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“I told my mom I really want a kneeler in my bedroom”.
I can’t imagine the look on my face when I heard that sentence come out of that cool as a cucumber 8th grade student. I don’t even know what I said.
Possibly . . . “Ummmm (tilt head) . . . . what?”
Definitely never a thought that had ever occurred to me in my life at that point in time.
This young woman was gorgeous. She had a radiant smile and peaceful yet extra friendly way about her – despite the fact she lived in a neighborhood with rival gangs and many people living below or at the poverty level.
She shared that although she had not told many people, she was seriously thinking of becoming a nun. She said, “praying just makes me so happy” and her infectious, beautiful smile confirmed that statement.
I wonder what she is doing today.
I can’t think of anyone I know that has a kneeler in their home. But I do think many of us grew up having at least one picture of Jesus on a wall, or a statue of Mary in our house.
I have never seen the movie War Room, but I love the idea of having a space dedicated to prayer.
Being exposed and inspired by many Catholic bloggers and influencers, I have come to see some beautiful prayer corners families create and maintain.
Now, with Masses being cancelled for an extended period of time, I can’t help to be reminded that our families are called to be a domestic church.
According the the Catholic Catechism:
” The Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called “the domestic church,” a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.”
The recent article, 10 guideposts for Christians in the time of the coronavirus pandemic confirms how important our families’ domestic churches are right now
“ In these days when our large public gatherings for prayer and catechesis are suspended, the domestic church is all the more clearly “ground zero” for our response. Now it falls squarely on families to make their homes places to hear the Word of God, and to offer him praise, especially in acts of spiritual communion and entrustment to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.“
We have a makeshift prayer corner. A desk with a picture of Saint Therese’ and an unframed picture of The Blessed Mother. We do have a crucifix over our door and we have rosaries hung up on a wine cork decoration (are you really surprised?).
So after inspection, I can conclude our Domestic Church is a bit of a fixer upper.
As the homemaker in this family, I have come to the conclusion that we need to renovate.
Creating a space that beckons us to kneel or at least take a deep breath and ask God for help makes sense. Especially now when as a family, we may be more “on top of one another” than normal.
I recently saw a fantastic suggestion on Instagram from Sara at ToJesusSincerely. When your losing your patience with the people in your household, take a retreat in front of the Crucifix. It can be as brief as 2 minutes!
What a great idea, right?
Since our home is called to be a domestic Church – let’s take this time now to renovate.
3 Tips on How to Renovate Your Domestic Church
First, identify what you already do that acknowledges and nourishes our faith in Jesus Christ in Our Lord.
Do you say grace before meals?
Encourage prayer before bedtime?
Have a picture on the wall or statue in your home that is a sign of your faith?
Think about your typical day, week, month etc. What do you do as a family or in your house in regards to prayer and faith? Write it down.
Walk through your house. Look at each room. Does anything in your living room signal life beyond this world?
Take stock in what makes your home say, “we believe in One God; we believe in the power of prayer; we believe in Eternal Life . . .”
Second, Make a plan.
What would you like to see in your home on the physical level?
A prayer corner? A prayer room? A dedicated prayer space? Perhaps you have been meaning to hang up a picture of Jesus, a holy water font or a Rosary hanger. Where is your Bible? Where should it be?
What do you wish you did more of at home – as an individual or as a family?
Pray more? When? How?
Read more faith centered books.
**Add a good faith book to your reading list. I recommend Led By Faith, Something Other Than God and 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat
Go to Mass and Confession more often?
Make Sunday more holy in terms of rest?
Have no idea, here are some resources to help you get started:
The Home Altar: Creating a Dedicated Prayer Space (a blog post by Kate Franz)
Remember it is much more than decorating!
Step 3: Start Today
You’ve been meaning to talk more about prayer or teach the children how to pray the Rosary – today is the day to do what you have thought about doing.
Hang a picture.
Dig out the Bible.
Choose the prayer space.
Order the inspiring pieces.
Share a memory about your faith.
Talk about a miracle.
Encourage other members of your household to do the same.
Have a tween daughter that loves decorating?
The Be Yourself Journal is great way to encourage her to help you renovate your domestic church!
How else can I help?
Would you like another post on this topic? Let me know in the comments?
Tell me if you would like a post about:
Building or Re-Building Your Domestic Church: A Checklist
The Best Resources for a Modern Prayer Corner
What to do on Sunday to Honor the Sabbath During Quarantine
Something else? Tell me in the comments!