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A powerful way to prepare for Sunday’s feast of the Holy Family

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Soren and Ever Johnson  - published on 12/28/23

With just 200 words, your family can be set apart for 2024 and beyond.

Look, we get it. In the post-Christmas haze of travel, exhaustion, hosting, and gift-giving, it’s so easy to let the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (December 31) slip by almost unnoticed. At least it was for us, especially in our first years of raising our five children. 

But we can learn from our mistakes! Through a little focus and a powerful brief prayer, you can make the most of this feast. In fact, you can lead your family to new spiritual heights in 2024, starting this coming Sunday with a family Consecration to the Holy Family. 

Sure, “consecration” sounds like a heavy lift. But remember, to “consecrate” simply means to “set apart” — to set apart as holy. Maybe in previous centuries of more widespread faithfulness, “consecrating” your family would have struck our forebears as an unnecessary extra step. But it’s arguably a must for every Catholic family today.

Consider this: If your family is not “set apart” from our culture in some fundamental way — just think about media addiction, pornography, mental anxiety, the assault on the sanctity of life, or the disordered treadmill of endless activities, to name a few — then your family is more vulnerable to these destructive forces.

So consider whether now is a good time to set apart or consecrate your family — apart from things like the evil one’s desire to weaken and destroy your marriage and family life; apart from sin; apart from anxiety; apart from putting the many good things of life in first place, before God.  

And this leads us to the most exciting part of what you and your family can do this Sunday: a  family Consecration to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph will arm you and your children with three powerful forces for good that are arguably hidden from most families: 

1 | You are making a stand for communion over isolation. The selfless love and self-gift that flowed through the relationships of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph will bless your family as you strive to stay focused on them. Your friendships with each of the members of the Holy Family will deepen as you ask for Mary and Joseph’s intercession — alongside Jesus’ intercession for your family before the Heavenly Father.  

2 | You are making a stand for holiness over mediocrity. The holiness that characterized the Holy Family’s daily life in Nazareth will inspire you when the going gets tough, keeping you trained on the ultimate goal of a Catholic family — to become saints. 

3 | You are making a stand for family over individuals-living-under-the-same-roof. The intentionality, love, and bonds that the Holy Family knew and lived will retrain your eyes on the gift of family life. 

Are you ready? 

Here’s the link to the powerful 200-word prayer that you can pray with your family this Saturday evening or Sunday (PDF courtesy of the Knights of Columbus).    

How to do it

As parents, you know what will work best for your own family. Maybe that’s a family meeting, or staying after Mass and praying together while kneeling, or making a little trip to a nearby shrine, basilica, or cathedral. However you pray the consecration prayer together, make a memory of it. 

Having a special lunch or dinner after the consecration can help anchor the memory. Linger over your conversation. Tell your kids that in 2024, one of your goals is that each member of your family would gradually get to know Jesus, Mary, and Joseph better, and then together grow in their image.  

To make that goal concrete, try this: After the consecration, encourage each family member to make a commitment pledge, writing down what they will do regularly so that your family becomes more like the Holy Family. You can share these pledges or opt to keep them private. Then, at various points throughout the year, revisit your pledges and lead your family in the prayer again. 

For this Sunday’s Feast of the Holy Family, say goodbye to the haze and busyness — and push back on the forces that threaten every family. Say hello to the Holy Family and a new year that, by God’s grace, will bring your family so much closer to communion, holiness, and one another.  

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, pray for us!

Soren and Ever Johnson are Founders and Directors of Trinity House Community and Trinity House Café + Market, and the new parish-based Trinity House Community Groups

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