G.K. Chesterton once said, “Fairy tales are more than true. Not because they tell us that dragons are real, but because they tell us that dragons can be defeated.”
These are such wise words, not only because they speak truth, but because they do it in a way that stirs our soul. After all, inside each of us, there is something that wants to slay a dragon. What are the dragons we face in the 21st Century?
Dragons are fallen angels, temptations, sins, distractions, or any obstacle in the journey of life that tries to keep us from becoming saints. As a husband and father, I feel it is my duty to guard and protect my family from these obstacles. I want to not only teach my children that dragons are indeed real (they already know that, as G.K. Chesterton implied), but that they can be slain. J.R.R. Tolkien, another great evangelist of the 20th Century, was a master at “fairy-tales” because his stories bring out the battle of light versus dark, good versus evil, and the unmistakable hope that even us ordinary little “hobbits” can become extraordinary saints by simple acts of kindness and love.
But slaying a dragon is not like slaying a hippo (please don’t slay hippos). You can’t slay dragons with guns, swords, or bombs. Dragons are supernatural enemies which require supernatural weapons to defeat. A supernatural weapon is one that contains the antidote to sin and death…SUPERNATURAL GRACE.
3 Habits Your Family Needs To Slay Modern Dragons
Here are three essential habits your family needs to obtain the supernatural grace to slay dragons:
- PRAY EVERY DAY: A family that prays together stays together. Find innovative and memorable ways to pray together as a family. The rosary is a sword that should always be in your sheath. Pray to guardian angels and archangels to guard and protect you. We even have stones with the names of angels on the four corners of our house to create a forcefield. Have set prayer times and eat dinner together. Set aside a day of the week for each member of the family, and pray especially for that person on that day. Have every member of the family say what they like about the person during prayer time on that day. Celebrate the feast days and holidays, and especially celebrate baptism anniversaries, the most important day in the life of your family members! There are endless possibilities, but pray with each other and for each other every single day.
- GO TO MASS EVERY WEEK: A family that prays together stays together. Everything I said in number 1 also applies to your universal family called the Catholic Church. If you were God the Father, and you wanted to give a message to your entire family, how would you do it? I don’t know, but I think one billion Catholics attending Mass and reading the same scripture readings is pretty powerful. And let’s not forget, the most powerful weapon on earth to slay a dragon is the Chief Dragon Slayer Himself, Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. It is the medicine of immortality. In the Eucharist, we receive an awesome power to slay dragons and become saints. (Check out these tips for going to Mass with your family.)
- GO TO CONFESSION EVERY MONTH: We all get wounded by dragons. It is part of the journey of life and a consequence of original sin. Whenever we sin, we are wounded spiritually. A lot of little wounds can add up to make you very weak, and of course a deadly “mortal” wound needs immediate attention. The parable of the Prodigal Son happens every time we go to confession. The Father is waiting for you to come back home so you can be healed. Our family tries to make it a habit to go to confession every month. We do our dragon slayers examination of conscience (naming your dragons is the first step to slaying them), write down our sins, and then go to confession. When we get back, we make a fire (kids love fire) and burn those sins because they are gone. And then we have steak or hamburgers, because in the story of the Prodigal Son they kill the fatted calf! This is a celebration. It is a habit and tradition your kids will remember and carry on, and if even 10% of Catholic families developed this habit, it would change the world in a dramatic way.
Want more ideas to slay dragons?
Go to www.saintsinthemaking.com/resources to learn more about our virtual Dragon Slayer’s family retreat, download a free Dragon Slayer’s Examination of Conscience, find free dragon slayer coloring pages, a link to the “Dragon Slayers Manual,” and so much more!