I have a confession to make: I attended the same parish for three years during graduate school and never learned a single fellow parishioner’s name. I loved going to Mass there, but I never attended a parish function or lingered after a service to talk to fellow worshipers.
Over a kosher breakfast several months ago, a good friend and I—both new mothers and in transitory phases of life—speculated about where we might eventually settle down and what our ideal geographical and social living situations would look like.
When a good friend proposed the idea of a weekly prayer group to our shared circle of friends, I jumped on the idea. My confession is that the eagerness I felt had less to do with the idea of praying and more to do with the thought of seeing this group of women regularly. We’re in a long-distance series of friendships, spanning two time zones and four states, and the prospect of having a particular reason to meet through video chatting every Tuesday thrilled me.
Since I first learned the concept of goal setting in fourth grade P.E. class, I’ve been obsessed. New Years, birthdays, beginnings of seasons, the first day of the month: you name the new beginning and I’m there crafting a page of resolutions, a bucket list or a series of S.M.A.R.T. goals around it. I like goal setting because it helps me manage my time in a way that aligns with my values, and it provides me with positive ends to work towards and a sense of accomplishment when I’ve met those ends.
Most Catholic parents would agree on the importance of praying with our sons and daughters. The Church teaches us that we are the primary faith educators of our children, and what better way to teach them about God than by talking to God? That being said, praying with young kids can be difficult at times. It’s hard to get toddlers and small children to sit still for thirty seconds let alone engage in a focused dialogue with an invisible God, and it can be tempting to put off lessons about prayer until our kids are a little bit older.