A Baptized man shares in the offices of Christ of priest, prophet, and king. A Baptized man who is the father of children is a priest, prophet, and king in a particular way. His house is his domestic church and his children are the flock that he shepherds. So, what does this mean: prophet, king, and priest?
As a prophet in his domestic church, a father is called to teach and speak truth into the life of his family. Both with his words and deeds, a father must set the tone. A prophet does not necessarily see the future, but He trusts in the call of the Lord and heeds that call.
As a king in his domestic church, a father must exemplify kingship by modeling Christ’s kingship. Christ’s throne is the Cross and He models His kingship by washing the feet of His Apostles. Therefore, a father models Christ by serving his wife and children in love.
As a priest in his domestic church, a father sanctifies and guides his children. He sacrifices for his children and teaches them to prayer and how to live. As a priest, a father has authority over his children in the physical and the spiritual realm. As priests in the domestic church, fathers can bless their children.
“The blessings of your father are mighty beyond the blessings of the eternal mountains, the bounties of the everlasting hills (Gen. 49:26).”
How then can a father bless his children? One of the strongest prayers of the Church is the Sign of the Cross. From the Sign of the Cross, the devil runs and hides in fear. There is also a blessing in the Roman Breviary for those who are about to make a journey. Let us learn these two prayers and use them in faith, hope, love, and trust!
As we leave home, as a family, we can pray this beautiful prayer. I will offer it to you in Latin or in English. I offer the Latin because it is held traditionally that the Devil particularly hates the universal language of the Church, Latin:
In viam pacis et prosperitatis dirigat nos omnipotens et misericors Dominus: et Angelus Raphael comitetur nobiscum in via, ut cum pace, salute et gaudio revertamur ad propria.
Into the way of peace and prosperity, may the almighty and merciful Lord lead us and may the Angel Raphael be with us along the way, that we may come to our home again in peace, and health, and gladness.
For the prayer before bedtime, simply give the blessing in the form below while tracing the Sign of the Cross on the forehead of your child.
A Prayer Before Bed
Benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, descendat super vos, et maneat semper.
May the blessing of Almighty God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be upon you and remain with you always.
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