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Catholic Prayer: Means of Spiritual Renewal in the Family


Because the family is under constant attack in our society, the Catholic family must avail itself of all means of renewal in Christ. Here Rev. Schmiedeler discusses a few effective methods in this article.


Several practices that have become fairly common today are serving as excellent means for the renewal of the spirit of the Christian family. One is the recitation of the pledge to Christian marriage.

This pledge consists of a series of short statements covering the fundamentals of Christian marriage and family living. In reciting it the individual recalls to mind the correct Catholic views and promises of a manner of life in accord with them. Needless to say, that, while serving as a renewal, the pledge also serves as an effective antidote against the poisonous and destructive doctrines and practices regarding marriage and family life that are so rampant today.

Then there is the renewal of the marriage promises on the part of married people. It is customary for religious to renew their vows regularly. Why should not married people do so? The renewal may take place publicly or privately. Many churches throughout the country have the renewal publicly on the occasion of the closing of the sessions of the National Catholic Conference on Family Life in mid-Lent each year.

Still another excellent means of renewal is the family retreat. This is a short retreat that husband and wife make together. It serves as a means for recalling to their minds the dignity of the sacramental state of marriage in which they are living and the duties they assumed upon entering it. It may well be made the occasion for bringing to their attention such a publication as this one and urging them to make its content a vital factor in their family life. It should lead them to rededicate their married lives, to renew their resolution to live in the full observance of all that their sacred state expects of them. Religious make an annual retreat. Why should not married people do the same?

To mention just one more devotion, one that is also in the nature of a renewal and one in which a number of the aforementioned practices are combined; there is the Family Holy Hour. this "Hour" is held in church, and usually with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Husband and wife, and even the entire family group, attend together. Among the features of the devotions are the renewal of the marriage vows, the recitation of the pledge to Christian marriage, the consecration of the family to the Sacred Heart and its dedication to the Holy Family.

Prayer Source: Your Home, A Church in Miniature by Compiled by The Family Life Bureau in the early 1950s, The Neumann Press, Long Prairie, Minnesota, 1994
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