Making the effort leads to growing in grace

Diane, Charlie and their family try to eat dinner together every night. It is not always easy to make this time, and sometimes the meal is more hurried than they would like it to be. They begin their meal with a prayer of blessing over the food, and take time to pray for the needs of one another, family, friends and the world. The children are learning to offer prayer aloud, in their own words, and even though they are sometimes shy about this, they do not refuse the privilege.

One evening not long ago, the family had a rare night with nothing to cause a rush away from the table. They found themselves lingering in prayer. Diane prayed for the people she cares for in an assisted living center. Charlie remembered the people whose house he is helping to build after a severe storm destroyed their home. Rachel, the oldest child, asked God to help her and her friends welcome a new student in their class at school. Chuck, the 11-year-old boy of the family, listened and seemed to be thinking about what he might say. When Diane asked if he had a prayer to add, he said: “Not exactly. I was just thinking that we also say prayers like this at Mass, around the altar, which is like a table. We talked in class last week about how Jesus gives us his body and blood to strengthen us to give of ourselves like Jesus did. So when we ask God to bless our food and to care for those we pray for, our prayer here seems connected to our prayer at Mass.” Diane and Charlie looked at each other with overflowing hearts, knowing Chuck and all members of their family are growing in grace.

This article comes to you from Grace In Action (Our Sunday Visitor) courtesy of your parish or diocese.

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