We discussed the whole "Day on Guard" idea last night at dinner and my one daughter commented that if everyone knew that it was your day to be charitable, might it be tempting to take advantage of that person?? Of course, she is right. It might be very tempting to continually point out that the person of the day is not behaving in a charitably appropriate manner! It might also be tempting to continually ask them to do things for you "out of charity". To combat this, we decided that we would all pick a day of the week out of a hat and keep it a secret.
In today's "In Conversation with God" meditation, Francis Fernandez talks again about charity. He points out that the fuel behind charity is prayer that is attentive and full of love; an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. "The desire to love Christ always more and more, the readiness to fight against our defects and weaknesses, beginning again and again, is what keeps the flame alight. This is the oil that doesn't allow the light of charity to go out."
In light of that, I think that in addition to setting aside one day in which to focus on charity, our children will need to spend some time developing their prayer life. As children, they need to see the importance of prayer and begin to develop a prayer life that suits their age. They need to see that prayer is important to their parents and maybe then they will begin to imitate that. After all, I see my children imitating some of my "less than desirable" traits, I would like to think that maybe they will pick up on some of my good ones!
We'll have to work on structuring their "day on guard" to include the development of a prayer routine as well as focusing on ways of being charitable to those around them. Over time, then, hopefully the increased focus on prayer and charity will grow together and our children will grow into young adults who have their own intimate relationship with Jesus, and a strong sense of love of neighbor.