Similarly, at Norwalk Catholic School, I start to notice the students become restless and distracted with the sun shining outside while they are indoors studying. I also find myself with a renewed vigor and start tackling a list of things to get done both indoors and outdoors before summer arrives. In short, there is a lot going on for families leading up to the end of a school year while having very little time to accomplish everything that needs to be done.
Sometimes in the midst of the chaotic rush, it is very easy to let time slip away and forget to enjoy the things that are already present to us.
One of the areas that I believe we often struggle with is making sure we spend enough quality time with our families. Family time has always been a huge proponent of my ministry as a parish priest and school chaplain.
Some questions to consider, would be: How often do you eat together as a family? What distractions in daily life prevent families from spending enough authentic time together? Do families make it a priority to set aside extra time to share in a fun activity or event?
If we want to strengthen our family relationships in the years to come, we must put a conscious effort in maintaining good communication and spending quality time with our family members. Otherwise we might suddenly find ourselves climbing an uphill battle or watching that strong family foundation crumbling to the ground.
A danger that continually threatens the life of the family is the constant use of technology within the household. Instead of bringing people together, technology tends to isolate individual family members and prevents them from engaging each other.
There are many other distractions that prevent families from truly functioning as one unit.
Jesus desires that all families find the opportunity to pray together, whether in the home or at Church. He tells us: “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you...” (John 17:20-21).
A very famous motto that I often refer to is “a family that prays together stays together.” I find that the more we take the time to enjoy our families and the community life around us, the easier it is to tackle the everyday tasks and challenges. Ask yourself, what things can we change together in the household that will help us to grow more as one family in Christ?
The Rev. Paul Schreiner is the chaplain for Norwalk Catholic and St. Paul High schools.