This month, we will be having active discussions on creating a Domestic Church in our homes. In my quest for new ideas in our home, I virtually met up at Faith and Family Connect, with Catholic author, Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle. She has written several books on this topic and we spoke about my desire to spread the news of her wonderful book entitled, The Domestic Church: Room by Room. At the end of August, we will raffle off two of her books to two different Catholic Mamas.
One will be the aforementioned title and the other is her book, Grace Cafe: Serving Up Recipes for Faithful Mothering. I will give you details on how to sign up for the giveaway at the end of this post. ;)
My family's decision to homeschool (after many months of prayer), was only made possible because the Lord willed it. In turn, our lives have changed tremendously for the best. We are a more united and prayerful family than we were a year ago. As I reflected on this past year, I realized we grew stronger as a couple and as a family and it had to do with two things, one, opening our lives more to the Lord, and two, creating a Domestic Church within our home.
So how do you create a domestic church, you may ask? Lets begin, room by room and see the appearance of our homes. As I think of this, it reminds me of something Father John Corapi said once - possibly in his conversion story. (If you haven't had a chance to hear it, it is the BEST and most powerful conversion story-see next short blog, a condensed version of it!) Long story short, as the Lord was calling him back to Church, he wanted to be in a safe place, "were Satan would be scared to go" and he decided (with his mother's persuasion) to go back home and contemplate on his life. Why was his parent's home a safe place? It wasn't that this home was in another state it was the fact that it was bombarded with Sacramentals! There are pictures of Mary, Jesus, the saints, Crucifixes, scapulars, saint relics, family altars, Holy Water fonts, etc., there. He says it best and in the funniest way, his parents home said to Satan in big block letter, "KEEP OUT! or ELSE!" So for starters, look around your home. Does it say, this is a Catholic home? Do you have all the sacramentals that our rich faith avails us? What are sacramentals? Here's a great excerpt written by Catholic author, Regina Doman on this subject:
So, want to know how to win one of her fantastic books? It's simple... do one or more of the following:
"Sacramentals run the gamut from blessings of consecrated virgins to articles such as relics and rosaries. Some, such as holy water, are used by almost every Catholic. Others are more personal, such as devotionals to a particular saint.
Sacramentals have embellished the official liturgies of the Church or sprung from the cultures of different peoples and different times.
For being Catholic is more than the bare bones: attending Mass, receiving Communion twice a year, going to confession, getting confirmed, married and buried in the Church. It is even more than practicing virtues and avoiding sin. It is a way of life in which the body, its senses and spirit are intermingled.
Sacramentals, by their very voluntariness, their apparent status as extras, can supply the externals that make the Catholic way of life singular and outstanding.
Sacramentals are not superstitions, holdovers from pre-Christian days, or Catholic substitutes for the longing of pagans to dance around trees and mutter spells. There is a part of us that longs for something tangible we can hold on to, something to look at, something to touch, something to sing, chant or recite, something that interacts with the senses. The sacraments, those sacred mixtures of matter and the Holy Spirit, fulfill that need. And so, in a lesser way, do sacramentals."
To read the whole article, go here.
- Leave a comment after this post, on what Sacramentals we'd find in your home and why are they so important in your Domestic Church.
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So Mamas, start commenting, posting, blogging, adding, etc.! to get your hands on these great books!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Widely published and deeply experienced in both family life and religious life, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle counted Blessed Teresa of Calcutta among her personal friends. She maintains numerous Web sites and has founded several Catholic apostolates and ministries. For more information on this wonderful Catholic author, please visit here. For a daily dose of inspiration, visit Donna's blog at http://viewdomesticchurch.blogspot.com/.
For a review of the Domestic Church book, check out this Catholic Blogging Homeschooling Mama's site.