There’s something wonderfully renewing about autumn, especially as it begins a new school year. It’s all about new beginnings.
Maybe it has something to do with new classrooms, new teachers, the great smell of brand new shoes and the smooth touch of that new backpack.
We remember those feelings of starting again even if it’s been years since we walked through the school house door, and even if we don’t have our own children heading off to the classroom this fall. We still get that heady feeling of new possibilities in the crisp autumn air. This is the perfect time to bring a sense of spiritual renewal to your life and to your family – the domestic church.
Autumn can truly bring out a new resolve to improve our lives as summer’s freedom gives way to the structure of fall. For adults, faith formation classes and prayer groups are just forming in parishes. Check out the opportunities. With summer ending, many organizations are gearing up for new volunteers. Contact your local Catholic Charities or Habitat for Humanity to see how you might help out.
Think of the autumn season as a way to discover a new rhythm for your prayer life. If new activities can be scheduled into your daily life, start scheduling in more quality time for prayer. Fall is the perfect time to begin a 34-week Ignatian retreat, because if you start in September, the retreat-in-real-life schedule will conform to the liturgical year.
For the children in your house, early to bed and early to rise means there may be more opportunities to be together for short prayer. Say a blessing at breakfast, or a brief morning offering as kids head out for the bus. Try to bring a more regular prayer schedule to your home. Pray with your children as you tuck them in, making the prayer personal and about the day’s events. Make a resolve this fall to bring Christ more prominently into your family’s daily routine. Make the stewardship of your faith and family a commitment as autumn brings a sense of renewal.
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