UNLESS THE LORD BUILDS THE HOUSE, THEY LABOR IN VAIN – Ps 127:1
Building a domestic church is a collaboration, a joint project, a partnership between God and Christian parents. The domestic church is built on the same cornerstone that the Catholic Church is built upon – Jesus Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who animates the whole Church and the domestic church as well.
A simple way to think of building the domestic church is – parents creating a home base for discipleship that makes living the Catholic faith as a chosen way of life. The idea of living with God – Immanuel – doesn’t feel foreign or out of place in the day-to-day life. Families give room for the Holy Spirit to work in them and through them.
The training in love that parents aspire to implement in their family needs the power of the Holy Spirit to lay down their lives for one another as Jesus laid down His life for all. The life of God – grace, must permeate the relationships among the family members.
God, in His great mercy, provides many graces in order to fulfill what He has called parents to do in building a holy family of their own. There are many graces for the domestic church in which God shares His divine life with His beloved children.
The sacramental graces of Matrimony elevates a Christian marriage from the natural realm to the supernatural where couples cooperate with God for supernatural actions to accomplish the purposes and works of their marital vocation.
Christian parents also receive graces and blessings when they bring their children for Baptism so that they may raise their children as ‘children of God.’
Jesus, renew in me these sacramental graces that I may love like you – laying down my life for my spouse and family. Amen.
Catholics received sanctifying graces in Baptism and spiritual gifts in Confirmation. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are permanent spiritual gifts that when used and exercised make the baptized holy, that is, to conform them to Jesus Christ.
The 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. These are awesome gifts and most relevant in building the domestic church and raising children in the Faith.
Holy Spirit, please be my Teacher, Helper, and Comforter. Rekindle Your fire in my heart and stir into flame the 7 gifts I received that I may live a righteous life in our domestic church. Amen
When disciples remain in Jesus, who is the True Vine, they bear much fruit. The Holy Spirit continues to transform and perfect them in Christ. These fruits manifest in their words and actions that become evident in their family relationships and interactions. These fruits strengthen family bonds and secure relationships even in the midst of challenges and trials.
“The tradition of the Church lists twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.” CCC 132
Holy Spirit, please help me to be docile to Your leading and attentive to Your prompting that my soul might be fruitful and give glory and praise to God. Amen.
The charismatic gifts are graces given to disciples in order to minister to the Body of Christ and to others. When disciples are open to the power of the Holy Spirit, they become instruments for hope, healing, and the building up of others, including their family members.
The 9 charismatic gifts are word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, prophecy, gift of tongues, interpretation of tongues, gift of faith, gift of healing, and gift of miracles. (1 Cor. 1, 8-11)
Holy Spirit, I open myself to be Your instrument in whatever way You lead me. Help me to receive Your love so I may love and serve others as You do. Amen.
Virtues are graces from God and actions exercised by Christians that enable them to live out the beatitudes and grow in the holy characteristics of Jesus. The habitual choice to act like Jesus is a cooperation with grace from God.
Catholics received 3 theological virtues at Baptism: faith, hope, and charity. There are 4 cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude. All these virtues help disciples to choose God and reject evil in their personal life and in the life of their family. The increase in these virtues counter-acts the susceptibility to the 7 deadly sins.
Father, please help me grow in these virtues. Give me the strength of will everyday to choose good and to act with love in our domestic church. Amen.
The seven sacraments of the Church: Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick are ways for disciples to ‘remain with Jesus, who is the True Vine.’ Without Him, we can do nothing.
The sacraments provide true encounters with Jesus today. “All the sacraments, each in its own way, communicate divine life to human beings thanks to the Holy Spirit who works within them.” – Pope Benedict XVI
Jesus, help me to love the Church and to frequent the sacraments that I may be united to you, the Church and my domestic church. Amen.
The Holy Eucharist is the real presence of Jesus with us. Just as the Eucharist is the ‘source and summit of the Christian life,’ the Eucharist is also the ‘source and summit’ of the domestic church.
Christian couples and parents look to Jesus as the ‘author and perfecter’ of their faith. Jesus came as a child and grew under the guidance of St. Joseph and Mother Mary. He grew in strength and obedience in the Holy Family. As disciples continually open their hearts to Jesus’ presence, they open the doors of their homes to His love.
Lord Jesus, come and be Lord of my life, and Lord of our family. Make your home in our domestic church. Amen.
On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, came and the Church was born. We, in the domestic church need this same in-filling and leading of the Holy Spirit if we are to truly be a domestic church.
The Holy Spirit helps each member of our family grow in holiness, forges the unity in our domestic church, and sends us out to share the love of God to others around us.