The Domestic Church

To Celebrate Being Catholic I always loved hearing about married saints. There’s an element of real life to their stories we can all relate to, especially if we are married or thinking about being married one day.

At the Martin’s canonization, Pope Francis said that Louis and Zelie were "holy spouses" who "practiced Christian service in the family, creating day by day an environment of faith and love which nurtured the vocations of their daughters, among whom was Saint Therese of the Child Jesus."

The "day by day" environment of faith stands out to me as very important.

I was blessed to come from a family that celebrated being Catholic growing up. My parents, however, were not blessed in the same way when they were raised. My Mom came from an anti-religious home, and my Dad's household went to Mass on Sunday, but not much more. My parents made a conscious effort to make faith part of our daily conversations, decision-making, treatment of one another as siblings, and with prayer and devotions. For us to be Catholic was something to a) celebrate of b) have present in all areas of our lives.

We can each create a home where faith is celebrated - regardless of your personal past. Zelie herself came from an unhappy home, but she didn’t allow her past to keep her from moving forward. Instead, she turned a new leaf, and now she and her husband are patrons of the domestic church. They raised their daughters to celebrate be- ing Catholic.

Pope St. John Paul II said,

“Thus the little domestic Church, like the greater Church, needs to be constantly and intensely evangelized: hence its duty regarding permanent education in the faith...the family, like the Church, ought to be a place where the Gospel is transmitted and from which the Gospel radiates...the future of evangelization depends in great part on the Church of the home.”

Just like stepping into a church feels “Catholic,” it should feel “Catholic” when some- one encounters your family, or walks into your home. Having a daily attitude of celebration when it comes to being Catholic makes our lives the equivalent of beautiful churches. We might be the only church someone ever encounters!

REFLECTION What is an example of me encouraging my family to celebrate being Catholic?

How can we specifically do better celebrating our faith together? Some examples are: setting aside time for the rosary, making a family holy hour, going to Mass as a family (not in shifts), praying before every meal, making a family sacrifice (e.g. no TV on week- nights, dessert only one night a week), reading a saint story, reading the Bible...

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