Let me be clear — I’ve never ever heard God speaking to me. Not in the way we most often wish we could hear Him. But I can promise you this: I feel God’s blessing and mercy often when my wife and I sit to do our evening prayer (e.g. Vespers) together. Sometimes we do it in the living room. Often we are side by side on the bed. Many times we’re distracted. Often tired. One night not too long ago, we were alternating verses of a Psalm that we were doing from the Liturgy of the Hours. I came to the end of my verse…. nothing. No words from Dee. I looked over at her and she was completely asleep. These verses are usually four or six lines long. And Dee went to sleep right in the middle of our prayers. So we do know from tired.
But as we attempted to share in our own style and manner on the podcast, Evening Prayer has become so much a part of who we are that we almost always say it together. When we visit deacon couples – we often do Evening Prayer. And if we’ve stayed overnight — we do Morning Prayer as well.
What we also shared in the podcast on this topic is that for many — the majority of the years of our marriage, we never prayed together. It would probably be awkward if couples or families aren’t used to it. I remember how unusual or uncomfortable it seemed to voice our prayers out loud — and our intentions: “Dear Lord, we seem like we have a growing number of people that relate to our podcasts and my deacon ministry. Please bless them and draw them closer to you. Help them and hear our prayers for them.” This would be an often repeated prayer by Dee or me — many times praying for the Hendey’s’ of Catholic Moments and Catholic Mom… for the Sweeney family in Texas, Pat Gohn and so many others that we’ve come to know and care for.
You may not know that you can get the Liturgy of the Hours sent to your computer. Or you can have it sent to your iPod or other MP3 like device. But once again — our show wasn’t intended to be just about the Divine Office. It’s about asking you to try 15 minutes or so of shared prayer in your family. At least mom and dad after the kids are asleep. And if possible, an earlier family prayer out loud and together.
Oh, and if you are new to our efforts, please listen to the earlier podcast — Catholic Vitamin F for Family. Listen to Bob and Darlene Closs tell of raising 13 children and of their faith journey. One of the things that registered with us was the consistent discipline of family prayer together, especially evening prayer.
Most of our shows aren’t about us — but we felt this topic important enough in our lives that we wanted to share it with you.
The family that prays together stays together.