Most of us know what it feels like to experience a significant family gathering. There’s a lot of catching up and chatter goes on, joys and sorrows shared, even a few tears on occasion. But it’s all ultimately of God and part of His mysterious plan even if such gatherings can be emotionally draining and painful. The synod assembly should be viewed in a similar vein. A coming together of brothers and sisters in Christ who will exchange a lot of things both in word and gesture about the one thing that lies at the heart of the mission of the Church – FAMILY! So even though the vast majority of us in the Church cannot be there in person – it nevertheless concerns us greatly and we must be there in spirit and in prayer for the participants.
Last week a day of worldwide prayer was encouraged so that our families might become true “domestic churches” and “bear witness to God’s love”. Sounds simple, and it is in one sense because the seemingly ordinary everyday stuff of family life, going to bed, getting up going to work and school, sitting round the table eating, doing chores is sanctified because the Lord Jesus lived in a family too and a very ordinary domestic home life but with extraordinary consequences. Family life is a “consecrated” form of life because of the degree of love exchanged between the members of the various households and our words and actions can have consequences that are ‘out of this world’ too.
So whatever your plans for the weekend, however seemingly mundane, try to view it all with a different perspective. Put on “supernatural” 3D spectacles and remember the insight of St Therese of Lisieux, that even picking a pin up off the floor can be used for the salvation of souls, either your own or someone else’s. That’s a pretty awesome thought when it comes to how we might view the washing, the ironing, the dropping off and the picking up of the children to activities, filling and emptying the dishwasher, the dustbin or setting/clearing the table. Even making or changing the linen on the marital bed ought to be seen as dressing the “altar” of the home.
The poet Thomas Moore put it well: “The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.”
– Edmund Adamus