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Pace & Peace

Pace & Peace

Building family traditions that will last

“For I, the Lord, do not change.” (Mal 3:6)

These words have been an anchor for me the past several weeks as change has swirled about us. Despite the uncertainty, change and disruptions we’ve faced, God has worked powerfully, and many of the changes we’ve experienced have been good ones. Eventually, things will return to what was familiar, but there are some changes I hope stick around.

Pace and Peace: Before you fill your family calendar back up, prayerfully ponder the things you’ve been fine without and carefully consider which activities you truly need to return to.

Prayer: Although we long for public Mass and the Eucharistic True Presence, living room Mass has given us the chance to be truly present in our Domestic Church. Trade continued family prayer for the rush and hustle which made these experiences difficult or scarce. The fruit of this change will be balance, and a family focused on Godly pursuits rather than worldly ones.

Simplicity: Conversation and connection while sharing family meals, games and movies should continue to be a regular thing. It may have felt like we stepped back in time, but the blessings from that giant step backward have brought laughter, joy and an appreciation for those closest to us. We don’t need more places and things, we need more time to love our families.

Gratitude: We developed and expressed our gratitude for health care and essential workers. Through their example, we saw the service Jesus taught as he washed the apostles’ feet at the Last Supper. We need to remain aware of and grateful for those who serve others, and be inspired to serve others more ourselves.

Empathy: Our hearts have been touched by the isolation, loneliness and hardship this time has caused many. We should continue to recognize those who need our prayers and our help, and work as a family to help those who struggle and suffer.

Relationships: We’ve been reminded that people are more important than stuff. Father Mike Schmitz, from the Diocese of Duluth and a frequent presenter on Ascension Presents videos, says that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so when we are able to socialize again, choose the relationships that you invest in wisely.