On our radio program, More2Life, Lisa and I regularly get call from parents struggling with one issue or another. Although the advice we offer is always tailored to a family’s particular circumstances, we often start by asking parents to join together with their children to seek God’s guidance on the best way to proceed. The deafening silence this advice is often greeted with at first is a sign, I think, of the struggle many Catholic families have with the idea of prayer. “Prayer,” said St John Vianney, “is nothing less than union with God.” Unfortunately, in many Catholic homes, prayer, to the degree that it happens at all, has been reduced to something…um, less than that.
Stepping into the breech is a terrific new book by Tim and Sue Muldoon titled, Six Sacred Rules for Families: A Spirituality for the Home. I was so pleased to read it. The Muldoons speak from years of experience and offer gentle wisdom to families who wish to get more out of their daily life together. They help readers discover how the ins and outs of family life can point back to God and how every moment spent in the “domestic church” (i.e., what the Church calls families), is a moment of profound grace–if you know where to look for it.
St. Theresa of Calcutta used to tell parents who asked her how they could achieve holiness, “Go home and love your families.” The Muldoons offer parents a way to see how their love can reflect the love that comes from God’s own heart. Inspired by St. Ignatius of Loyola Spiritual Rules, the Muldoons offer 6 rules that can help every family bring their faith home in new and dramatic ways.
1. God brings our family together on pilgrimage
2. Our love for one another leads to joy.
3. Our family doesn’t care about “success.”
4. God stretches our family toward his kingdom.
5. God will help us.
6. We must learn which desires lead us to freedom.
The Muldoons describe the significance of these six simple rules for their family and yours. They freely admit that they are not saints, but the good news is that you don’t have to be perfect to follow God’s path to perfection. The Muldoons offer a realistic picture of a family, struggling together to find God and grace as they face trials, celebrate life and learn about love from one another. It is a book that is both touching and transformative at the same time. I hope every Catholic family will read this book and discover the incredible spiritual treasure that is buried in the heart of their home.