3 resolutions for a more contemplative school year

File:Prière avant la récolte par Félix de Vigne.jpg
Prayer Before the Harvest by Felix de Vigne (Wikimedia Commons).


Now that my book blog tour is done, I finally have time to start thinking about the new school year. Yes, I know many of you have had kids in school (or studying at home) for a couple weeks now. We always take August and the first week of September as our summer vacation. This is the time when I’m overwhelmed with garden vegetables to harvest and cook.

Here are three resolutions that families can make, no matter what their schooling method.

1. Pray more

Resolve to take the next step in your prayer life, and encourage your kids to do the same. For little ones, this could mean learning to make the Sign of the Cross more perfectly. As a family, you could begin saying a morning prayer together. We like tgis one from Catholic Children’s Treasure Box:

Dear God, now that I start the day, I offer you my heart and pray, guide me in everything I do, and keep me always close to you. Amen.

Adults, this is a perfect time to begin practicing daily mental prayer, if you aren’t doing so already. If you’re already praying fifteen minutes a day, extend it to twenty or thirty. If you pray thirty minutes, maybe it’s time to try meditating on Sacred Scripture. And for those of you already doing that, can you try to incorporate prayer in your daily activities?

You can also begin to teach your children mental prayer.

Ask God how He wants you and your family to grow in this area and take one small step forward.

2. Simplify your life

The more possessions you have, the more potential distractions from God. I know our culture doesn’t like to hear this one, but it’s very hard to live for God and be surrounded with all the latest gadgets, toys, and entertainment the world has to offer. On a more practical level, the more possessions you have, the more of your time will go to worldly cares.

Wouldn’t you rather spend time with your spouse than on your tablet? Wouldn’t you rather your kids spend time with you than watching TV? Wouldn’t you rather spend time with God than shopping?

If you can’t say, yes, to those questions, you may have a problem. (I understand about needing quiet time away from the kids, of course. Everything in its place.)

Maybe you don’t have many excess possessions, but your life is filled with trivial activities. How about re-instating family dinners? Banning conversations about entertainment at the dinner table? Limiting your own time on social media as an example to your kids? Dropping one outside activity to make your week less stressful?

3. Read a spiritual book regularly

Are you homeschooling? A couple times a year, choose a saints’ biography or other inspiring book as your daily read-aloud choice. Read a short passage from a children’s Bible daily.

Keep a spiritual book or two on your night stand. Few things will help you focus on what’s most important as a spiritual book. If you’re already doing this, try memorizing some Bible verses.

Recommit to these three things and enjoy a more peaceful, Christian school year.

Connie Rossini


Follow Connie Rossini:

Hi, I'm a Catholic writer and homeschool mother of four boys. I practice Carmelite spirituality. Check out my Books page for publications to help your whole family grow in holiness.

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