Our family is our first community. It is the most basic way in which the Lord gathers us, forms us, and acts through us to impact the world. The early Church expressed this truth by calling the Christian family a domestic church or the church of the home. The Cathechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states: “The Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and realization of ecclesial communion, and for this reason, it can and should be called the domestic church.” (CCC 2204)
In Christ, the family becomes the domestic church because it is a community of faith, hope, and charity. How do we better fulfill our family’s role as the domestic church in our daily actions? Here are a few ideas:
- Believe in God, and that God cares about you in good times and bad. Allow this belief to affect your actions.
- Love and value each other. Children should learn this by watching how you love.
- Educate by example. Sometimes you will teach your children, and sometimes they teach will you.
- Pray together – thanking God for your blessings, reaching for strength, and asking for guidance in crisis and doubt.
- Act justly in your community by treating others with respect, and by working to overcome hunger, homelessness, and poverty.
- Affirm life as a precious gift from God. Oppose whatever destroys life: abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, and unjust war. Make peace within your own family.
- Forgive and seek reconciliation with your family members and others.
- Raise up vocations, and seek to fulfill your own vocation.
These are just some of the ways you can connect with your family members, and promote your family’s role as the domestic church. Now put them into practice!
(Kathleen Dautremont, Theology Teacher, Dowling Catholic High School)