For the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, six things that we do well to say often in family: Please. Thank you. I’m sorry. I love you. You are wonderful. How can I help you?
Perhaps you think of the one in your family to whom you last said one of these, or the one to whom you would do well to say one of these six things: Please. Thank you. I’m sorry. I love you. You are wonderful. How can I help you?
Something dawned on me while I was coming up with the list.
I was shooting for five. The first four came easily: Please. Thank you. I’m sorry. I love you.
Something had me notice that they were the kinds of things that we often say in prayer. They matched three of the four “kinds” of prayer that we talk about: petition (please), thanksgiving (thank you) and contrition (I’m sorry; I love you).
The one kind of prayer that was missing was adoration. You know how we say to God, “You are wonderful. You just are.” Well, we can say that to someone in family, too, and we would do well to say that often to family. I had reached five.
But then I thought that there is something else we often say in family, “How can I help you? How can I help you accomplish what you are trying to do?” We can say that to God, too, “God, how can I help you to pull off what you are trying to make happen?”
It dawned on me that what we do well to say in prayer we would do well to say in family, and what we say in family we can also say in prayer.
So, which prayer best matches your emotions and desires at this moment, “Please, O God. Thank you, God. I’m sorry, God. God, I love you. O God, you are wonderful. God, how can I help you?