7 Habits of Holy Catholic Families

Posted by James Hahn on

In 1989 Stephen Covey introduced the world to The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  Something must have struck a collective nerve for it to have sold 15 million copies in 38 languages.  In 1998 Stephen's son Sean wrote wrote a teen version which has become my favorite for it's language, style, and readability.

I was introduced to the Seven Habits in 2009 by my brother, Fr. William Hahn, and began studying the habits in depth.  At the time I was working as the Director of Religious Education for a large parish in Columbus, OH and as luck would have it, the school wanted to implement the habits into the curriculum.  It was my task to make them "Catholic".  I spent months of study and meditation and found that just as Stephen Covey says, "these habits are universal and timeless."

However, I did meet with not a little opposition from parents.  Many complained that these didn't belong in a Catholic school because Covey is Mormon.  Others complained that the habits are designed only for business, not for "real life".  I made it a personal mission to help these parents and parishioners see that the habits could be found in everyday "real life" and most especially in our Catholic Faith.

I have since left the parish and school to follow other pursuits but the habits and that work have stuck with me.  Recently I noticed some bad habits rearing their ugly heads in my own children, their school work (we homeschool), and their attitudes.  I decided it was time to introduce them to The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People - Catholic Edition.  

Over the next few blog posts I'll share with you the habits, how we've been teaching them to our children, but most especially how we can find them in every aspect of our Catholic Faith.  I invite you to join us on this journey.  I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of either book if you are not already familiar with the habits.  There's also a book for the much younger children.

Here is the list of habits, our little memory device, and how we tie it to the faith.  The blog posts will be more in-depth (blog post available when highlighted):

1. Be Proactive - URNCtrl - Exercise your free will.
2. Begin with the End in Mind - STEPS - The ultimate goal is Heaven.
3. Put First Things First - Prioritize - PWP - Pray, Work, Play
4. Think Win-Win - Pi (an endless Pi(e)) - You can't outdo the generosity of God.
5. Seek 1st to Understand, then to be Understood - L3S (Listen, Listen, Listen, Speak) - JOY (Jesus, Others, You)
6. Synergize - 1+1>2 - Help each other to Heaven
7. Sharpen the Saw - SUNDAY - On the seventh day, God rested.

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How to get better at prayer.
  1. Set a prayer appointment - Set a time on your calendar each day to meet and speak with God.
  2. Slowly increase your prayer time. - Don't jump in with an hour right from the get-go.  Build up your "tolerance" so to speak.
  3. Commit - to praying and slowly increasing your prayer time for 30 days.  Mark off the days on your calendar.  If you miss a day, jump right back in, don't give up.
  4. Pray - praying is talking to God, it's spending time with your attention focused on Him.  I enjoy spending time with my children regardless of their level of development.  God is the same way.  Spend time praying as best you can.  Use formal prayers if you want or simply speak in conversation.  Don't forget to listen
  5. Journal - Our newly revised 4 Simple Steps to Better Scripture Meditations: Guide, Workbook, and Journal walks you through 4 easy steps that will help you go deeper in your prayer life.  It includes 31 days of workbook and journal pages too!
  6. Read other good books about how to pray better - Prayer PrimerDeep Conversion, Deep PrayerTime for GodThe Spiritual Life: A Comprehensive Guide to Catholics Seeking Salvation.
* Contains affiliate links.  No, that doesn't mean that the kids should leave the room.  Rather, it means that if you click on a link, and if you purchase something, I may get some financial remuneration for that click and buy.  All that means is that my kids will finally get to eat, just kidding but I may get something, just so you know...

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