Family spirituality


I’ve been listening to another cd from Matthew Kelly called “5 Practical Ways to Build Family Spirituality.” Here are his 5 ways and 2 of my favorite quotes:




  1.  Ask the right questions. –Talk to your kids in ways that help them figure out the answers so they learn to make decisions. Ask question so you know your children and know about their lives.
  2. Pray as a family. – Don’t rely on memorized prayers to inspire them. Let them hear you talk to God as a friend. Pray together at meals. One night a week, read the next week’s Gospel together and talk about what one word, phrase, or idea struck each member of the family as important
  3. Create a family culture. – Reclaim family dinners as often as possible. Spend time together. Find ways to build each other up.
  4. Simplify. – Eliminate excess, whether material goods or commitments. Let your children help reduce their belongings and take them to Good Will or Salvation Army with you. They’ll learn and grow through the process.  Say no to Sunday commitments, other than church and carefree timelessness* with your family and friends.
  5. Develop a Spirit of Service. – By example and inclusion, teach children to serve each other, the Church, the community and the nation. They will grow up with a sense of purpose, ready for God to send them on His mission.

 “If you want to be happy for a lifetime, find a way to make a difference in other people’s lives.”

 “How do you want your life to be different next year? The only way that you can make it different is if you change your habits today.”

 *Matthew talks elsewhere about carefree timelessness as the one thing that will improve any relationship, guaranteed. Remember being newly in love? How you could spend hours together without needing to accomplish anything? Remember the last time you felt really close to and connected with your family? Were you enjoying carefree timelessness? Probably so. Give that unstructured time to your spouse, your children, and your God and watch the love grow.


Betty Arrigotti

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Choose life!

You’ve made it to the final entry of Lent in our search for Joy!

One last author that I recommend you consider: Matthew Kelly is a 30-year-old Catholic who travels the world speaking to young and old about God’s dream for each of us: that we become the best version of ourselves.

He says we are physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual beings and that life is all about love. To be truly happy we must pay attention to our needs in these four areas:

  • Physical – Eat healthy foods, sleep enough, and exercise regularly.
  • Emotional – Focus on our relationships. Every relationship will blossom if we regularly spend carefree timelessness with the other, whether spouse, friend, or children. With time spent as if on vacation, we will move into the higher levels of intimacy like sharing our hopes and dreams, our fears and needs, and our efforts to become the best version of ourselves.
  • Intellectual – For ten minutes every day, read a book that challenges you to grow.
  • Spiritual – Our spirits need solitude, scripture, silence, and the sacraments. Matthew recommends we attend to Mass, asking God to show us just one way we can become better versions of ourselves this week. Somewhere in the readings, music, prayers, homily, or silence, we will be given that one message.


Matthew insists we all know deep down what will make us happy and better people. Yet, we don’t do what we know will make us happier and healthier. Why?

Because we are too busy.

What are we too busy doing? Working to attain things that we want, thinking they will make us happier. Instead, we should do the things he lists above, the things we need.

Things that really will make us happier.

He recommends we slow down enough to determine every decision by whether it will help us be better versions of ourselves. What we own does not matter. What matters is how we love – ourselves, the people in our lives, and our God.

When my daughters were in grade school we celebrated the approach of Easter with a poster that began with a caterpillar and a seed. Over the weeks of Lent the caterpillar grew through stages of development until it was a butterfly. Likewise the seed sprouted two leaves, a stem, a bud, and eventually flowered.

Now as Lent draws to an end and we prepare to celebrate Easter, the celebration of new life, let’s resolve to choose life.

  • Choose gratitude, rather than complaints. 
  • Choose simplicity over materialism and complexity.
  • Choose relaxation and renewal over busy-ness.
  • Choose trust, rather than insecurity.
  • Choose service, rather than meaningless pursuits.
  • Choose life!
  • Choose love!

 And may your choices lead you to Joy!

 Happy Easter!

 Betty Arrigotti

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,   by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him. Deuteronomy 30:19-20

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