The Feast of Pentecost can inspire us to invite the Holy Spirit into our daily lives.

With Pentecost upon us, it is an opportune time to ask: How does your family experience the descent of the Holy Spirit?

To be clear, we’re not wondering if tongues of fire have fallen into your living room or if a white dove has landed on your windowsill. These types of Holy Spirit moments found in the scriptures—although stunning and powerful—are a different topic for another day.

Instead, we talk about your family living awareness of the power of the Holy Spirit within the four walls of your home – about intentionally inviting the Holy Spirit into your daily life. We’re talking about small habits that can lead to an amazing new chapter in your home.

To do this, we invite you to consider trying one or more of the following habits as a family.

1Pray “Come, Holy Spirit”

This one is easy. Just start praying this prayer together as a family in the evening or at the beginning of the day. You will be amazed at how, over time, this ancient prayer opens up your family’s understanding of the Holy Spirit.

“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send your Spirit and they will be created. And you will renew the face of the earth. O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit have instructed the hearts of the faithful, grant us that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and always enjoy his consolations, through Christ our Lord, Amen .

2Memorize the 7 gifts and 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit

Daily family life without knowing the 7 gifts and 12 fruits is like driving blindfolded. The Holy Spirit – through baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist and our prayer life – desires to help us, to intercede for us and to bless us with his gifts and fruits. Take the time as a family to (re)memorize them, study them and integrate them into your conversations. Gifts: fear of the Lord, piety, courage, counsel, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Fruits: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, fidelity, modesty, self-control and chastity (CCC 1832).

To start that, try this beautiful custom from Catherine Doherty, a Servant of God (1896-1985):

Make paper cutouts of doves or tongues of fire, enough for each member of the family. On one side write a gift of the Spirit, and on the other a fruit of the Spirit. Place them in a basket. Then, at a special family meal (preferably near Pentecost or on the day of Pentecost), read Acts 2:1-13 together, then have each family member draw one from Cart. Over dinner, ask each person to share with others the gift and fruit they received. Close the dinner by singing a hymn to the Holy Spirit such as “Come, Holy Spirit.”

3Double your quality family time from 37 to 74 minutes a day

Ha. Get your attention! You may have heard this description of the Holy Trinity before: the Father is the lover, the Son is the beloved, and the Holy Spirit is the love that binds them together and that comes out of them.

In the “little Trinity” of your family, the quality time you spend together is when you deepen the bonds of love. A Google search reveals dozens of studies that state the obvious: distracted parents spend less and less time with their children (on average 37 minutes a day). Invite the Holy Spirit into that deficit in your family, and you will see a change.

4Get out the holy water!

Throughout Scripture we see that water is a symbol of the Holy Spirit – of the presence of the Spirit when the water came out of the rock (Ex. 17:6, Dt. 8:15, Wis 11 :4), until the baptism of Jesus, and the water that flowed from the side of Jesus. When we enter the church, we make the sign of the cross with holy water, and we should probably do this in our “domestic church” – our own house, or “Trinity House” – too.

If you don’t already have one, consider purchasing a holy water font to hang near your front door. Also, take out the holy water from time to time and bless your children, their rooms and your whole house with this effective symbol of the life and power of the Holy Spirit within the four walls of your house.

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Let’s not let this Pentecost pass by our busy and often distracted families. Instead, let us raise the life of our “little Trinity” – our own families – to the Holy Spirit, “the artisan of the works of God, the master of prayer” (CC 741), and invite the Holy Spirit to renew our homes.

Come, Holy Spirit!

GUARDIAN ANGEL