This week’s marriage prep/enrichment topic is how to best serve our communities together as a family. We can be a great blessing to others both in our neighborhoods and far away. It’s easier than you think! Read Chapter 5 of The Four Keys to Everlasting Love: How Your Catholic Marriage Can Bring You Joy for a Lifetime, and join in the discussion with the 4 Keys Online Book Club on Facebook. FOR A PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION OF THE WORKSHEET, CLICK HERE.
Turning Inaction into Action:
Families at the Service of Other Families
Jesus wants us to feel a special love for the poorest and most vulnerable among us. That’s one reason why programs for the Sacrament of Confirmation stress community service so heavily. But community service doesn’t have to be relegated to the teenage years. Families can reach out to meet their neighbors’ physical and spiritual needs in ways that amount to priceless gifts.
Inviting a lonely neighbor and her small children over for a playdate or offering to pick up an extra gallon of milk at the store can mean so much more than we realize. Our community and our parish are both filled with opportunities to show God’s love to a hurting world by donating either our resources or our time. And of course who can forget Pope Francis’ constant urging to “go to the outskirts” and seek out people who need our help. As Manny and Karee say in Chapter Six of The Four Keys, “We all have a deep-seated need, placed within us by God, to leave the world better off than when we found it. Through acts of charity, we accomplish that goal one person at a time.”
In Chapter Six, Manny and Karee talk about every family’s call to serve others by words, deeds, and love in order to become what Pope St. John Paul II called families at the service of other families. They also show you how:
- Your children can bring joy to others
- Your faith and hope can be a gift for others
- Hospitality begins within the walls of your home
- Your parish needs you more than you know
- Face to face interaction amplifies our acts of charity by dignifying those we serve
You can use the following conversation starters to get a discussion going among yourselves or in a small group. If it helps, think it over on your own time, take it to prayer, and jot down your answers before talking about them.
1. How often do you practice the virtue of hospitality by inviting people into your home?
2. What cause motivates you the most and how would you like to get involved?
3. Is there a cause that motivates you both equally? If not, how might you divide your free time and resources to support more than one cause?
4. What are some service projects you might take up as a family to meet the physical and spiritual needs of your neighbors?