Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

A Book Review . . . Becoming A Domestic Church

July 1, 2014 Featured Today No Comments

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN

The Little Oratory, by David Clayton and Leila Marie Lawler (Sophia Institute Press: Manchester, NH 2014), 186 pp. $19.95. Available through www.SophiaInstitute.com; 1-800-888-9344.

While everyone knows the difference between a house and a home, not everyone recognizes the difference between a home and a “domestic church.” Because the Christian faith affects all of life and needs to be lived at home and at work as well as on Sundays in church, the life of Catholic faith grows through a special place in the home the authors define as a “little oratory” or sacred space — a prayer table resembling a home altar adorned with icons, pictures of saints, holy cards, Bible, prayer book, candles, and beautiful tablecloth to provide a daily reminder of God’s ever-present reality, love, familiarity, and nearness.
Families, designed for the nourishing and communicating of love to all their members and visitors, resemble “a lamp lit, quietly proclaiming the presence of the hidden sacrament of love to its inhabitants and to others.” The little oratory of the home compares to this lamp that illumines God’s love for each person and that radiates the love of neighbor nurtured in the heart and in the home to welcome visitors with hospitality. This sacred space makes God’s love as intimate as the bond between family members, the divine life of the Trinity reflected in the mutual giving and receiving of love in the family.
The book inspires the heart and moves the will to add this dimension to the home by capturing the element of beauty which this touch adds to human life. With simple, practical suggestions, the authors show the way to enrich daily life by adorning the home in ways that the Church, the Bride of Christ, also makes herself a place of holiness.
However small, humble, or modest, a home can reflect beauty and attract with the addition of a home altar. With the art of “holy decorating” versed in the elements of beauty (proportion, neatness, symmetry), the oratory requires simple furnishings: a table or shelf, an attractive tablecloth that can alter with the seasons, a crucifix, a picture of the Sacred Heart, a painting of the Holy Mother, an icon, candles, a Bible, a prayer book, a prayer-intention journal, a rosary, and a vase of flowers suffice to create this holy space. Like the Church, the little oratory too varies its colors and adornments with the liturgical and natural seasons.
The book also encourages praying the Liturgy of the Hours as another aspect of enriching the spiritual life of the home “to sanctify the whole range of human activity.” Even in its shortened version, praying the Divine Office — the prayer of the universal Church — elevates prayer beyond the petitions for everyday needs and frees it from “self-centered” preoccupation “during which we watch ourselves to discover any effects,” and it “helps us to cease thinking about ourselves at all.”
Again the book gives prudent advice on how to incorporate some of the Liturgy of the Hours into a busy active life. Like the little oratory, the Divine Office nurtures the spiritual life and enriches the soul. In the words of The General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours, “The purpose of the liturgy of the hours is to sanctify the day and all human activity.” It is a way of honoring the First Commandment of loving God first.
Praying continually, regardless of one’s vocation, is not a matter of words only as the authors explain but a matter of “divine orientation” that begins, ends, and centers each day “in the moral attitude of our soul and in the virtuous actions that extend throughout our life.”
With these simple aids of a little oratory and the habit of praying the Liturgy of the Hours in some shortened or modified form if necessary, the faithful Christian acquires the habits of the morning offering, examination of conscience at night, devotions during the week to the Trinity (Sunday), the Holy Spirit (Monday), the angels (Tuesday), or Christ’s Passion (Friday) and practices monthly devotions to the Holy Name of Jesus (January), the Holy Family (February), St. Joseph (March), or the Sacred Heart (June).
In other words, the mind is centered on God throughout the day, week, and month so that the “first things” of the moral life are not confused with secondary things of the world that distract and divert attention.
The oriented Christian remembers that “only one thing is necessary” and prays with the heart: “By striving for the ideal of praying with our whole person, continuously, and uniting this prayer to our whole way of life, we can perhaps begin to say that our heart is in it for God.”

Finding Time

How does someone find time for the Liturgy of Hours in addition to the daily rosary and attendance at daily or Sunday Mass? The authors provide prudent advice and practical answers that address the difficulties devoted Catholics experience in living a holy and devout life.
First, they encourage and give guidelines based on real experience, always sensitive about not burdening busy lives with more rules or demands or evoking the slightest guilt. The authors simply transmit the riches of the faith in the spirit of sharing the wisdom of the past: “These traditions are just ways of doing that have the blessing of being time-tested….”
The authors call to mind the self-evident truths about human nature that inform the oratory and the liturgy: Human beings as bodily creatures with five senses need visual images to understand spiritual realities, the invisible things of God known by the visible as St. Paul teaches. The beautiful always leads to the good and the true and lifts the mind to contemplation.
Furthermore, religion cannot be limited to Sundays only. Man is ordered to worship God and grow in union with Him. Those who are centered in Christ and abide with Him on a daily basis naturally communicate God’s love to others and transform the world. In short, “The little oratory contributes to the building of the culture.”
The book is both inspired by a beautiful vision of the Christian life according to its highest ideals and informed by a human wisdom that adapts the ideal to the real with the art of the possible. For anyone moved to incorporate these practices to grow in sanctity and Christian perfection, it is filled with ideas, suggestions, and good advice (see the appendixes at the end) that are too good to resist.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Planned Parenthood promoting ‘prayer vigil’ for abortion-on-demand at Ohio capitol

To mark the end of a “week of action” by liberal activists in Ohio, Planned Parenthood is asking its supporters to participate in a prayer vigil and rally on the steps of the state capitol Thursday afternoon. “Ohio faith leaders…Continue Reading

Pope: When we become worldly, we lose Christian flavor

Vatican City, Aug 31, 2014 / 09:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Christians must avoid the temptation to conform to the world, Pope Francis cautioned Aug. 31, stressing that they should instead allow their faith to transform the world around them. “Christians…Continue Reading

Catholics, Keep Away, Lest You Hear What You Ought Not

The former president of Ireland Mary McAleese will deliver the Rosemary Goldie Lecture at Sydney Town Hall on Sunday week but local Catholics, it seems, are being discouraged from attending. The Catholic Weekly newspaper refused to take advertisements for the lecture which…Continue Reading

“Adopt a Christian from Mosul” to respond directly to Iraq’s emergency

AsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis’s urgent appeal “to guarantee all necessary assistance – especially the most urgently needed aid…Continue Reading

Federal Judge Blocks Texas Law That Would Stop Abortions at Most Facilities Across State

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge Friday threw out new Texas abortion restrictions that would have effectively closed more than a dozen clinics in the state. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel sided with clinics that sued over one of…Continue Reading

Tax-funded PBS To Air ‘After Tiller’ Documentary Glorifying Late-term Abortionists

Pro-life activists are up in arms after the taxpayer-funded Public Broadcasting System (PBS) announced it will air the pro-abortion documentary “After Tiller” – named for George Tiller, the notorious late-term abortionist who boasted of killing more than 60,000 unborn babies before he…Continue Reading

Outcry flares over California abortion push in Catholic colleges

August 27, 2014 “California Catholics are no longer safe to practice their faith within their own institutions.” Sacramento, Calif., Aug 26, 2014 / 03:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Amid backlash from religious liberty and education advocates, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration…Continue Reading

SATANIC ‘BLACK MASS’ GETS GREEN LIGHT FROM U.S. CITY

Concerns mount about ‘dark powers that this invites into our community’ The Catholic Archbishop of Oklahoma City has agreed to drop a lawsuit against a satanic cult that plans to perform a “black mass” in the city now that the…Continue Reading

California reverses: Catholic colleges must now pay for all abortions

baby

Two California Catholic universities must cover elective abortions in the health care plans they provide employees, according to a decision released Friday by Governor Jerry Brown. The affected schools are Loyola Marymount University and Santa Clara University. The decision comes…Continue Reading

Catholic Church Warns Pro-Lifers About Ice Bucket Challenge Donations

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 8/25/14 11:59 AM A Catholic Archdiocese is warning pro-life advocates about the final destination of donations for the popular Ice Bucket Challenge, which has become a pop culture and social media…Continue Reading

Why Top Catholic Education Organization Says Common Core Could Threaten Religious Liberty

Aug. 21, 2014 10:25pm Fred Lucas A leading Catholic education organization is warning that Common Core could pose a threat to religious freedom for Catholic schools that adopt the controversial education standards. The Cardinal Newman Society’s summer newsletter named among the 10 things…Continue Reading

It’s hard to engage in interfaith dialogue when your head has been cut off.

  By Benedict Kiely In times of evil, prophets who see it in what Ronald Knox called a “clear light” are not necessarily heeded, though they are desperately needed. Such a man was Hilaire Belloc, as Monsignor Knox described him at…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope At Santa Marta: The Authority Of Christian Identity

pope516

(Vatican Radio) A Christian’s authority comes from the Holy Spirit, not from human wisdom or degrees in theology, said Pope Francis at morning Mass Tuesday, as he explained that Christian identity is having the Spirit of Christ, not the “spirit of the world”. The people were astonished at Christ’s teaching because he spoke with authority. Inspired by the passage from…Continue Reading

Pope at Santa Marta: Find The Living Jesus In The Gospel

pope515

(Vatican Radio) We need to proclaim the Gospel with humility not with ‘wise words’ because Jesus Himself is the power of the Word of God, and only those who have an open heart can receive Him said Pope Francis Monday morning, as he resumed his daily mass at Santa Marta after the summer break. Commenting on the readings of the…Continue Reading

The Apparition At Knock, Ireland, August 1879

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Part 1 of this article appeared in the August 28, 2014 issue of The Wanderer, p. 8B.) +    +    + The previous article looked at what happened during the apparition of Our Lady at Knock in Ireland, in August 1879, and this article will look at subsequent…Continue Reading

The Absent Father — A Meditation

By PHILIP TROWER I’m sure, like me, you have all found over the course of your life that something you have experienced or read, perhaps even long ago, suddenly comes into your mind in a way that throws hitherto unnoticed light on some passage or theme in the Gospels. In my case it is what…Continue Reading

A Decent Lawyer Should Tell Liberals They’re Damned Fools And Ought to Stop

By MICHAEL BARONE (Editor’s Note:     Michael Barone is a Fox News contributor and senior political analyst at the Washington Examiner [www.washingtonexaminer.com], where this article first appeared. Creators.com distributed the column. All rights reserved.) +    +    + “About half the practice of a decent lawyer consists in telling would-be clients that they are damned fools…Continue Reading

Christendom Alumna Leads In “Future Of Pro-Life Movement”

FRONT ROYAL, Va. — “I believe they are the real future of the pro-life movement,” Christendom College Alumna Mary Brand says of local crisis pregnancy centers. “It’s where the rubber hits the road.” A graduate of the class of 1998, Brand has been volunteering in pro-life work since she was in high school, from praying…Continue Reading

Senior Chaldean Official Says… Islamists Have Long Been Planning To Empty Iraq Of Christians

By FEDERICO CENCI ROME (ZENIT) — The year was 1840, when the Italian city of Otranto witnessed one of the most brutal massacres of Christians in history, perpetrated at the hands of Muslims. Eight hundred thirteen people perished in the 18 days of siege by the Ottoman army, bravely refusing to renounce their faith in…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… The Natural And Supernatural “Keys Of The Kingdom”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK In the Gospel of Holy Mass on a recent Sunday we heard again the beautiful and consoling words by which the Lord consigns a gift to Peter and his Successors for the benefit of us all: the “Keys of the Kingdom.” We learn that these “keys” open the doors of Heaven to us because of…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or…Supernatural? The Levitical Priesthood

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 The second type of priesthood in the Old Testament was the Levitical priesthood. It was established by God on Mount Sinai — whereto Moses took the people to offer sacrifice to God. There is one aspect of the Levitical priesthood that is often overlooked by those who read the Bible through anti-celibacy eyes:…Continue Reading

God Reveals His Name

By DON FIER In last week’s installment of this series on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), we examined the fundamental significance of coming to know that all that we believe begins with God and ends with God. “I believe in God” is the first affirmation of the Apostles’ Creed, and likewise, Sacred Scripture begins with the words, “In…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. My nine-year-old grandson asked why, on August 15, the Gospel of Luke about the Visitation was read when it was the Feast of the Assumption. What should I tell him? — E.C., via e-mail. A. You can tell your grandson that there is no Gospel reading about the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven because that event is not…Continue Reading

Justice And Charity

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 33:7-9 Romans 13:8-10 Matt. 18:15-20 In the second reading today, St. Paul tells us that we are to owe nothing to anyone except to love one another. The fact that St. Paul puts this into the category of something that is owed to another person is of…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes… Mary, The Mother Of God

By CAROLE BRESLIN I have a confession to make. It was not until I was nearly 40 years old that I learned about the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. While I understood the seasons of Advent, Lent, and Easter, I never paid much attention to the feasts and the time of the year they were celebrated. For example,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John The Baptist

By CAROLE BRESLIN Thousands of years before the time of Christ, the Pharaoh of Egypt held the children of Israel in bondage. Our Lord proved His love for them when Moses led them out of Egypt. When Mary was carrying Jesus, she and Joseph, because of an imperial decree, had to travel to Bethlehem in order to be counted in…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading