A Little Church in our Home

by Lianne Tiu

Our home can be a little domestic church. Weird? Does it mean we fill our home with statues of Saints or dress up like monks or nuns? Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said that we make our home a domestic church when our family life is centered on Christ and the love of husband and wife mirrors Christ’s love for His bride, the Church.

It begins with a man and a woman getting married in Church, begetting children, and educating them in the Catholic faith. Their role as educators is extremely important that it is almost impossible to have a substitute.

The couple creates a home where love for God and others reigns, and where virtues can be taught. They raise their children not only to potty train them, or to protect them from danger, or to learn right from wrong, but most of all, to recognize that the real purpose in life is to work their way to Heaven. This is their number one priority in raising children.

Dinnertime is not just about filling the stomachs but a time to grow together as a family, sharing experiences and creating traditions.

The couple provides a holy atmosphere in the home: praying the rosary, reading the Bible, using holy water; thus making prayers second nature to them. They make sure that the children’s education in schools is in conformity to the Church’s teachings.

Within the home, children learn their Faith from their parents’ words and examples. They also learn it from the day-to-day happenings such as managing sibling rivalry and adolescent angst, as they try to help one another grow in holiness. By building a little church in the home, the Catholic family (even though with a single parent or with children raised by grandparents) can become an excellent model to others in an unbelieving world. St. Mother Teresa said, “The best and surest way to learn the love of Jesus is through the family.”

Reference: Encyclical “Evangelium Vitae” by St. Pope John Paul II, Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Every House Can Be Transformed Into a Small Church” by Benedict XVI’s address at a general audience on Feb. 7, 2007; “What Catholics Need to Know about Making their Homes a Domestic Church” by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

As published in the February 19 issue of the Parish Bulletin.