Sometimes I go into a friend’s house and I am blown away by the Catholicness of their home. Not in a weird jealous way but in a “this feels like HOME” way—like walking into a Catholic Church in a foreign country.
Even if you don’t speak the language, you know you’re home and it just feels comfortable.
Some friends of mine have a prominent home altar in their living room, beautiful Catholic icons, and holy water fonts by ALL the doors, because is there a time when you (and more importantly your children) don’t need an extra blessing? “Mom we’re going to practice our back flips in the back yard!” “Bless yourselves before you go out please!” Someone please remind me to put one in the garage when my children are of driving age.
Once I went into a dear friend’s house for the first time and she had photos of JPII kissing each of her children as babies/young children. She has eight children. Two are now monks and one is a cloistered nun. “Are those actually your kids with JPII?!” Of course she said yes! I am blessed with amazing friends who truly lead me closer to God. I am so incredibly lucky to live where I live.
Walking into my house you would definitely know we are Catholic.
It’s not over the top, unless you consider a stone Mary statue over the top, but it’s visible. We have a huge portrait of Saint Cecilia playing the piano over our piano in the formal living room. She looks so joyful. We have a special devotion to the Sacred Hearts in our family and so there are beautiful portraits of Jesus and Mary revealing their hearts almost immediately upon entrance to our house. I even have a small sticker on the back window of my car that has three little sacred hearts on it.
“It kind of looks like a tattoo, like those heart tattoos that people get,” said my husband after I perfectly placed it.
Hopefully you can use your imagination to conjure up the eyeroll I gave him when he said that to me. When we had our back concrete patio poured we wrote in “+JMJ” rather than our hand prints. Sacred Heart of Jesus, Sacred Heart of Mary and Most Chaste Heart of Joseph, Pray for Us!
We also have A LOT of crosses and crucifixes in our house. I believe there is one over every “crossing” in our home, meaning as you enter one room and leave another there is a cross above you centered over the walkway. There is certainly one in every bedroom and usually at least two. Definitely a cross over every entrance into the house.
Our houses have a way of revealing what is important to us.
Some people want a home with a big kitchen because they love to cook. Others want a huge dining room area because they love to entertain. In some families (like mine), it’s important to have a place to put the ping pong table. But more than all those things, our homes should tell others that we are followers of Christ. So many of us wear a crucifix around our neck or a miraculous medal—our homes should be no different. Family portraits are important—a crucifix (or three!) should have a prominent place in our homes as well.
I do believe the Jesuits said it best—AMDG: Ad maiorem Dei gloriam. In all things give glory to God! Including, but not limited, to patios and living rooms.