A good homily for the Feast of the Holy Family. In this homily we are given the comparison of a Priests duty to the altar with that of the husband and wife to the home. The sacramental graces poured forth from the sacrament of matrimony enables the couple to keep their home and atmosphere of that Home in such a manner that the Child Jesus would be happy to join them as he did with the Holy Family.
There is about the sanctuary in the church of God an atmosphere of piety and reverence. It has a sanctity that no stranger dare violate; it has a privacy which no one but he who has a right dare invade. Such an atmosphere should be about the sanctuary of home. Transcipt
In order for this comparison to work (that of a priests duty at the altar and the parents duty at home) we should consider what holiness is. Holiness is the degree at which something has been set aside for God. The Virgin Mary for example is called “All Holy” because ever aspect of her person was set aside for God.
It is unfortunate that I have read this comparison of the priests duty and the Sanctuary and that of the home taken to what I view as an odd extreme in other places. The caution with which a priests actions, the solemnity of his movements, the strictness of the words allowed to be spoken, the silence in the Church and the years of preparation to just be able to say Mass once is not to be viewed on par from the duties of parents many times wrangling little Children. The Sanctuary of the House of God is extremely Holy and is blessed to only be used for Holy things.
It does not mean that all that is done in the House should not be done for God, or that he does not value dwelling in the Hearts of the Family members, but we do not need to get into our heads the idea that the Christian Home be void of fun or the noise that little children enjoying some freedom brings with it. Just like the sanctuary of the Church requires solemnity the Christian home should also have within it abundant joy and cheer.
So while it would be horrifying to watch a priest running around in the sanctuary laughing, it is not to watch a little child run around in the living room after the family dog.
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever else you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor 10:31
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Source: Priests of the Congregation of St. Paul. Five Minute Sermons for Low Masses on All Sundays of the Year. Vol. 2. [S.l.]: Catholic Publication Society, 1886. Print. starts pg 67-69
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