The domestic church is like an enclosed garden; a planned space
for the cultivation, nurture and care of the family.
The present is the only chance to build our family as a domestic church.
"May I go to Mass with you tomorrow?" - an unexpected request from our next door neighbor who attends the largest evangelical church in town and in which her husband is an elder. "Sure," I replied, "May I ask why you want to come? She mentioned that she and her husband and a group of couples were reading a book about worship and she was curious about the Catholic worship service, the Mass. She included, "The author mentions that some churches even have water at the entrance of their church to remind people of their baptism." I said, "That's us."
We were incredulous that our guest gave us a most unusual gift on Thanksgiving Day. Hosting international students to join our family in celebrating this American holiday, we usually receive gifts such as foreign candy, trinkets, scarves, and even a stuffed camel with actual camel hair. We were surprised to receive from one of them a shower head with a hose! We politely thanked our guest and wondered how he came up with the choice of this gift - who does that? We shared many laughs with family members at receiving a piece of household hardware. It was one of those things that make for interesting conversation and filed in the funny family memories. However, two days before Christmas, our shower head cracked - causing water to spray in numerous crazy directions all over the bathroom!
Entitled, "My Parents Should Let Me Get Guinea Pigs," one of our daughters handed us a paper she wrote. She proceeded to give three reasons why: first, she had enough money to buy a pair; second, she has proven herself responsible as she had pet hamsters when she was younger; third, she spent a year exploring the types of guinea pigs, the characteristics of each type, and the necessary daily care regimen for the type she wanted to get. She wrote this paper because we asked her to write one before we would consider the idea of guinea pigs as pets for her.
Our son, a college student, is home for the holidays. As he is wont to do when at home, he goes out with old high school friends and he goes to the homeless shelter on Saturday mornings with his Dad. Every Saturday morning since he was three years old, my husband has brought him along to the local men's emergency housing to meet the men there, have a devotional time with them and take them to breakfast. Our son remembers that once there was a man who was just released from jail the night before and had no shoes. Another man hitch-hiked all the way from Alaska.