Thanks to Dora G. for sharing this.
If you are married, then the central goal of your life should be to get to Heaven, and to help your spouse and children get there too. Every other dream, decision, and direction ought to be subservient to that central focus of your life. You cannot afford to undermine your own life mission by sanctioning family activities and customs which jeopardize your primary purpose.
This is what I mean: most families have a desire to be healthy. In order for the family to remain in good health, each member must embrace that goal. If one member forgets to wash his hands, cover his mouth when he sneezes, wear warm clothes in cold weather, or clean the dishes thoroughly with soap and hot water, then the health of the entire family is at risk because of the bad health habits of just one person in the family.
Or again, most families strive to be financially stable. In order to remain solvent, the entire family must commit themselves to that goal. If one member buys compulsively, wastes food and electricity, neglects essential maintenance, gambles irresponsibly, or otherwise spends money excessively, then the solvency of the entire family is compromised because of the bad fiscal habits of just one person in the family.
So, if your family is striving for holiness (and I hope you are!), then all the members of the family must understand this as your central family focus. If one member uses foul or biting language, or is disrespectful, or lies, or compromises marital fidelity, or neglects prayer and duty to God, then the sanctity of the entire family is belittled because of the bad sinful habits of just one person in the family.
To foster this family sanctity, I strongly encourage families to commit to the following code:
1) To pray together as a family daily
2) To honor the Lord on His day by attending Mass as a family weekly
3) To avail ourselves of God’s mercy by going to sacramental confession monthly, and then extending forgiveness received from God to each member of the family.
4) To take part in a retreat or mission as a family annually (this can be combined with vacation, as long as the vacation has a spiritual dimension).
Fr. Rory Pitstick