Lenten Journey #3

On this 4th Sunday of Lent 2021, Marie-Pierre and Patrice (lay Assumptionists) share to us their family life journey and how their faith experience has nourished their family life!

Our family life experience supports our life of faith

We are married for 49 years with three married daughters and ten grandchildren. Our family life has allowed us to grow in our faith life and our role as parents. We both come from close-knit, practicing Christian families.

Let yourself be surprised to taste better the joy of family life

For both of us, family life has surprised us many times as we have seen how much it refers us to the Gospel and how much easier it is to share our values coming from families that have bequeathed them to us. Charity, forgiveness, hope, trust, and patience, underpinned by prayer, are the “ingredients” of a fulfilling family life. As in religious families, it is necessary to create unity in diversity and the acceptance of our daughters’ husbands who are often different from our models. Witnessing fidelity is an important value for our children and grandchildren so that they see in the commitment of marriage a possible duration and a real desire to live it. We wish to pass on these values, and that is why we like to discuss them together because the family is the soil for them.

Several biblical and human models inspire on this family journey

In the Bible, the Assumptionist families we live with, and in our own blood family, we have had the grace to draw on the virtues of the family. Wasn’t St. Joseph, whom we will celebrate on Friday, March 19, a model of faith, forgiveness, patience, humility, and marital fidelity, not to mention the love of a job well done? It was Moses who, in the book of Exodus, asked God for compassion and patience. It is the faith of Abraham who is ready to sacrifice his only son Isaac and whose faith is such that God promises him “descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven.” Father Pernet, an Assumptionist religious and founder with Antoinette Fage of the Little Sisters of the Assumption, never ceased to help poor working-class families. He asked the nuns to be present when the mother was failing to bring evangelical values. For Father d’Alzon, founder of the Augustinians of the Assumption and the Oblates of the Assumption, in his writings, he often speaks of his parents with whom he went to rest and recharges his batteries. This is probably where he found the model for the foundation of the Assumptionist family and the laity of which we are part with Patrice. The Assumption is rich in many works, including the Hospitalité Notre Dame de Salut and the National Pilgrimage to Lourdes. It is a great joy for us to share our faith as a family by coming together each year. To be in service under the gaze of the Virgin Mary is essential for our children and our grandchildren.

A Prayer: Thank you, Forgive me, Please!

We usually pray at night with our grandchildren before they go to bed. They always ask us to take the prayer of thank you, forgive, please! Here is ours on this same model.

Thank you, Lord, for giving us loving parents. They gave us the desire to create a family in our turn. Our children have chosen this path. Thank you for giving us the joy of having grandchildren.

Forgive us, Lord, for our lack of love, for our impatience, and our insufficient listening.

Please allow our families to grow in faith, charity, and respect for others. May we always have the goal to grow together in fidelity to the Gospel, just as Jesus did. May each of us flourish in our life choices. May altruism guide us and accompany us in our commitments.


A life goal for the week

Choosing to look up to the crucified Christ. 
On this fourth Sunday of Lent, we hear St. John say to us, “As the bronze serpent was lifted up by Moses in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that in him everyone who believes may have eternal life.” To raise our eyes to the Lord is also to fix our gaze on our mistreated, suffering brothers and sisters to see in them Christ crucified.