Posted on: April 4, 2020

Family Prayer - April 4, 2020

Family Prayer for April 4, 2020

Psalm:

“The waves of death rose about me; the pains of the netherworld surrounded me.  In my anguish I called to the Lord, and from His Holy Temple He heard my voice.”(Psalm 17)

Let us pray:

God our Father, Abraham, Joseph and Moses prefigured your plan, to redeem mankind from slavery and to lead them into the land of promise.  The world is hungry and thirsty for Your Mercy and Healing.  Grant us living water from the rock and bread from heaven, that we may survive our desert pilgrimage and praise you eternally for your kindness.  May our prayers be acceptable to you, O Lord, as an expiation for our sins, may they make us worthy of your grace and lead us to what you promise when You said, “I will never abandon you”.  Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bow your heads for God’s Blessing:

O Lord, do not stay afar off; my strength, make haste to help me!  Jesus, meek and humble of heart, clothe us with compassion, kindness and humility, make us want to be patient with everyone.   O God, protector of us all, bless your people, keep us safe, defend us that free from sin and safe from evil we may persevere always in your Love.  Stretch out Your blessing Hand and renew us in your grace.  Amen.

Thought for the heart:

“My strength and my courage is the Lord, and he has been my savior.  He is my God, I praise him; the God of my father, I praise him.
The Lord is a warrior, Lord is his name!” (Exodus 15)

Have A Very Blessed Weekend

Father Sathi Antony.

Posted on: April 3, 2020

Domestic Church = Home Parish

Domestic Church = Home Church

WHAT IS A DOMESTIC CHURCH?

One of the documents of the Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium (“Light of the Nations”), describes the family as the ‘domestic Church’ because it is the first place where young, baptized Christians learn about their faith. It states, “From the wedlock of Christians there comes the family, in which new citizens of human society are born, who by the grace of the Holy Spirit received in baptism are made children of God, thus perpetuating the people of God through the centuries” (Lumen Gentium, 11). You may have heard it said that families are the fundamental ‘building block’ of society; similarly, families provide a foundation for the continuation and strength of the Church among the lay faithful.
 
Lumen Gentium goes on to explain that this domestic Church has a particular role and responsibility in leading souls to heaven: “In it parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children; they should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each of them, fostering with special care vocation to a sacred state” (Ibid). Through this letter, the Council Fathers intended to emphasize that Christ is the Light of the Nations, and that, as the Church, we each have a responsibility to bring the Light of Christ to others. Within the domestic Church, this means that parents are to cultivate a family life that is centered on Christ.

 It is in the home that children ordinarily first receive the faith.

At the end of the baptism celebrations the priest is supposed to bless the couple and sponsors praying,

“Celebrant: God is the giver of all life, human and divine.
May he bless the father of this child.
He and his wife will be the first teachers of their child in the ways of faith. May they be also the best of teachers,
bearing witness to the faith by what they say and do,
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
All: Amen.”

The term “Domestic Church” refers to the family, the smallest body of gathered believers in Christ. Though recovered only recently, the term dates all the way back to the first century AD. The Greek word ecclesiola referred to “little church.” Our Early Church Fathers understood that the home was fertile ground for discipleship, sanctification, and holiness. The Four Levels of Church

In reality, we can speak of four distinct levels of Church. There is the Universal Church led by the bishop of Rome and all bishops in union with him. There is the local diocesan church. Led by its local bishop, it is uniquely positioned to guide us on how best to implement our faith in our own time and culture. There is the local parish church, from which we receive most of our religious instruction and the sacraments. Finally, there is this fourth layer of Church. The Domestic Church plays a key role in our sanctification because it is the primary place where we practice coming to intimately love other persons.

The phrase “domestic church” has been used to describe families since the beginning of Christianity. In his Letter to Families, Pope St. John Paul II explained, “The Fathers of the Church, in the Christian tradition, have spoken of the family as a ‘domestic church,’ a ‘little church.’”

Thoughts: Fortunately, I found some interesting info on United States Bishops Council website. I made some changes which are really practical, this information is practical for our families if we wish. May be this is the Time God Gave us to Groom Domestic Church. Read, watch and pray everything together thus making e a “Home Church”.  Cultivate and Sustain that culture for the future to maintain a bonded family filled with God’s Amazing Love of Joy.


The United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) provides some helpful ways that families can live out their vocation as the domestic Church.

Thoughts: “we have all the junks in our homes these days and we are ashamed (or ignorant) of keeping a crucifix in our homes especially in the living room because that has to be a fancy junk room.” As a result, our children do not know what Jesus looks like and/ or any of the saints.”
 
The Catholic Church recognizes that grace builds upon nature. Family is one of the most basic, yet important gifts that God has given us. Through a firm marital commitment between men and women, and through their own active participation in the faith and their pledge to raise their children with a love for Christ and his Church, the domestic Church is one of first places that young Catholics experience the light of the faith in their own lives.

Tools for Building a Domestic Church

According to the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church: “The family, is so to speak, the domestic church.” (Lumen Gentium #11) This means that it is in the context of the family that we first learn who God is and to prayerfully seek His will for us. The following bullet points give you some suggestions on how to build your “domestic church” through a life of prayer that can help all the members of your family. 

-Begin praying as a family and reading from Scripture daily, certainly before meals, but also first thing in the morning or before bed. Find a time that works for your family.

-Use the liturgy of the Church as a model for prayer and try to include heartfelt unstructured prayer as well. (This could be too much unless you are not working or retired!!!)

-Pray a Family Rosary (each member leads a decade, and everyone shares intentions). (Doesn’t have to be everyday or designate a day OR at the very least praying one decade a day).

-Have a crucifix in a prominent place in the home, and in every bedroom.

-Make the Sacraments a regular celebration – take the whole family to Confession and Mass!

-Begin family traditions based on the seasons celebrated in the liturgical calendar.

-Make worshiping God a priority. Never miss Mass, even while traveling – go to: www.MassTimes.org to find a church near you! (May not be possible; but when you get back after holidays compensate by attending weekday Holy Mass.)

-Teach stewardship and charity to your children, through word and example. (I have seen parents giving their children quarters to put in the collection basket or even giving the envelope to their children’s hands to offer in the basket!)

-Demonstrate love for your spouse, your children, your neighbors, and the world. Remind your children that they are loved by God and have been given gifts to serve others.

-Talk freely about the presence of God in the joys and sorrows of your life.

-Participate in the lay ministries and activities of your parish community.

-Allow your children to witness you in private prayer. Encourage your children to pray daily on their own, to listen for God’s call, and if heard, to respond.

For more ideas on how to build your home as a Domestic Church, go to: www.domestic-church.com., or visit The Family Fully Alive. . sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Formed.org, Word On Fire by Bishop Barron, and Dynamic Catholic by Mathew Kelly. Watch together!

Food for Thoughts:  As I mentioned all these may not be practical but try prioritizing at least three to act on. A family who follows some of these suggestions will never collapse because it is built on a “Prayer Rock”.

“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” (Mathew 7:25).

“The family that Prays together Stays Together”.

Posted on: April 3, 2020

Family Prayer - April 3, 2020

Family Prayer for Today

Psalm:

“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in Distress.  Deliver me from the hands of my enemies and those who pursue me.  O Lord, let me never put to shame, for I call on You.” (Psalm 30)

Let us Pray:

Lord our God, you rescue the poor from their oppressors, and you rose to the aid of your beloved Son against those who unjustly sought his life.  Look on your world as we journey to you, that the poor and weak may recognize the help you provide and proclaim your saving acts.  Pardon the offenses of your peoples, O Lord, and in your goodness set us free from the bonds of the sins we have committed in our weakness.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Bow your heads for God’s Blessing:

God our Father, he who knew no sin was made sin for us, to save us and restore us to your friendship.  Look upon our contrite heart and afflicted spirit and heal our troubled conscience, so that in the joy and strength of the Holy Spirit we may proclaim your praise and glory before all the nations.  May the Unfailing protection of Your Love never leave us, O Lord, and may it always drive far from us all that would harm us.  Amen.

Thought for the Heart:

“For thus says the Lord, the creator of all the universe, who is God, the designer and maker of the earth who established it, not creating it to be a waste, but designing it to be lived in.”(Isaiah 45).

NB: “FAMILY THAT PRAYS TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER”

Have A Very Blessed Day

Father Sathi Antony.