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The Features of Prayer

By: John Dacey on November 18th, 2021

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The Features of Prayer

Celebrating family life

Having several grandchildren has provided opportunities to collect impressions and stories about their growth and development.

This time of year, as families make plans to gather for holidays, we often remark about how everyone has grown over the past twelve months.

We recently received some new photos of our grandkids. Sometimes we share opinions about how the young ones have features that remind us of other family members. As an example, I think our oldest grandson has a smile like my father’s.Family-smiles-for-camera

We’ve observed that each of the grandchildren has a resemblance in smile or eyes, height or hair, talent or temperament, or some other feature to their parents, great grandparents – maybe even an aunt or uncle. We don’t always agree on who’s like whom. Differing opinions seem to be part of the fun!

We take delight in these real or just imagined similarities. Perhaps it is because, in our mind, it binds us closer. Maybe we associate resemblance with features of a family member’s character, wisdom, diligence, generosity, compassion, or forgiveness.

I think it is a great blessing to choose to love one another. It is that which binds us to each other – the heart of family resemblance.

Whether we are born or adopted into a family, it is where and with whom we belong. Where our family is – is home to us. It is God’s will for us to be loved and nurtured. It is where wisdom, trust, love, and faith take root.

In the Gospels, we find the fullness of love in the person of Jesus. Jesus was born into a family.

Jesus in John’s Gospel assures Philip, “…Whoever has seen me has seen the Father…” (John 14:9)

Created in God’s image and redeemed by His Living Word, we are called to see Christ in each other and to be Christ in the world. Family is where we begin to learn and practice this great mystery.

In all the relationships of our lives, we hope by God’s grace to resemble His way of loving, not only in our particular family but the entire human family.

As we look forward to the Feast of Christ the King, we may feel inspired to meditate on how our families resemble God’s Kingdom and how His love reigns in our minds and hearts.

How do the persons we love and who love us resemble God’s love?

About John Dacey

John Dacey is a retired Catholic high school teacher. He has taught Scripture, Ethics, and Social Justice. He enjoys being in the company of family, reading in the field of spirituality, and gardening. John and his wife have been married for more than 40 years and have two children and four grandchildren.