As the pastor of my domestic Church, I must admit that we don’t have any pews or bells. We do, however, have areas set aside in our home for prayer, and we have adorned our home with crucifixes, Catholic art, holy water fonts, and the like, which serve as helpful reminders of our family’s Catholic identity. Even so, it’s not the externals that make the Church–domestic or otherwise–so much as the lives of faith, hope, and charity that are fostered on the inside.
Pastors of parishes are often presented with programs and ideas, and while they want to say yes, they need to scrutinize the proposal to make sure nothing harmful to the faith is allowed into the parish.
Similarly, we have to be careful about what we allow into our homes. I’m not suggesting that we adopt a bunker mentality, but are we good shepherds, truly committed to protecting the souls that have been entrusted to our care? We might talk a good game when it comes to what’s going on at the parish, but do we apply the same level of scrutiny to what goes on in our own homes? Are we careless in letting in influences, often under the guise of entertainment, that are harmful to our family’s life of faith, hope, and charity?
Families may take different approaches to the Internet, television, cell phones, and the like. But whatever approach we take, we must be clear in our resolve to protect the faith of our children from thieves and marauders that want to steal it from them. Catechism, no. 2088 provides the standard, and I find it quite sobering:
“The first commandment requires us to nourish and protect our faith with prudence and vigilance, and to reject everything that is opposed to it.”
As Catholics United for the Faith, let us renew our commitment to support, defend, and advance the efforts of the teaching Church. And that commitment starts close to home–in fact, in the home.