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.
One evening before the beginning of the school year, along with supper, we serve a bowl of raw rice, a bowl of uncooked beans, and a bowl of golf balls. "Not again," our children cry out while rolling their eyes. And yet, they all want to be the first to dig in. This annual exercise we have in our family with these bowls of rice, beans and balls is a visual and effective activity to remind us of the importance of the choices we will make to manage our time for the school year.
"Grandma, I know how Jesus died," a grandson told his grandmother when they were in a nearby park one weekend while his parents were out of town. The grandma was all ears because the parents of this grandson have by all accounts abandoned their Catholic faith and have not had their children baptized.
The few weeks before school starts in the fall, we find that our kitchen calendar (or smartphone calendar) begins to fill up with schedules of sports, musical or church events for the children. Let us take the time to build another sort of schedule for our domestic church. This schedule is not one with time slots or dates, but a plan for each of our children for the coming year. As they are one year older, a bit more mature than last year and more capable of doing a variety of work, we set some goals to aspire for and they serve as guides for us as parents.
The union of a baptized man and a baptized woman in Holy Matrimony is the beginning of a domestic church, which is the smallest unit of the universal Catholic Church. The love of a husband and a wife is a love between them; there are not two loves but one love that unites them (from “Love and Responsibility” by St. Pope John Paul II). There is a third element between spouses, yet that element makes them one. Does that remind us of another mystery?