Practicing our Catholic faith is important to us. Encouraging our children to know and practice the faith is part of our responsibility as parents. One way we share our faith with our children and encourage them in their faith is by talking together.
As a family, we attend the morning Mass on Sundays. Often during lunch, my husband will ask:
“What did you like about Mass today?”
We go around the table and each person will answer this question. Everybody is expected to participate. This is always very interesting to me. Usually, each person shares something different. We talk about what stood out to us and why. It may be a reading, a song, the homily, or a thought or insight sparked by any of these.
We can tell when one of our children tries to get by with a quick answer that is without much meat. At these times we challenge him or her to be more specific or to give a more meaningful answer. We prompt him or her to deeper thinking with some leading questions or we will come back to the child after more family members have shared.
When we have our discussion, no one is allowed to interrupt. Each person has the (hopefully!) undivided attention of everyone else in the family. This has been unnerving sometimes for our quieter kids, but it has also helped them to learn to articulate their thoughts. Home is a safe place to share.
We can comment on what the person shared or ask questions after he or she is done speaking. Doing this has led to some great family discussions and drawn us all deeper into thinking about the Mass.
I have been surprised many times by what has made an impression on our kids. Sometimes they mention something that I completely missed. Other times their insight is quite amazing.
In addition to analyzing what was meaningful to me at Mass, I always learn from our discussion. I learn more about the Mass and I learn about my husband and my kids, too, by hearing what is important and meaningful to them. This insight into each others’ hearts is valuable in a family. It draws us closer together.
Encouraging family conversations about our faith
Our faith should not be stagnate. Our faith should be alive in us. God is alive in our hearts and active in our lives. He is part of who we are. By discussing what we liked about Mass we bring that truth to light for ourselves and for our kids. They learn that faith is part of our lives, not just something we do once a week by going to Mass.
What about you? What did you like about Mass today?