Sometimes in a family doing the off-the-cuff thing can be the thing that works. This is true of the spiritual side of family life too. Last night as the Chatfields and Allaways sat round the table for evening meal before Mass for All Saints we lit a candle and, as is our habit so far in the Year of Faith, we read from YOUCAT. To fit with the feast we read about the Communion of Saints and then Neil suggested we tell our favourite “Saint” stories.

What followed were many funny and thought provoking stories about the quirky people who followed Christ and were transformed by the experience: St Francis who told off the birds who were making a noise during his sermon, St Teresa of Avila who shook her fist a Christ and told him “If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you don’t have very many”, St Ignatius who struggled with vanity for years and who found the answer was to thank God for every gift he had. The stories went on. The funny and quirky; the profound and beautiful; all appeal to children and adults alike. In the lives of the saints there is huge variety and a huge amount to inspire and console. I know that the Allways have been reading about the lives of the Saints during the year. Maybe this is an activity we can take up so that we have different stories to tell next year.

It also occurs to me that this activity also lends itself to tonight, being All Souls. Dinner might be the time to share stories of those whom we have loved and who have died. This might be a sadder activity, although it might have its share of smiles too.