The Synod Fathers Speak 7: The Domestic Church

window from inside

That term, domestic church, is thrown about quite a bit. What does that mean? A house in which a biological family prays? A subunit of the parish? A privilege of marriage, but what about baptism?

This journey is sometimes a mountainous trek with hardships and falls. God is always there to accompany us. The family experiences his presence in affection and dialogue between husband and wife, parents and children, sisters and brothers. They embrace him in family prayer and listening to the Word of God—a small, daily oasis of the spirit. They discover him every day as they educate their children in the faith and in the beauty of a life lived according to the Gospel, a life of holiness. Grandparents also share in this task with great affection and dedication. The family is thus an authentic domestic Church that expands to become the family of families which is the ecclesial community. Christian spouses are called to become teachers of faith and of love for young couples as well.

This is another lovely passage, especially introducing family life as a pilgrimage of cooperation and community. Are families places where the Word is shared as part of the plan of prayer? The presumption of the universal call to holiness: we certainly wouldn’t have read that a century ago except in connection with breeding priests and religious.

That last sentence is well-considered: marriage can be an action of apprenticeship and mentoring.

The so-called “short” document is online is here, in English. Meanwhile, comments?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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