For the next few weeks, you will find here an outline for your family to use to bring the liturgical season of Advent to your domestic church.
1st WEEK OF ADVENT
Lighting candles in an Advent Wreath is a simple way to start a tradition of family worship in the home. Gather your family around the Advent wreath the time of day that works best for your family; maybe just before the smallest child goes to bed.
Leader: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: W ho made heaven and earth.READ MORE
You are at the eye doctor and it’s time for the peripheral vision test. You know the one. It’s where you put your head up to a contraption and have to click a switch every time you see a squiggly line. If you don’t concentrate and maintain optimal focus, you will miss them and skew the outcome of the test. You can easily find yourself with a diagnosis that really isn’t accurate! Concentration and focus are key to succeeding with this evaluation. They are also key to developing a healthy, vibrant spiritual life. If we do not bring our full consciousness to the task, concentrate with all our might, be watchful and vigilant, we are not going to see God’s loving presence flashing before our eyes!READ MORE
Parents fulfill at least in part, the demands of the Gospel when they provide food and clothing for their children who without exception, come into this world naked and hungry.
Mothers stay up at night to soothe and comfort sick children.
Daughters, sons and grandchildren make it a priority to visit their elderly parents who are “imprisoned” in nursing homes during this pandemic.
I wonder how many parents will visit over the holidays with their adult sons and daughters who are imprisoned in another way; enslaved by false ideas of freedom or by alcohol or drugs?READ MORE
Many Americans are fascinated with England’s monarchy. For many different reasons, we are drawn to the regal pageantry and all of the protocols associated with royal lifestyles. What’s most amazing is that for all of the media attention focused on the comings and goings of English royalty, they really have very little effect on the day to day dealings of their country. Thoughts and images of kings and queens are often centered on this story book understanding of who and what they are. We associate protocols, etiquette, and proper words and actions to how we approach members of a royal family. These tools serve the necessary purpose of keeping them isolated, enthroned, and at a distance. There is something attractive about being an observer of ritual, pomp, and circumstance. It’s almost theatrical.READ MORE
God gives us the gift of His very self and asks us to invest it. Investing God’s greatest gift of Himself wisely, allows God’s kingdom to grow and flourish. God trusts us with this pearl of great price in hopes that it will produce abundant fruit. While God’s gift of self is realized in the gifts of faith, hope, and love, they are not meant to be solely for personal benefit. They are intended to be shared and are at the heart of Jesus’ blueprint for happiness, the Beatitudes.
When we properly invest God’s greatest gift, His most treasured possession, we invest in the wellbeing of all of our brothers and sisters and the world in which we live. We take up most seriously our call to be stewards and properly manage, not only our own affairs, but the affairs of those around and before us. God has put tremendous confidence in us. Do we have that same confidence in God?READ MORE
It is my joy to share with you our greatest news of the year. By the grace of God and the care of our beloved Lady, we officially have started on the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome, last Monday the 9th, the internal beautification of the church. That day, the three readings talked about the beauty of the temple; the transcendental temple as well as the physical temple. After 47 years of not having a major change in the entrance of the temple, now the time has arrived. The beautification will cover the vestibule, women’s restroom, men’s restroom, the cry room, the janitor’s room and the storage room.READ MORE
The past three weeks we focused on the domestic church and how we can, as families, become Living Catechisms. This week we finish our series as we zero in on the fourth and final pillar of the Catechism, Prayer.
As Catholics we have the richest tradition of prayer in the whole world. Each family can incorporate their own favorite prayer traditions into daily life.
Help children understand that prayer is not mere recitation of memorized words, but an intimate conversation with God who knows us through and through and wants us to know him too.READ MORE
In this third of four parts about living as a domestic church let’s consider the third pillar of the Catechism, Life in Christ.
Families can truly live this pillar by making their homes schools of virtue and by helping each member of the family better form their consciences according to the teachings of the Church.
First, we emphasize the good, the true and the beautiful. When we know and love the good, evil’s appeal is diminished. If we focus on a “virtue of the week” and try to “catch” each practicing a particular virtue, our children can make the connection between how a life of virtue leads to increasing levels of responsibility as they grow older. This can also help them grasp the true meaning of human freedom, which is not doing whatever we want, but being free from anything that would hinder our doing good.READ MORE
When doing student report cards, there was a comment the teacher could choose that read: inattentive and easily distracted. Could that comment describe your spiritual life? We can become so consumed with myriad distractions and preoccupations and lose our connection to what is really significant and important. We can become dull. This happens in our human relationships, too. We can easily take the love of others for granted, whether it be a parent, spouse, friend, or a child. We assume and presume that their love will always be there and do very little to cultivate, rejuvenate, and deepen it. Presumption can become a great sin.READ MORE
Last week we discussed how each family as a domestic church can become a living catechism by living in visible and true ways the first pillar of the Catechism – the Profession of Faith.
The second pillar of the Catechism is the Celebration of the Christian Mystery. By it we learn to live the Sacraments of the Church. Families can enter into the rhythm of the liturgical year by making sure Sunday is the center of our week. We do this by making our family plans around being at Mass rather than fitting Mass in as an afterthought.
Sunday ought to be a day of rest and enjoyment for our families. Planning ahead so that chores and homework are done before Sunday can help a great deal with this.READ MORE
I remember as a child the meticulousness my father would bring to a task. Whether it be tending to a chore in the yard, repairing something, or painting a room, the tiniest of every detail demanded his attention. He had great patience. I benefited greatly by his example and remember these lessons well. We all need examples to follow. It is important to identity folks who excel at simple things and show us how to do things well. There are those among us and those who have gone before us who serve as these models and witnesses. They are ordinary people who in their “extraordinary ordinariness” capture our attention and allow us to see things more clearly.READ MORE