the reconciliation of God to mankind, which requires us then to forgive one another as we have been forgiven by God.  It is Jesus Christ who taught us justice through forgiveness, and so, like Him, we too must forgive and reconcile with one another as an act of justice.  

No one exemplifies this more than the Blessed Virgin Mary. In doing what is right and just, Mary chose to forgive the Apostles who, all but one, had abandoned her Son during His passion and death.  Instead of holding onto bitterness and/or seeking retribution against them, we glean from the person we know Mary to be, that she prayed for them.  Mary doesn’t hold a grudge against the Apostles, but she prays for them because she knew they needed it. It was Mary who was with them when the Holy Spirit came upon them in the Upper Room at Pentecost.  Mary is a just woman and a just woman forgives.

We are called to extend this act of forgiveness starting in our own marriage and family.  The key to a just society is a strong family.  The key to a strong family, one that stays together, is mercy.  Justice and mercy are inextricably intertwined. So it is that true justice begins with forgiveness. In our society we tend to try to work for social justice without the virtue of mercy. Social justice is a work of mercy that should provide for the physical and spiritual needs of others, all who justly deserve to be cared for both body and soul. 

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.

DAY 10

Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Holy Family 

Virtue of Fortitude

Fortitude disposes us to do what is good in spite of any difficulty.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us 

Reflection

Saint Louis Marie deMontfort says that by the power of her prayers and the perfection of her virtues, the Blessed Virgin alone merited and found grace before God. So when we think of the fortitude of Mary we think of perfect courage, that which isn’t even afraid to face death. In her fiat alone, from a rational human perspective, this puts her life in danger. Yet she agrees to it in perfect obedience. When Joseph came to Mary to travel to Bethlehem for the census, we see again, fortitude. A pregnant woman travelling approximately 90 miles, perhaps on foot or by donkey, from Nazareth to Bethlehem would require extreme fortitude. Being away from midwives and not knowing where they would stay, all of these things of venturing into the unknown while carrying her child would have required great fortitude. So too with the flight to Egypt. But quite possibly the most intense exhibition of this virtue would have been during the passion and death of her Son.  Her fortitude went beyond that of  even the Apostles who ran and hid in fear while she bravely endured the witnessing of those most brutal events. Mary shows supernatural fortitude that as a mother, she was able to withstand and be of support to her son simply by her presence. As she went along the way to Calvary, her motherly instinct would have been telling her to lash out, or to run away, or at least look away. But we find Mary standing at the foot of her son’s cross. The sword that pierced her heart that was prophesied by Simeon was this immense suffering she underwent during the passion. Despite how hard it was, Mary chose in fortitude to be there for Jesus, even in his darkest moment. 

Fear is the vice that we see in opposition to fortitude, and while scripture tells us Mary experienced the emotion of fear or anxiety, the grace of fortitude was greater. She was not ruled by emotion as many of us are. Mary was able to think beyond herself and she trusted God as she magnified the Lord in all these scary circumstances.  She had patience in waiting for God to act and perseverance in acting when God told her to, these are all markers of the virtue of fortitude.  

There are many things in the world that can make us afraid, especially the fear of suffering or dying, but in this virtue of fortitude, we can stand unafraid, trusting in God our good Father. We can magnify the Lord like Mary by being patient and persevering in times of trial and anxiety. It is prayer that helps form this virtue and actually trains our minds to walk in love and not fear. Mary was always in prayer and it is through her example that we can become a family of prayer that walks with fortitude.  

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.

DAY 11  

Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Holy Family

Virtue of Temperance

Temperance disposes us to control our desires and to use rightly the things which please ourselves.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Reflection

The virtue of temperance when perfected drives so many of our human actions towards the good of our soul. It’s important to recognize that the body is good and that material things can be enjoyed as good when they lead us to glorify God. Temperance is the virtue that keeps us from desiring pleasures to the extent that they lead us to sinful indulgence, as well as keeps us from pleasures that are in fact impure and sinful. The Virgin Mary exemplified temperance in all things. Temperance calls one to chastity and abstinence, which Mary gave freely to God as we see in the doctrine of her perpetual virginity. It promotes modesty, and sobriety, and rest. But perhaps the place where the Virgin Mary best exemplifies temperance is in her humility. 

Humility is a fruit of temperance because the temperate person aligns their desires with the Will of God. Mary never sought the spotlight for herself. She did not envy others. Her spoken words at the wedding at Cana show how she aligned her will with the Will of God, “Do whatever he tells you.”  It was never about her, but only about her Son and doing the will of God. The natural craving most of us have for grandiose things and self promotion was not the way of Mary; this is why Lucifer hates her so much. Lucifer once held the highest place in heaven, but he desired to be like God and refused to serve. This disordered desire made him fall from grace and Saint Michael threw him out of heaven.   

Lack of temperance can lead a person into gluttony, lust, drunkenness, immodesty, and even pride. The Blessed Virgin Mary’s way of temperance is mainly exemplified in what she refrained from doing. Her avoidance of reacting in situations that were unfair reveals to us how the virtue of temperance was lived out in and through our Blessed Mother. In her perfect humility, she was elevated by God to the highest place in heaven. Mary has been crowned Queen of Heaven and Queen of the Universe, she has been named Mother of God and Mother of the Church. If we struggle in the area of temperance, who better to call upon than our Queen Mother to help us overcome our worldly desires and make them heavenly ones. 

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.

DAY 12

Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Holy Family

Virtue of Faith

Faith is the virtue by which we firmly believe all the truths God has revealed, on the Word of God revealing them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Reflection

When we think of the faith of Mary, or any of her other virtues for that matter, we tend to think everything was easy for Mary, at least in the early part of her life. But we would be mistaken to think this way. The Blessed Virgin Mary, when she appeared to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, once said, “you think that I obtained grace and virtues without effort. Know that I received no graces from God without great labor, constant prayer, ardent desires, and many tears and mortifications.” Though the Blessed Virgin was preserved from original sin, she was not kept from the human conditions that we all endure. 

During the Annunciation, Scripture tells us that Mary was “deeply troubled” by what the angel told her. In this one statement we can see Mary’s struggle to understand what is happening and we also see the depth of her faith. Because of her constant prayer leading up to that moment, she was able to act in great faith. Mary also wasn’t without doubts, yet in this moment at the Annunciation, Mary had the same interior struggle as the rest of us may have in a troubling situation. This is exactly why her faith is so extraordinary! Despite her not knowing, and not understanding, she was completely obedient and submitted to all God asked of her. Although, Mary’s doubt and her anxiety weren’t directed towards God, but toward her own limitations. She had faith in Him and despite her limitations and all of these seemingly impossible things, she trusted God alone.  

We can glean from this interaction of Mary and the angel, that Mary had total confidence in God and she considered herself to be lowly in comparison to the power and love of God. Therefore, she took her questions directly to the source as she asked the angel, “how can this be?” Then when she received the answer she believed and trusted.

When it comes to our own faith we too can follow Mary’s example. When we are confused, struggling and doubting, we should always go directly to God first instead of looking for answers from the world. The one thing we, like Mary, should never doubt is God’s bountiful love for us. So many of our own failings stem from the false belief that God does not actually love us or that He only loves us if we do something to deserve His love. The truth is that God’s love has no bounds, no conditions, there are no strings attached. Jesus died so that we would have this free access to God’s abundant love for us. All we need do is to have faith in that love and then align our will with the Father, just as Mary had the faith to do in her own life. Faith is believing even when we can’t see it. It is knowing that God truly works all things for the good of those who love Him, because His love for us is greater than anything we could ever imagine.    

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.

DAY 13 

Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Holy Family

Virtue of Hope

Hope is the virtue by which we firmly trust that God, who is all-powerful and faithful to His promises, will in His mercy give us eternal happiness and the means to obtain it.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Reflection

Hope is a gift from God. We must be open to receiving it and then in our suffering be open to recalling it. This virtue was gifted to Mary and Joseph in a very powerful way at the Nativity of our Lord. In Bethlehem after Jesus was born, the angels appeared to the shepherds in the fields and told them about the newborn baby that they would find laying in a manger. These shepherds immediately left their post and went to find the child. When they arrived they worshiped and adored God made man who was in their midst. As Mary and Joseph witnessed this incredible act of faithful worship, they were filled with Hope. All the struggle they had experienced thus far and all the struggle that was to come for them was infused with the Heavenly Hope of this very moment.

Soon after, the Magi arrived from the east and these wise men not only heard about Jesus, but they also brought gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh to the child. As Mary and Joseph witnessed their tenacity in seeking out the child who was the creator of the stars and the sky, they watched intently as the 3 men from afar knelt in humble adoration of the Messiah, laying gifts at His feet. Mary and Joseph were again filled with supernatural hope. While it was an angel that declared to each of them who their Son was and what was His mission, it still must have been very hard for them to know for sure that this was all true. The adoration of the shepherds and the Magi at the Nativity was the surreal event that gave them hope and helped them to realize the Truth of the mystery at hand. 

This hope that Mary received that night was surely kept aflame in her heart throughout her life. It may have been what sustained her during the passion and death of her Son. How else would a mother be able to endure such heartache and emotional anguish if not infused with the hope of God. Mary could very well have been recalling the hope given to her at the Nativity during Jesus’ passion. She could have been remembering the honor and glory that was given to her Son as a baby in the manger. While the brutal events of the passion didn’t necessarily make sense to her at the time, she was able to hold onto hope and it helped her to persevere and continue to trust in the Father even when it meant the death of her Son. 

For us, it is important to be able to hold onto moments of hope that the Lord gives us. These can easily get forgotten during our pain and suffering, but by keeping this hope in the forefront of our minds and hearts, we will be able to receive the grace that is necessary for the situation at hand. As Mary was able to witness the horrific events of the passion and death of her son by recalling the very first night of worship of Jesus at the nativity, we too are called to recall the hope we have received, the consolations and affection of God in moments that we hold dear to our hearts, so that we too will be able to persevere and find hope in our darkest moments.

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.

DAY 14

Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Holy Family

Virtue of Charity

Charity is the virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Reflection

Mary truly is an embodiment of the charity of God. We see very early on in Scripture her witness to charity. Imagine if you will, you find out that you are pregnant with the Son of God. You are just a teenager. Your society could stone you for what they perceive your situation to be.  What would you do? Would you hide away in fear?  In asking ourselves these questions we can begin to see the magnitude of Mary’s charity when we look to see what she chose to do immediately following. Mary set out to go care for her cousin Elizabeth who was 6 months pregnant. Her actions did not center around her and her situation, but she leaves to go help someone else in need. Mary’s soul magnifies the Lord and in this magnificence, she brings herself and the Savior of the world to Elizabeth, instead of wallowing in the worry of her own situation. Mary chose to look up in charity to God. She chose to focus on the Heavenly instead of on the worldly. The life in her womb was both pure gift and pure miracle. Although the world would reject this miracle, Mary is able to cherish it and to share this gift of her Son in charity.

The opposite of charity is not hate, but indifference and self-centeredness. So often we let our suffering and difficulty turn us inward where we bury the gifts that God gave us and refuse to bring them into the world. Mary had every reason to turn inward focusing only on herself and her situation, but she does the exact opposite. Scripture tells us that John the Baptist leapt in Elizabeth’s womb and the very words that come out of Mary’s mouth proclaim not the greatness of herself, but instead the greatness of God, who is charity Himself.  

Mary carries this virtue of charity throughout her life, from the wedding at Cana, to the Cross. Mary is always self-sacrificing for others in the same way her Son did. At the cross Mary stands offering her Son back to the Father, for us. She didn’t fight the plan of God. She let God complete His work of Salvation, even if it meant watching her Son die. Mary knew who her Son was and it defined who she was, and ever will be for us.

Though Mary was in perfect relationship with the Trinity as the Daughter of the Father, the Spouse of the Spirit, and the Mother of the Son, it is her Motherhood of the Son, her Motherhood of God, that is defined dogma. Theotokos takes preeminence. This defining of Mary as the Mother of God is the culmination of perfect Charity. A connection of a Mother and child is unlike any other.  Motherhood requires more sacrifice than any other kind of relationship. This self-sacrifice is the essence of what love is. It is the gift of the cross.  Mary’s suffering was always an offering instead of an excuse to despair and give up. She is Our Lady of Charity.

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.

Divine Child

Day 15

Divine Child Jesus of the Holy Family

Virtue of Prudence

Prudence disposes us in all circumstances to form right judgments about what we must do or not do.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Matthew 25: 14-30
The Parable of the Talents

“For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more. So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’

Reflection

The virtue of prudence requires preparedness. We do not go through life accidentally. There are intentional choices that need to be made every and every day of our lives. Through the virtue of prudence we are able to do what it takes on a daily basis, by way of prayer and reconciliation, to be in right relationship with the Lord, so that we may better understand His Will and be able to choose Him in all things. 


In the Parable of the Talents, Jesus reveals to us a secret about prudence. Everyone who received talents from the master had a choice to make, what were they going to do with the talent they were given? Would they choose to preserve the talent and give it back to the master exactly as it was given to them or would they use it to gain more so that they could offer back more than they received in the first place? The story goes on and the response of the master shows us who acted prudently and who acted in fear. 

In our own lives it is important to realize that we are all made in God’s own image. Each child is  given gifts of the Holy Spirit or charims that are completely unique. Charisms are like the talents in this parable. We are called to use them in the world, to help build up the Kingdom of God, so that what we have been given will multiply within us and then flow from us out upon others. If we hide our charisms and in fear do not use them, then even what we have been given will be unable to be used at all. For those who use their charisms and take the risk of not doing it perfectly for the Kingdom, they will be given even more. The gifts they have been given will be either multiplied within them or will be given additional gifts because the Lord can trust that they will use them for the building up of the Kingdom. Out of the abundance of love that God has for us, we are given even more gifts when the Lord sees us using these gifts to their fullest potential. He knows we will be channels of His Divine Grace for the world and so we can be entrusted with more. Think of saints such as Mother Teresa, Padre Pio, John Paul II, and the many more whose influence grew as their use of their gifts multiplied. In prudence we set out on our mission of building up the Kingdom of God through our daily choices, so that we may use what we have been given to its fullest potential.

The family is where we recognize the gifts and charisms of one another in a very intimate way, so that we may build one another up in their unique purpose in life. Additionally, where one person is lacking, another member of the family may be able to serve. As members of the Body of Christ, we are called to find harmony with one another as all the parts of the body work harmoniously together in unity for the life of the whole instead of acting in competition as we see so much today. Each member of the family is called to work together by using their charisms, so that the entire family may be glorified as one. 

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.

Day 16 

Divine Child Jesus of the Holy Family

Virtue of Justice

Justice disposes us to give to God what belongs to God and to others what belongs to them.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Luke 15: 11-32
The Parable of the Prodigal and His Brother

And he said, “There was a man who had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.’ And he divided his living between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry.

“Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

Reflection

In this parable it may seem that the prodigal son did not get what was just. He squandered his inheritance, insulted his father and his family, abandoned them and lived a life of sin and self-satisfaction. When he comes home to his father, he doesn’t get punished or forsaken by his father, but he is embraced and forgiven. It is important to note here that the prodigal son was convicted even before he made the decision to go back home. In verses 18 and 19 he says “I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ This was done from his heart, prior to his return. The father, who mirrors our Father in Heaven, knew of this repentance and thus was able to run to him with open arms welcoming him back home. 

The way in which the prodigal son returned home, as a repentant sinner, made for the father’s response of reciprocal forgiveness and restoration. This was the response of Jesus and today it is the response of the Church through the Sacrament of Confession. This is true justice. Jesus paid the price for all of our sins. Not so that we can go and live a life of sin and have no consequences, but that if we choose repentance that it will be given to us. Our salvation requires our humble participation of a repentant heart in order to receive the gifts of the Heavenly Kingdom. This is true justice and it is how God can be called the Just Judge. God knows our hearts, he knows all the details of our circumstances, and thus he can judge us with complete and perfect justice.

The story goes on to show us what it means to judge unjustly. This is a danger we all fall into at certain times in our lives. Some struggle with this more than others. The older son has a hard time forgiving his younger brother and thus he cannot understand the free and complete forgiveness of his father. The older son challenges the father on his mercy and thus he is unable to attend the party for his younger brother because of his own pride. If we are holding on to pride, we will be unable to practice the virtue of justice. By remaining humble of heart and open to the forgiveness of God, we are able to rejoice with the Lord when every repentant sinner returns to the loving arms of God.  We see what God sees, a beloved child who has come home instead of looking inward which forms us in bitterness.  Justice gives another what is due.  The repentant sinner gives himself back to God, thus rendering to God what is due.   God responds with mercy.  

The family is called to live justly with one another. True justice does not include remembering and recalling each other’s faults, but requires freely forgiving as Jesus has done for you. No one is exempt from the command of Jesus,And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25). As our Heavenly Father is merciful to us, we too are to be God’s mercy for others. This is not something the Lord leaves up to us to interpret, but is a clear command both in Jesus’ words and in his actions on the cross. If we are not forgiving toward our neighbor, the Lord will not forgive us our sins. These words should be at the heart of the family. They should be lived out in the life of the family, so that each member may learn and grow in how to live forgiveness in their daily lives, which is the call of every disciple of Christ.

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.

Day 17

Divine Child Jesus of the Holy Family

Virtue of Fortitude

Fortitude disposes us to do what is good in spite of any difficulty.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Luke 18: 1-8
The Parable of the Widow and the Unjust Judge

And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Vindicate me against my adversary.’ For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Reflection
The widow in the story has nothing to lose. She has surrendered her fate to the judge, who we know is unjust, but whom she continues to beg for justice. Knowing who she was dealing with, a man who did not fear God and who had no respect for the people, she continued to beg for justice despite her chances. This woman demonstrated incredible fortitude. With the odds stacked against her, she was not going to give up on obtaining justice for herself and so she continued to petition this unjust judge. 

The widow in this parable fought for justice despite how hard it was going to be because she believed in the mighty power of God. Although the judge did not fear God, the woman did, and her faith, which was penetrated with fortitude, was finally able to change the mind of the judge and he chose to show her mercy. Even though the intention of the judge and the reason he chose mercy were not righteous, the widow was still able to change her situation and bring about justice because of her fortitude. 

In our world today there are plenty of situations that require us as Christians to work for the common good. There are so many injustices that we live with on a daily basis, but as Christians we are called to work for the good of society. We are called to infuse virtue and righteousness into the culture. Sometimes this means changing the hearts of the people, but other times, like in this parable, it is a win to simply change the outcome for good in our own individual circumstance. The values of the Christian family should always be respected by the state and so the family is ever responsible to uphold the dignity of human life and the right to religious freedom in the social structure. As Christians we must never stop working for good in our state and in our homes. 

Through fortitude the family can rely on the power of God to help them persevere. When faced with a seemingly loss or a bleak outcome, we need only lean on God as our strength. As a family, fortitude is needed for everything from both our daily lives as well as for when we encounter major bumps in the road. When we do well to practice fortitude on a smaller more consistent basis, we will do well to have the fortitude necessary to help us through our most difficult times. Consistency and constancy are our guide for growing in fortitude.

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen

Day 18

Divine Child Jesus of the Holy Family

Virtue of Temperance

Temperance disposes us to control our desires and to use rightly the things which please ourselves.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Matthew 7: 24-27
Hearers and Doers

“Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.”

Reflection

While prudence is how we know what is good and justice and fortitude are how we do the good, temperance is how we avoid doing what is evil. The foundation of Christianity is first knowing and doing what is good and then using temperance to avoid evil. Many times people will flip this order and only focus on what they should not do, which can lead to despair. Instead we should be coupling temperance with having a strong foundation in what should be done, which lifts us up out of our sinfulness and into our specific mission and vocation from the Lord.

In this parable we hear Jesus teach about this proactive aspect of temperance. Where we hear and know the Word of God, through Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, we must be willing to do what it takes to build our foundation of faith on solid ground. While this takes hard work, dedication, and consistency, it also requires temperance to sacrifice other more pleasurable things. What are we doing with our time and energy? Where are we focusing our efforts in life? Who do we serve?

The moral of this parable is that the man who built his house upon rock was considered wise. He took the time to do what was right before the storm came, which was a sacrifice of what he could have been doing that was more pleasurable. When the hard times came for this man, the efforts he made in building up his faith paid off; his house was not affected by the rain and flood and winds. He was protected. Through temperance this man had the forethought to set aside what he knew to be more desirable to choose what was necessary for his salvation. Although he was not guaranteed to be saved from the storm, he was able to better prepare himself for what was to come. When the storm did come, the wise man was protected from losing his faith. It was temperance that got the wise man to build his house on rock.

Conversely, the foolish man built his house upon sand. Jesus is showing us that this man did not take into account the suffering that was to come or if he did he was not willing to do what it took to prepare for it by building his house more securely on rock. This man either suffered from acedia (sloth) or lukewarmness. Both are opposed to temperance because they both lead us to sin and to give in to our pleasures and comforts. 

The foolish man’s house not only fell when the rain and flood and winds came, but Jesus says “and great was the fall of it”. This reminds us that when we are unprepared, when we haven’t learned the importance of the virtue of temperance, the fall that comes will be really hard to take. It will either catch us off guard or it can lead us into despair. Either way, the message is clear from Jesus that we are to prepare, through the virtue of temperance for the coming of all things, whether they be great or small, good or bad. The Lord asks us to cooperate in our faith, to do our part in building our foundation of faith, so that when the day comes where the rain and flood and winds try to get us to fall, we will be firm and steadfast in the love of God. We will be protected, not from the storm, but from the effects that the storm could have on our faith.

As a family, it is important to be proactive in living temperately. Through daily family prayer, the family will grow in love and devotion to the Lord, who will in effect unite the family even closer together. This sort of proactive temperance will help the family be better prepared when temptations to sin or hardships come their way. By choosing to devote time to God, the family will be naturally fighting off and away all evil habits that seem to creep in and consume their time. A well known Irish-American priest of the 20th century was famous for saying, “The family that prays together stays together” and “A world at prayer is a world at peace” (Venerable Patrick Peyton).

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen

Day 19

Divine Child Jesus of the Holy Family

Virtue of Faith

Faith is the virtue by which we firmly believe all the truths God has revealed, on the Word of God revealing them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Matthew 13: 1-9
The Parable of the Sower

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat there; and the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”

Reflection

The parable of the Sower reveals to us that there are different levels of faith. Faith is not a one time decision that we make and then we don’t do anything else to cultivate it. Rather faith is something that we choose to grow in and live out in our daily lives. With this parable, Jesus teaches us about the virtue of faith. We choose a life of faith, which directs all of our other choices. When we are living in the virtue of faith, we are choosing God each and every moment. This determines the trajectory of our lives. It determines the fruitfulness of the soil of our hearts. If our heart is a garden, then the daily cultivation of that soil is what allows the seeds of faith to grow and bear fruit.  

In this parable Jesus goes through the different levels of faith through his description of the different places the seeds fall upon. In the first description, Jesus speaks about the soil of our hearts that is not tended to at all. This will be like a path, that when seeds fall upon it they have nothing to be implanted into and so it is quickly eaten up by the birds. He then explains that if the soil of our hearts is tended to sparingly, then it will be like the seeds of faith falling on rocky ground. These seeds will only grow when things are good and conditions are right, but when things get tough, our roots of faith will not be deep enough and we will not be able to withstand the hardship. Jesus goes on to say that if the soil of our hearts are not purified, if it is full of weeds, then the seeds of faith will be choked out by the weeds of sin. The weeds in a garden often grow quicker than the good seeds and they can take over an entire garden very rapidly. We must always be purifying our hearts of sin through the Sacrament of Confession so that we can pull up all the weeds in the garden of our hearts from time to time. The final soil that Jesus describes in this parable is the good soil. This is the soil that has been tilled over through daily mental prayer and reading of Sacred Scripture. This is the soil that has been cultivated, where the weeds have been pulled at their onset so that they do not choke out the good plants. This is the soil that is well watered and malleable, so that the soil will not be hardened and the seeds of faith will have no trouble sprouting up and growing to full maturity. The seeds that fall on the good soil have all they need to bear good fruit. 

It is important for us to notice while reading this parable what soil is currently in our own hearts. Where is our faith currently? Then, not in order to shame anyone, but as a means of motivating us to be better gardeners of our hearts, we can begin to move forward into a deeper understanding of what it takes to cultivate our faith. As a family it is good to have the support of one another to help us deepen our faith. Parents are the first and primary teachers of their children, especially in regards to the faith. When the virtue of faith is lived out in the family, it is handed on as a gift from one generation to the next.

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen

Day 20

Divine Child Jesus of the Holy Family

Virtue of Hope

Hope is the virtue by which we firmly trust that God, who is all-powerful and faithful to His promises, will in His mercy give us eternal happiness and the means to obtain it.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Luke 15: 1-7
The Parable of the Lost Sheep

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

Reflection

Jesus remained close with the sinners. He knew that they were in a place where they knew they needed a Savior. We all must come to a point where we too are able to recognize our need for a Savior. No matter how hard we try, we cannot save ourselves and no one else can besides Jesus Christ. This act of humility is something the Pharisees had a really hard time understanding. They thought they could do all the things that were prescribed in the Law of Moses and then they would be saved, essentially they thought their actions could save themselves. But Jesus came to give them a better understanding of the law. He came to fulfill it and to show them that only God can save. The laws were given to them to keep them on the path to salvation, but the laws themselves were not their salvation, Jesus was.

In this parable the shepherd leaves his entire flock so that he can go out in search of the one sheep who had wandered from the fold. This act of personal love for one sheep reminds us of the personal love that God has for each one of us. Even though we are sinners, even though we go astray, the Good Shepherd will always come to find us. He loves each one of us personally and this love means we can be personally saved if we will only let ourselves be found.

The story goes on to explain this love of the Good Shepherd even further. The God of the Universe, after He leaves the others to come personally find us. When He finds us, He places us on his shoulders and rejoices! He lifts us up and carries us home in rejoicing. He doesn’t condemn us or make an example out of us, but he rejoices at our return home. Then it goes even further and He calls all his neighbors and friends and invites them to rejoice with Him. What a beautiful example this is of our God’s merciful love. What hope it instills in us that whenever we wander away from our Good Shepherd, He will always come to find us. And when He does we will be carried home in rejoicing and welcomed back fully into the fold.

The Divine Mercy of God is our eternal hope. It is through our acceptance of mercy and our freely giving away mercy to others that we live out the virtue of hope. Since God freely gives to us mercy, then we too must be merciful to others. Let us be like the friends and neighbors of the shepherd who welcomed back the wayward sheep and rejoiced upon its return, instead of like the Pharisees who were unable to humble themselves and accept their Savior and the mercy he was wanting to pour out upon them. 

As a family, it is good for each member to know that no matter what, this family will accept them and love them. If one member wanders away, the family will go out to find them, never giving up on them, until the lost sheep is found and brought back rejoicing. What hope this is to live in such a family that hopes for your eternal salvation, a family that hopes in you even when you may have lost hope in yourself.

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen

Day 21

Divine Child Jesus of the Holy Family

Virtue of Charity

Charity is the virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

Matthew 20: 1-16
The Laborers in the Vineyard

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Reflection

This parable requires the virtue of charity in order to understand. The heart of the landowner in this story mirrors the charity of God. He is generous to all his workers and he offers his gifts to all equally, no matter who they are or what all they do for him. The fullness of God’s gifts are only lived out through us when we willingly choose to receive the gifts, no matter what the Lord may choose to give us, without comparing our gifts with our neighbor. Then and only then can we truly begin working for the Kingdom. 

At first glance of this parable, the problem could seem to be with the landowner and what seems to be an unfair allotment of pay. In reality the problem is with the perception of the workers. So often we believe that we expect to receive in return, the degree in which we give.  In our relationship with God, this could lead us to believe we must do something in order to earn God’s love. But this is not how God’s economy works. In God’s Kingdom, our Father in Heaven is the perpetual giver and we are the receivers. God gives abundantly in His Divine Mercy and we spend our entire lives learning how to receive from this fount of lifegiving water.  

The landowner in this story looked the same upon each worker that he hired for the vineyard. He knew that each worker had a home, probably a family to provide for, and their own lives to sustain. The landowner knew their dignity and understood that each worker needed the full day’s wage in order to live. This is why he was so generous, because he knew their needs and desired to give them what they needed. The workers on the other hand, were not operating out of this same virtue of charity. They were comparing each other to how long each of them worked to try to justify what they should receive in return. The wage was agreed upon as fair at the beginning by both the landowner and the workers.  When the earlier workers saw that all would receive the same wage as the later workers they were overcome with envy.  Envy creates a world of hatred, unforgiveness and bitterness.  When God gives he gives in abundance, and he gives based upon our spiritual needs. Some may need more from God at difficult points in their life. It is not for us to compare and definitely not for us to complain about.  We should instead trust in God to decide rightly how to give to us in charity. In this we must remember that God’s gifts are not the same as the gifts of this world. His blessings are not always worldly blessings. The blessings of God are so much more abundant and real and they are truly lasting for all eternity, while no earthly blessing from this world will be able to go with us into the next life. 

It is God’s nature to love unconditionally. Some of us cannot fathom a God that would love us no matter what and so it’s really hard to understand the virtue of charity. But even the existence of hell speaks of God’s love, for if God had stopped loving, those souls would simply cease to exist.  The very fact that they still exist speaks of his love for his creation.  It is they who chose to reject Him.  God freely loves us with no conditions because God is love. He is choosing you at every moment through charity. He wants to lead you upon a path of purification so that you may glorify Him in all things, but we are often too ashamed or too scared to go on that journey with the Lord. But God is patient with us and he is waiting for your yes to him. Once we get that God loves us freely and everlastingly, we can enter into that Love, which stirs our hearts in charity to love one another. 

As a family, we must begin to look at the world through the eyes of God’s charity. This will help us to remain grateful for what we have been given, as well as be open to receiving even more from the Lord. The virtue of charity also allows us to be truly happy for the blessings of others instead of jealous. It is a virtue of Thanksgiving, and Eucharist means Thanksgiving.  When we see how much the Lord loves our neighbor it should fill our own hearts with joy. When we see how he has blessed us, we should desire that for our neighbor as well. In charity, we should long for the gifts of God to be poured out upon all humanity, our friends and enemies alike, so that we may all be united in the Divine Charity of God.

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen

Day 22

Divine Child Jesus of the Holy Family

Day of Abstinence: No Electronic Media

God the Father

The Father is God and the first Person of the Blessed Trinity.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

“See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”

1 John 3: 1-3

Reflection

The foundation of who we are as persons is revealed to us through our relationship to God the Father, our Creator. We were created in His image and likeness. We were created in love and sustained in His love. We were created for a specific purpose and then placed in a specific family, parish, community, and nation to be a beacon of God’s love to the world. How many of us actually believe this? What would the world look like if more and more people lived their lives from this understanding of who God is and who they are as human persons?

Each person in your family was created to be light and love. They each have specific gifts and charisms that are to be accessed through the power of the Holy Spirit and used for the building up of God’s Kingdom. As children of God the Father, we are taught by Him the ways to everlasting life. As children, we also have been commanded to obey the Lord our God. When we strive to be obedient sons and daughters, we place ourselves under the protection of God’s providence. Where we are disobedient we willingly choose to place our souls in danger.

In a variety of ways, many people in our world today are experiencing a severe father wound. So many children have an experience of a father who has corrupted and/or perverted their understanding of fatherhood. With this it is hard for us to relate to God as Father because of our own woundedness. But where we are wounded, God’s redemption is so much more! In all the places where our earthly fathers have failed us, the Lord wants to redeem us by healing our wounds and filling up in us all that is lacking. As adopted sons and daughters of the Divine Father, the Lord wants to fill us up and even overflow in us His Grace and His Glory.

Today as we abstain from electronic media, all the things we watch and see during our day. It’s important to take an inventory of all these things that are either distractions or are harmful to our soul. Consider these things and make a decision from the will to filter out what is not holy, what is not good, what is not building up your faith and strengthening your spirit. Then take the time today to allow God the Father to redeem your sense of sight. Do something or go somewhere that allows you to see the Lord in a new way. Maybe this will mean visiting the cathedral in your area, or possibly watching a movie about Jesus or the saints. You could even take a hike or go on a prayer walk with the intention of allowing the Lord to speak to your heart through the beautiful creation all around you. The most important part of your day should be to take time to reflect on how God sees you. Sit with the Holy Spirit and ask God to reveal to you how he sees you and then meditate upon this further in prayer.

At some point today, you may want to sit down as a family and tell each other something good you see in them. Maybe it is a gift of the Holy Spirit that you notice they have, or possibly a personality trait that you really admire in them. You may even want to give examples of how you see that the person uses this gift to build up the Kingdom of God. Sharing in this way can seem hard at first, but it can be so powerful in strengthening the family and lifting the spirits of those who are struggling. 

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen

Day 23

Divine Child Jesus of the Holy Family

Day of Abstinence: Observe Silence

God the Son

The Son is God and the second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us

Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

“Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

1 John 5: 10-12

Reflection

The life of Christ was poured out upon all of humanity through Grace at the Cross on Calvary. Jesus Christ died so that we would be able to experience the mercy of God, so that our souls would be saved. But this mercy is not a one time admission and then we are done. This mercy is available to us through our daily participation in the life of Christ. If we truly believe in the Son of God then this belief will shine in our hearts, it will direct our path, it will be poured out upon the world through the power of the Holy Spirit. Where we are just going along with the motions of our faith, the Divine life of Christ is not activated within us. 

Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. God had a thought and the thought was expressed in one Word, who is Jesus Christ. The one Divine Word of God is revealed to us through Tradition first, which began to be lived out by the Apostles and the early Christians at Pentecost, and then through Sacred Scripture, which was a fruit that came from the Church, compiled in roughly 400 A.D.. Today, these two revelations of the Word of God remain with us today and they are both readily available to us at our fingertips. It is our duty to access both of these, as we hear in Luke 12:48 “Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required.” By taking the time and effort to learn about our faith through Sacred Tradition, as well as reading Sacred Scripture on a daily basis, we can hear the Word of God speaking to us in a powerful way. 

In the silence of our hearts, the Lord speaks to us in prayer, but how often in our day are we intentionally sitting in the silence in order to hear God’s voice? The more time we commit to the Lord the better our relationship with Him will grow and mature and the more clearly we will be able to hear and understand Him. As we grow in virtue and truth, the Lord will then strengthen us for the battle in which He is preparing every soul. This battle is against Satan and we must be well equipped. The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God and it is with this weapon that we battle our enemy the devil. 

Today as we abstain from the noise that fills our day, it is important to intentionally observe silence so that our heart will be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. When we invest time with God in the silence, He is faithful. Take Sacred Scripture with you into this time of prayer because God speaks to us through prayerful reading of the bible. As you read, you may want to take notes or journal, but be sure to stop and reflect on the verses or words that stick out to you most. This is the prompting of the Holy Spirit who wishes to reveal something specific to you. Lastly, be sure to sit with the Lord and allow Him to love you as you are today. Allow His Word to sink in and find a dwelling place in you so that your heart will be transformed into the heat of God.

As each member of the family intentionally listens to the Lord in the silence of their own hearts today, you may want to consider coming together as a family to share how the Lord spoke to each one of you personally. This may be a great time to decide to develop a regular habit of reading the Sunday Gospel together, taking time to reflect on it on your own in silence for 5-10 minutes, and then coming back together to share your personal inspirations from the Holy Spirit with one another. By taking up this practice, your family will be allowing the Lord to do the work of strengthening the family and building you up in faith and love together as one unit.

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen

Day 24

Divine Child Jesus of the Holy Family

Day of Fasting

God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us
Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are.”

I Corinthians 3: 16-17

Reflection
The Holy Spirit is the breath of our very life. When we were conceived in our mother’s womb, it was our father and mother and God himself who was there for the creation of our physical body and our soul, but it was the Holy Spirit who breathed life into us. Through our Baptism we received the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit dwells within us. From that day forward, we became a temple of God’s Spirit, we became holy. When we are Confirmed in the Spirit we are then made soldiers for Christ. We are strengthened for the spiritual battle and sent out to do the work that God created us to do for the building up of the Kingdom of God. 

As we fast this day from food, it is important to recognize that our physical bodies are in need of nourishment. This nourishment gives life to our bodies in a very real way. If we feed our body with things that do not energize us or honor who we are as God’s children then we are doing harm to the gift of our body that God has given us. Likewise, if we feed our soul with things that do not lift up our soul to glorify God then we are doing harm to our soul. Both body and soul need nourishment in order to live and thrive in this life. Our mission as Christians is two-fold in that we must do our part to care for both our body and our soul. We cannot neglect one as it would do harm to the other.

Physical hunger can remind us of our spiritual hunger that has been placed into our souls. Our longing for God cannot be quenched by any worldly thing, but can only be satisfied by God himself. When we hunger for justice, we hunger for God’s justice. When we hunger for love and acceptance, we hunger for God’s love. When we hunger for righteousness, we hunger for God’s order in our lives. What are we feeding our soul? How often do we attend to the needs of our soul? 

Finally, as we have been gifted with the life of the Holy Spirit within us, we have also been given a responsibility to freely give away that which we have received. The Lord sees us through our unique gifts and charisms and he desires that we use these gifts to touch the lives of others around us. This starts with our family, but then extends from there to our parish, our community and the world. When we are freely giving from our charisms, the Holy Spirit will give even more and the life of the Spirit will flow freely through us. This is the mission of all Christians. 

As each member of the family fasts from food in some way today, take time when you feel the pangs of physical hunger to meditate upon your own spiritual hunger. What do you hunger for from the Lord? What does the deepest part of your heart long for? Speak to the Lord about these things and allow the Holy Spirit to walk you through the love and mercy of your Father in Heaven. Jesus Christ demonstrated for us what true sacrifice looks like from the cross. As you sacrifice your own physical nourishment today, unite your sacrifice to the cross with the sacrifice of Jesus. As you stand under the cross, allow the Lord to use your sacrifice in whatever way pleases Him most. Pay attention to any person or situation that He places on your heart, as it could very well be the intention He hopes you will sacrifice for this day.

Prayer to the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care. Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be. Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen

The Holy Family

Day 25

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph


Consecration Day

“As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live. Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song. The future starts today, not tomorrow.”

-St. John Paul II

“We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”
St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day.” 
St. Gianna Molla

“The saints did not all begin well, but they ended well.”
St. John Vianney

“Our hearts were made for You, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in You.”
St. Augustine of Hippo

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire!”
St. Catherine of Siena

Virtue of Unity

Unity is understanding that we are all one body in Christ and that we do to one another affects the entire body. 

“so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.” Romans 12:5

St Joseph, pray for us

Mother Mary, pray for us
Divine Child Jesus, have mercy on us

“So that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” 

John 17:21

Reflection

We see in the prayer of Jesus from the Gospel of John, Jesus’ deep longing for union. This union is expressed in his desire that we all be united with the Father as he is, which in turn makes us unified with one another in true unity.  These are the two ways we experience unity first with God and then  with one another. God has placed into our hearts this desire for unity. We were not made to be alone and thus we spend our entire lives searching for union. The Father, in his kindness and knowing our nature, creates us at our conception with a mother and father, already in union with others. We enter this world with family, whether or not we live or participate in that family is another story, but no person enters this world without a father and mother, without a biological family; thus our union with one another is significant to our very life.

If our deepest longing is to be one with God, just as Jesus prays for in this prayer from the Gospel of John, then it is in this union with God that we find rest, joy, love, peace, happiness, and ultimate fulfillment. Our journey in life is a journey toward this full union with God because it is our destiny after this life to live in full union with God for all of eternity. Just as the Father gave Eve to Adam, we are brought into this world in union with other human beings, starting in our own family. This is not only a means of showing us what it means to live in relationship with others, but it also honors relationships that uphold the dignity of our calling to unity with one another. So too it teaches us how we can grow in unity. The family then is a living school in this virtue of unity by which we are each called to discover and grow in our own union with God.

This virtue of unity all begins with the husband and wife. When a husband and a wife strive to be in right relationship with God, they will be given the graces necessary to live in proper union with one another. It is through unity with God in our hearts that we can have true unity with one another. As the two live from their marital covenant with one another, the graces of the Sacrament of Matrimony will be poured out upon the entire family. These graces are shared amongst the entire family for the building up and strengthening of all of the members.

Both Saint Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary had a personal relationship with God before they entered into relationship with one another. Scripture tells us that Saint Joseph was a righteous man and that Mary was full of grace. They were each filled with the virtue of God. Though Mary was free from original sin, our faith teaches us that she still had free will and daily chose to not sin, relying as we do on God’s sanctifying grace. Both Saint Joseph and Mary were people of prayer, who knew God. Each of them were prepared for when the angel appeared to them and asked them to do God’s Will. This is why they were able to be obedient, because they were already unified with God the Father through prayer and the law. Their “yes” to God allowed them together as mother and father to bring Christ to the world for all of us.

It is important for every member of the family to develop a personal relationship with God. Ideally, this starts with the father and the mother who lead by example. Through this personal relationship with God, each family member sets out on a journey of receiving and participating in the unconditional love of God, through which they are made whole. In this journey to wholeness, the family is able to better live out their call to unity with others. Within the family, each member is given the opportunity to witness the unconditional love of God to one another. It is a love that seeks to lift up the other person, as it calls upon the inherent dignity of the other, revealing to them both the love God has for them, as well as the love they share with one another. 

How can your family be a witness for unity? A witness shows by way of word and deed what they stand for, what they believe in, what they love and who they love. Unity is what brings people together, in order to restore, heal, and fuse together. From the time of Adam and Eve we see that humans were not made to be alone, but were made for relationship. This is because where two or more are gathered the Holy Spirit resides. When each person in a family is freely able and encouraged to operate in their gifts, the whole family unit is built up. The Kingdom of God can be seen through their witness because the grace comes from God and operates in complete harmony. 

As you come together and pray this consecration prayer together today, do so in a spirit of unity. Truly unite your hearts to one another and then from that place, pray in union with the Holy Family of  Jesus, Mary and Joseph that your family will be strengthened and renewed. Today you are making a commitment to grow in holiness. May your family, from this day forward, rely on the intercession of Mary and St. Joseph, as well as the saving power of Jesus. 

Consecration to the Holy Family Prayer

O Most Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, today our family has come together to unite our hearts with yours, Sacred, Immaculate, and Guardian, in order to consecrate ourselves as a family to your Most Holy Family. Our hearts are longing for your presence amongst us. Our hearts are longing for your peace within us. Our hearts are longing for your protection around us. We surrender our desires, our temptations, our troubles, our sorrows, our weaknesses, our blessings and our joys to you. We give you everything, our very lives, and place it all at the foot of the cross of the Divine Child, Jesus Christ, so that we may live only for Him, our King and our Savior.  May each member of our family have a heart that is Beloved beating in unison with your 3 hearts.  

O Most Holy Family, we praise and honor you as the archetype of the domestic church. May our family be a reflection of yours, as we practice virtue and deepen in faith, hope and charity. We have been placed together as a family to be a reflection of you, father, mother,  sons and daughters. As we live together in our own domestic church, may our home be an extension of the Catholic Church, which is an extension of our eternal home in Heaven. May our life together be ever open to the movement of the Holy Spirit so that we may be full of your grace and peace. 

Mary and Joseph, just as you lived your quiet life in Nazareth as parents of the Divine Child, who was the source of Love in your family, may we too keep Jesus as the center of our lives and the center of our family. Teach us to honor and adore Him, to turn to Him first and foremost in our need, and to be witnesses of His love and mercy.  May we gaze upon His Holy Face and reach the heights of union that both of you did.

Divine Child Jesus, just as you were obedient to your mother and father on earth, may we as children of our own parents, always remember to honor them in good times and bad. May we learn the virtue of obedience from the family, which will lead us in our obedience to the Heavenly Father as we grow and mature in our faith.

O Most Holy Family, today we consecrate ourselves to you and seek your intercession so that from this day forward, our prayers, our thoughts, our words and our actions will be united to you, who were ever united to the Divine Will of the Triune God. In this we pray, all glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Consecration written by Susan Skinner and Ashley Blackburn