Noticias de la Diócesis de Allentown

On Faith: As Catholics, Our Homes are the Domestic Church

“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family” – Mother Teresa.

When I was a little girl, I was mortified by the overabundance of Catholic art in my parents’ house. Whenever anyone came over – friend, plumber, electrician – they were immediately accosted by holy pictures … everywhere!

“Just in case anyone is wondering, yes! We are Catholic!” Our house seemed to scream at each guest.

Fast forward 20-plus years, and here I am, filling my own home with an overabundance of Catholic art. Yes, it’s everywhere, in every room, fully prepared to accost unsuspecting visitors.

Perhaps one day my daughter will blush at the cascade of religious imagery filling up our house. Maybe, like her Mama, she’ll experience a day where she can’t stand it anymore: “Mom, our house isn’t a church!”

But that is precisely the point: our home is a church. As Catholics, our homes are the Domestic Church.

When we are discouraged by the disorder and insanity permeating society, we should first look inward. Do we honor our homes as sacred places of peace or are they, too, corroded by the world’s disorder?

The word “home” has a sacred connotation. It’s meant to be a place of comfort, warmth, goodness, and beauty. This is why people say things like, “I feel so at home with you.” There’s something revered and even transcendent in the term.

There is an allure to the term “home.” And why shouldn’t there be? Our homes have the capacity to foreshadow our Eternal Home, Heaven. Our homes can and should provide a place of shelter and harmony from the chaos in the world around us.

“I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy house; and the place where thy glory dwelleth” – Psalms 26:8.

Filling our homes with beautiful religious artwork is just one way to orient ourselves to the Divine. Every day, as we do the dishes, laundry, and come home from work, our homes can offer meditations on the saints and the life of Christ.

Our homes should reflect Holy Mother Church by being places that nourish, sustain, heal, and ultimately bring us to Christ.

Pope Benedict XVI explained it beautifully: “Every home is called to become a ‘domestic church’ in which family life is completely centered on the lordship of Christ and the love of husband and wife mirrors the mystery of Christ’s love for the Church, His bride.”

When we cherish family life and prioritize our homes, we will still experience messes, trials, and tribulations, but we will do so centered on Christ, who makes all things new and, as we know from the Gospels, stays with us through every storm.

Here are some ways to make your home a mirror of Heaven:

1. Pray a family rosary every day.

2. Enthrone your home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

3. Fill your home with religious artwork.

4. Write your spouse a love letter.

5. Have dinner together as a family (no phones allowed!).

“On Faith” is a new column by Ann Burns, a wife and mother, and founder of The Feminine Project,