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.
The very first time I saw the movie, "Fiddler on the Roof," as a teen. I was very much impressed at how Tevye, the Russian Jewish peasant prayed to God in a very personal and familiar way while he worked in the barn or in the field. Growing up in a praying family and believing God to be good and loving, my experience of prayer had been mostly communal and when I prayed on my own, they were formal prayers, and an occasional, "Lord, help me do well on my test." I thought that Tevye talked to God that way because he is one of the Chosen People, and they must know Him in a genuinely personal way. I believed that God knew me because He made me, but that was the extent of it.
God knows the number of hairs on our head but intimacy in prayer constitutes entrusting our hearts to Him. As intimacy is a relational thing, intimacy in prayer stands on the love relationship between the Person of God and us - there is that exchange of gifts: us - entrusting our hearts to God and God responding to us in love. The beautiful thing about intimacy with God is that God also reveals and entrusts His heart to us and we can respond to Him in love. We desire intimacy with God because our hearts long to know God and yearn to be known; and God's heart desires to know us and longs to make Himself known to us.
Intimacy with God
Prayer is this love relationship with God where because we are His children, He sent the Spirit of His Son, Jesus into our hearts crying out, "Abba, Father!" (Galatians 4:6). Relational Prayer bridges our hearts to the Father's heart. The following dynamics can be incorporated with any method of prayer like praying the Mass, Lectio Divina, the Rosary, Scripture reading, contemplative prayer.
Teaching our Children Intimacy with God
Modeling intimacy with God in prayer is the best way to teach our children. If the habits and dynamics of intimate communication are part of the home culture, intimate prayer with God will feel normal and natural as part of loving relationships.
Because I have many thoughts, feelings and desires, turning to God in prayer comes more naturally now - praying while washing dishes or shopping or brushing my teeth. We too are chosen. Jesus tells His disciples, "It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you." (John 15:16)