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Family Prayer

This was our routine every night when I was growing up. Mother would gather the four of us children at my younger brother's bed, where we would kneel before the picture of an angel looking over two children crossing a river on a narrow bridge. We prayed as a family, reciting prayers that we had committed to memory: Our Father, Hail Mary, Angel of God. The routine of these prayers every night became part of the rhythm of our day as the sun would go down. My dad never prayed with us. I don't really know why, I didn't really think about it. Dad went to church with us when he wasn't busy, but I don't really have memories of praying with my dad or even sitting in the same pew at church with him. He would join a group of men at the back of the church, explaining to us that he didn't want to take up limited pew space. Prayer was something I did with my mother and grandmother, something that was important to me a child, something that seemed important. When I was twelve years old I remember getting ready for bed and on my way from our bathroom to my bedroom I noticed my parent’s bedroom door slightly ajar. I decided to take a peek inside, and what I saw changed me in a powerful way. When I looked inside my parent’s bedroom on that memorable evening, I saw my dad in his pyjamas on his knees saying his prayers. He looked like a little child, hands folded, head raised up to heaven. It was on that night that I saw my dad for the first time deep in prayer. I didn't know why he kept it so private, why he didn't pray with us. But on that night I knew one thing for sure, I knew that God existed because my dad prayed. Sometimes we can be overwhelmed by the negativity that exists in our world, our country, our family, and maybe even in our Church. What should we do? How can we make a difference? I would like to propose a simple solution, we should pray. I see the vision of my father praying like a child in the privacy of his bedroom, and that’s what gives me great hope. We should pray like children, remembering that one person’s genuine prayer can make all the difference in the world. Fr. Wojtek Kuzma

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