If someone walked into your home, would they know that you are Catholics?
What does it mean to cultivate a Christian environment in our homes? Fr. Brian Geary joined Chuck Neff on The Inner Life to discuss how we can make our homes places that uplift and inspire our families and also witness to others about our Catholic faith.
A Catholic home—also known as a domestic church—should be a place that clearly points to Christ. When someone enters your home, what do they see? Here are a few ways that someone might know you are Catholics, according to Fr. Geary:
- The external features are obvious to guests: a crucifix on the wall, maybe a holy water font by the door, religious art or statues depicting Christ and the saints to decorate the home.
- The internal environment of your home is something they will also experience. They will see love, forgiveness, hospitality, virtue, and prayer. They will feel welcomed and comfortable.
- Maybe someone would see your family and know that you are Catholics. “You walk in and there’s kids everywhere and you realize, these people are believers, they are open to life. It’s a real witness to the religious nature, the Christian nature of a home,” explains Fr. Geary.
Besides bringing religious objects into a home, what ways can we bring holiness into our domestic church? Parents, who have authority over the home and their children, should bless them with holy water or simply a Sign of the Cross on their forehead “to show the sacredness of that relationship that comes from God,” says Fr. Geary.
Another basic way is by cultivating a prayerful environment in your family. No matter where you are as a family—whether you don’t pray together at all or you pray a daily Rosary—there are ways to bring more prayer into your family. Start small and build from there. Begin with a meal prayer, bedtime prayer, and teach your children the basic prayers of our faith.
As time goes on, you might introduce devotions like the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Angelus, and Rosary into your home. Read and reflect on Holy Scripture together and pray novenas throughout the year. Follow the Church’s liturgical calendar and celebrate the great seasons, solemnities, and feasts that the Church has given us. When people come into your home and see how your family prays together, they will know you are Christians and may be inspired by your example to pray with their own families.
“The family relationships that God has set up help each other grow in holiness—parents toward children and children toward parents and siblings toward siblings, too,” said Fr. Geary. “That shared witness and encouragement to give all glory to God is something that the family is just uniquely built to share.”
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