Practical Tips For Happy Family Life…

Pope Francis has given families some practical advice during [yesterday] morning’s General Audience in St. Peter’s Square [13 May, 2015].  cartoonsteam

Continuing with his catecheses on the family, the Holy Father reminded the faithful of three words that “must be in the home”: “May I, Thank You, Pardon Me [permesso, grazie, scusa].”

For happy family life, the Pontiff said, these phrases are required in our hearts, homes and communities, and mean more than just having good manners.

Speaking on asking ‘May I?,’ the Pontiff said we should not just assume we have the right to certain things. When we ask this permission, he said we establish trust and respect among our loved ones. 

Proving his point, Francis recalled the words of Jesus in the book of Revelation: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me “(3:20).

“Even the Lord asks permission to enter! Do not forget that.”

On saying ‘Thank you,’ the Pontiff said our society has a great need for gratitude, which makes us more sensitive to the dignity of the human person and the demands of social justice.

“Listen well to this: a Christian that doesn’t know how to thank is one that has forgotten the language of God. This is ugly.”

‘Sorry,’ the Pope acknowledged is the hardest of the three to say, yet he noted that when it’s not used many bad things happen, especially in marriage. He asked those gathered to ponder how we can be pardoned if we are not willing to forgive.
“Have you fought?” Francis asked. “The problem is not the fighting,” he said as much as letting it last into the next day.
“Never finish the day without making peace,” even if it’s not easy, the Pope said. “A little gesture, a  caress, without words,” he pointed out, can be enough, for it “stops the infection.”
The Holy Father invited all those gathered to repeat the three Italian words: ‘permesso  grazie, scusa.’   After underscoring these “are the truly the words for entering into the love of the family,” Francis called on them to say, “Never finish the day without making peace.”    Source



Pope Francis makes some very good points in the above homily.  His Scripture reference and insight is compelling:  “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me “(3:20).   “Even the Lord asks permission to enter! Do not forget that.”

Share your practical tips for making life more pleasant in the home or workplace or simply just getting along with people. Quotes from Scripture or the saints which have deepened your insights would be very interesting.   I, for one, could use the help!  

26 responses

  1. Get a set of hymn books and sing 1 or 2 hymns at the end of your family rosary. Every few days is fine. Singing is very therapeutic.

    Read stories to small children. Religious stories, fairy tales, poetry. They will remember all their lives and probably pass it on.

    Eat dinner round a table and encourage conversation.

    • Singing hymns after the rosary is a great idea. I’ve never thought of that or heard it suggested before. Children usually love singing so that’s something for families to think about.

      “Getting on with people” is quite difficult these days since most people think true Catholic beliefs are extremist so in social situations I think the old rule about “no politics, no religion” is important. Discuss other things, trivial even, and let the other person’s opinion be “the right one” whenever possible.

    • CBucket,

      I love hymns and think that’s a great idea but it would have to be started when the children were very young, as I can’t see teens joining in. Eating and talking together as a family at table is a must.

      I also suggest putting up a picture of the Sacred Heart as the graces from this devotion is staggering, It’s one of the twelve promises of the Sacred Heart when he appeared to St Margaret Mary Alacoque, “I will bless every place where an image of My Heart is exposed and honoured.”

    • Pope Francis once said, (Who am I to Judge). I like that, but then again who is he to deny the Lords and Blessed Mary’s request to consecrate Russia by name

  2. Madame Editor,

    How about the value of tolerance – St. Matthew Chapter 5 verse 39? [re: Turning the other cheek].

    Also “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”?

    And “The gentle answer turneth away wrath” – Proverbs 15.1?

    Written after 54 years of practice.

      • Margaret Mary,

        I am puzzled that you should feel that 54 years of marriage merits LOL. Do we not exchange vows for better or for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death us do part?

        How many of us would be able to honour those vows were it not for a good dose of tolerance along the way? And many more graces too, I might add.

        I hope that you, too, will be able to experience the joy of having shared your life with your spouse for 54 years or more.

        Thanks be to God.

        • I did a bit of lolling at your post as well, Lep, ‘cos I thought you were making a naughty wee joke. After all, f you’ve been turning the other cheek and turning away wrath for 54 years, just what has Mrs. Lep been doing to you?😁

    • Leprechaun

      The only problem in this day and age is that turning the other cheek is counted
      as being cowardly rather than tolerant.

      • Frankier,

        Since reading The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis yet again, I no longer concern myself with the possibility that turning the other cheek may be counted as cowardice. That is how those of a worldly disposition see it.

        What matters to me is that Our Lord finds it pleasing that we should emulate his example and should do just that. It can take great reserves of self-restraint and, may I say it, courage too, to absorb hurts and slights when we might feel like putting the other person in her place.

        As the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale is quoted as remorsefully saying: “Sure, I put him in his place, but I put myself out of God’s place”.

        Courage, mon brave, and turn the other cheek.

  3. Leprechaun

    It was those of a worldly disposition that I was thinking about.

    It is those of the same disposition that would argue that we should turn the other cheek and be tolerant towards the utterances of Pope Francis or the people who are encouraging a yes vote for the legalising of sham ” marriages” in Ireland.

    So, do these people have a valid point?

    • Frankier,

      We both know the teachings of the Church on marriage. Any alternative teachings come from Satan regardless of whose lips deliver them.

      Where right and wrong are involved, there can be no question of tolerating wrong. that is what we are confirmed for – to be soldiers of Christ in the propagation of the faith.

      Those who are working towards sham “marriages” are doing Satan’s work and even if they get their way, their triumph will be short-lived.

      May 2017 is only 2 years away!

      Now – should I spend that tax rebate on a ticket for the Cup Final, or should I accede to Mrs. Lep’s request to let her get her hair cut and coloured?

      • Leprechaun,

        “Now – should I spend that tax rebate on a ticket for the Cup Final, or should I accede to Mrs. Lep’s request to let her get her hair cut and coloured?”

        It’s no contest. Mrs Lep’s hair comes first! LOL!

      • Leprechaun

        If the cup final is in April of that year I would go for the ticket.

        Surely Mrs Lep can stop dying her hair grey for a couple of weeks.

    • Frankier,

      By “turning the other cheek” is meant to accept slights and insults and instead of taking revenge, we are ready to accept more slights and insults. That’s different from tolerating evil. That’s not turning the other cheek that’s going along with evil and the opposite of what we are supposed to do.

      I don’t think “tolerant” is a good word to use when talking about turning the other cheek. We’re not “tolerating” slights and insults we are offering them up and that’s different IMHO.

  4. ‘Practical tips for happy family life’

    Stay single?

    Seriously, if the rosary is in the family then the family will never go too far wrong, assuming Mass and the Sacraments are attended and received at least weekly.

    • I remember going to one of the crusades of Fr.Peyton, the ‘Rosary Priest’ whose message was always ‘The family that prays together stays together’. Pope Francis’s omission of praying together in his recipe for a happy family life is so depressingly characteristic of his utterances which focus on this life rather than the next.

      • Christina,

        That was my reaction too, that this Pope’s advice is always worldly-how to be happy in the here and now. Doesn’t do much good because the world already gives us that!

        I would say, praying the rosary (and inculcating a love for this prayer as early as possible in the life of the child), Confession and Mass are fail-proof means of holding a family together.

  5. Here some good advice from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians: ‘Be angry, and sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your anger’. Don’t go to bed on an argument.

    Good advice from Casti Connubii:

    26. Domestic society being confirmed, therefore, by this bond of love, there should flourish in it that “order of love,” as St. Augustine calls it. This order includes both the primacy of the husband with regard to the wife and children, the ready subjection of the wife and her willing obedience, which the Apostle commends in these words: “Let women be subject to their husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ is the head of the Church.”[29]

    27. This subjection, however, does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband’s every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife; nor, in fine, does it imply that the wife should be put on a level with those persons who in law are called minors, to whom it is not customary to allow free exercise of their rights on account of their lack of mature judgment, or of their ignorance of human affairs. But it forbids that exaggerated liberty which cares not for the good of the family; it forbids that in this body which is the family, the heart be separated from the head to the great detriment of the whole body and the proximate danger of ruin. For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love.

    Respect each others roles in the home, and love each other. Compliment each other in your divinely ordained roles.

  6. As someone once said when asked the reason for his happy marriage.

    “My wife and I share my sense of humour”.

  7. Faith, Hope and Charity.

    Keep the Faith overt in the Home.

    Hope in the love and forgiveness of Our Lord.

    Be charitable in your time: for family and for prayer.

    • Well, I know it’s hardly in the spirit of the thread or what the Pope was saying, but one of the best pieces of advice I ever heard for married life came from the father of a bridegroom, who told him “never go to be angry – stay up and fight!”

      Well, he got the first part right, at least. It’s a start … he’ll gradually get the rest!

  8. Jack Sprat could eat no fat
    His wife could eat no lean
    And so, between the two you see,
    They kept the platter clean.


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