To Be, Or Not To Be: A Seminarian

A blog by the Diocese of Brooklyn


Countdown to Ordination: Day 77

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014 at 6:00 am | Uncategorized

I love blessings. In my opinion, the more blessings the better. Blessings ask for God’s favor to increase the good of a person either directly or through the use of an object. Among the persons and items we can have bless are our families and homes. This Easter week, my parish will have a campaign of blessings homes in the neighborhood and consecrating them to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

By the blessing and consecration we ask more intensely for Jesus and Mary to watch over our homes and increase the Godly good within them: love, obedience, self-sacrifice, understanding, listening, sharing, etc. All of these are possible without a blessings. They even exist to a certain degree in family which have no faith background. But we know they are that much more possible when the family shares faith especially a truly Catholic faith.

Today we read from the Gospel according to St. Matthew: Chapter 12.

In it, Jesus makes a few more enemies because He heals on the Sabbath. Multitudes of people praise Jesus and wonder “Is not this the son of David?” And certain Pharisees accuse Jesus saying “This man casteth not out the devils but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.”

These two phrases side-by-side are very striking to me. The people ask whether Jesus is the Son of David, that is the long-promised man who would be from King David’s family line who would one day rule Israel. The Pharisees claim Jesus is a part of another “royal family,” in cahoots with the prince of demons.

While the multitudes of people are right, they don’t realize just how right they are. Jesus is a greater king than even the messiah they were expecting. Truly He is King of the universe, King of every nation,  King of every home and heart. He comes down to be our very own personal king. This doesn’t mean He’s out to tax us and hang over us, showing us His superiority. But by healing the sick, teaching the ignorant, correcting the misguided, loving the poor, Jesus shows us that true royalty serves, true kingship gives honor and respect, true leadership is self-sacrificing love.

For these reasons it will be an honor to “enthrone” the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the homes of the families I visit. I say “enthrone” because that’s the traditional language associated with consecrating the home to the two hearts of Jesus and Mary. It emphasizes His and her royal presence and authority over them home. Let the husband not believe that he has the last say in the house. Let the wife not believe that she is the wisest mother. Instead, let both of them look to Jesus and Mary.

May their pictures hung prominently on the wall or standing on the mantle, coffee table, or dedicated home altar be a reminder to the parents and children the home is like a little church and should be loving, clean, and kind (like all churches) even if there are occasional disagreements, budget woes, and juicy gossip (like all churches). Lol. Afterall, they are all human. But more than that. They are Christian. And the enthronement is a helpful reminder especially during those times when you feel like “changing parishes.”

As my last word I’d like to point out what Jesus says about expelling demons from the soul. He says that even if it is kept neat, a demon may return and bring with it six others to cause even more havoc. The Catholic family should well know that the Evil One does not want them to remain united, in love, or focused on God. Satan loves a mess. So hanging religious pictures, blessing the home, nor even an official enthronement of the two Hearts can make much of a difference if the home isn’t blessed by a continuous prayer life, frequent confession, Sunday Mass attendance.

A famous and popular priest, Fr. Patrick Peyton, used to say “the family that prays together stays together.” And I can guarantee you from personal experience in my home and from the dozens of good solid families I’ve met, nothing has been more effective at growing in holiness than sharing prayer. It doesn’t have to be a two-hour rosary, Divine Mercy chaplet and Bible study. But perhaps a Hail Mary every night and morning, slowly and devoutly prayed. Perhaps reading one chapter of the Gospels (hint, hint) before or after dinner. Five minutes go a long way. Trust me. Your domestic church will be solidly fortified and the sweet incense-like aroma of Christian love will pour out of every window. In this way, we ourselves will be a blessing unto others.

1 Comment »

  1. Thus had been such a pleasure to read as we prepare for our sons Ordination..Thank you again..

    Comment by Mrs Mcilhenney — April 11, 2014 @ 3:14 am

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