Sacrament of Marriage

Around the year AD 350, a popular and powerful bishop named John Chrysostom preached a series of sermons on the Sacrament of Marriage.   John had been inspired by St. Paul’s letters to describe for his congregation the beauty of marriage and family life.   He called it a wonderful path to holiness.   He spoke about the way each spouse is called to be like Jesus—selflessly giving all that they have to their spouse and family and to love their family with the same dedication that Jesus has for his Church .

Chrysostom told his congregation that God wants every family to see themselves as a “little church,” a sacred place where Christ is honored and where each family member is drawn to deeper holiness.   He urged his people to keep their marriages pure and to guard their children’s faith against the corrupting influences of the world.   So moving were his sermons that more than 1,500 years later, the Fathers of Vatican II called Catholics to see their families as “domestic churches.”

God wants all of us to see our homes as miniature versions of the Church.   Every home is meant to be a place of peace and love, a place of humility and service.   It is meant to be a house of prayer, a place where Jesus is welcomed and reverenced.

House of prayer

May we all stand firm against any philosophy that reduces our homes to marketplaces or to merely functional living situations.   May we all find creative ways to incorporate prayer in our homes—whether that means praying one decade of a Rosary each evening or reading a psalm together every morning.   May we make it a point to express our love and appreciation to each other with our words and with warm embraces.

It does not take much to make our homes into houses of prayer.   It just takes a willing heart and an openness to God’s blessing.   Even if we make mistakes along the way, we can be sure that we will make progress.

-word among us