The author of the long quote following is a grown man with a little business of his own in London, whose family received great graces from God, once he responded himself to a special grace from Heaven and began acting himself as a Catholic family father by leading Catholic family prayer. There are multiple lessons to learn from what he writes: God exists. He is still at work, especially through His Mother. The human family is still as He designed it, and the family father is still meant to be its leader to Heaven. It is natural, and not unnatural, for wife and children to follow him. A prime instrument for restoring this God-given order in the home is Our Lady’s Holy Rosary. If modern souls suffer from disorder in the home, it depends firstly upon the father to aim for Heaven and to restore order, by his prayer, faith and example.

At age 49, married with six children, I was Catholic in theory, but my brand of Catholicism was that Hell is not for real – just don’t be Hitler and you’ll be fine. Then I was given a very gentle but firm prompt by, I feel sure, Our Lady, to show me that the Catholic life I was living was not sufficient, because Hell is for real, and I was on my way there… Very soon afterwards I attended my first Traditional Latin Mass. Shortly after that I was at a weekend of talks by a Traditional Priest among 40 or so men. The talks were all worthwhile, but the gift there was to sit at lunch with the other men nearly all of whom were, like me, middled-aged refugees being called up late to the Traditional Faith. Most said a similar thing – why had it taken so long to find the true Faith? I thought, if I had been given this 20 years ago my children would probably still be Catholic, at Mass and so forth. It was a bittersweet gathering.

On my return home, I said to my wife, tomorrow I am going to say a few morning prayers. She joined me. Without any planning I found a short novena to Saint Joseph and asked for a few blessings from my patron. I read a page from the Gospel, and we sat for ten minutes or so quietly in front of a statue of Our Lady. That evening I knelt in the living room at about 7pm and I said the Rosary. My wife passing by the room, stepped in and joined me.

The next morning, I said the same morning prayers with my wife, and two of the children (they would have been 14 and 15) joined in. Likewise, in the evening, all of the children gathered around in the living room for the Rosary. I don’t recall making any announcements or requests for them to join in. If my memory is correct, I think I merely said to those sitting in the kitchen, that I was going to say the Rosary in the other room. I went off to do so, and they all just filed in. The next morning all five of the six children living at home (the eldest was at boarding school) appeared, to join in the morning prayers. And so things have broadly remained ever since. The Rosary has never been interrupted. The before and after of family life is so different that I concluded, Our Lady had released Grace into the house.

How had this order come into the home ?  It had begun with me wanting to save my soul, and therefore giving a public lead for family prayer, and then the Rosary. My wife had followed her husband quite naturally, and then the children had followed our example, without any commands from their parents. I had been able to observe them being drawn into my slipstream, and sharing my relief to know that Heaven, Hell, death and Judgment are all true, for us to act accordingly. My oldest son (age 19) is now thinking seriously of the priesthood, and my oldest daughter wants to give up Cambridge University where she says she is merely “throwing punches in a setting made for men”. Instead she wants “to learn at last skills useful for marriage and motherhood”.  The second daughter (18) is planning a ‘nun run’ of convents in France as she feels the cloistered life is calling her. Three years ago, none of these children would have been thinking along these lines, I guarantee. It is all a miracle of Grace.

Why my family ? As Augustine said, I have no idea. But, as Augustine said, I had better do something about it !

                                                                                                                                                 Kyrie eleison

Where a man lets God lead, families follow,                                                                                                                         And family life turns much less hollow.                                                                                                                      Dad is filling the needs of children and wife                                                                                                                For God to take all to eternal life.