Kristen M. Soley
Years ago, I read that the primary mission of the family is to get each other to heaven. We have seven children, five of whom are boys. Introducing the journey to sainthood as a mission seemed a perfect approach for our family. It also helped to understand that God’s plan is perfect and has chosen each family member for our sanctification (growth in holiness).
Everything that happens to us, good, or seemingly not so good, is by God’s hand; gently aiding our growth in virtue. For our family, He Wills for us joy through successes, peace through time spent in prayer, safety through our angel's prayers, wisdom through learning, laughter through recreation, character built through work, His love through us given to each other, and ultimately union with Him through full surrender to His Divine Will. He also wills that we grow in patience through trials, fortitude through hurt feelings, perseverance through enduring long days without sufficient rest, meekness when we hit sensory overload, forgiveness when we have things stolen from us, mercy when we lose a friend (if only for five minutes), humility when our pride is pricked, and surrender when we feel unappreciated. These are a mere sampling of all the opportunities family life provides, and are not dissimilar to His life on earth. Each of these opportunities allows us to grow in virtue; to be more like Him.
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. (Isaiah 48:10 NASB)
Our family has taken this mission, as given directly from our Commander and Chief, God Himself. Therefore, in our home, we begin each morning with family prayer. As we close our prayer, either my husband or I, with team-captain enthusiasm, pose the question, “What is our Mission?” To which we all cheer, “To get each other to heaven!” This is followed by the question, “What are we going to do today to get each other to heaven?” Which is followed with the children cheering loudly the following:
· “Be kind and share!
· Do the right thing even when it is difficult!
· Pray, think, and then speak!
· Pray, think, and then do!
· Build up the Kingdom of God!
· Do something beautiful for God!
· Be charitable!
· And when in doubt, ask the question, ‘What would Jesus do?’”
Finally, we all put our hands in, team-style, and raise them as we cheer, “One, two, three - “Go team Soley!”
This has helped us to daily embrace our assignment to this critical mission; getting each other to heaven, and helps us to remember that it is a mission we cannot fulfill without each other.