To Make a House a Home
Heaven is our home. Sounds so cliché, doesn’t it? Especially for us, Catholics – we hear or read this all the time. But the reality is that heaven IS our home. It’s what we were made for. One of my favourite quotes is from C.S. Lewis: “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
You know that feeling when you’re in the market of buying your first place? Pretty amazing, right? And then comes the feeling when you actually find that “perfect” place – whether it’s a house, condo, apartment. The first thing we do, besides meeting with lawyers and filling out a ton of paperwork, is begin the steps of making the new house a home. Repairs, furniture, some decor, a piano (of course, my husband didn’t think a piano was too practical when we still needed a kitchen table; but I did!) – just a few of the things on the list needed to make the space livable. And then, when you finally find time to sit on the couch with a cup of tea and look around, you say in awe: “Wow! This is ours…”
But let’s step back a moment. Everything we have here on earth is a gift from God. Pretty cliché, too, right? Well, it couldn’t be more true. Yes, we may earn money with the hard work we put in; but ultimately, the plan with what happens next is still in His hands. He watches what we do with that hard-earned money, and through little (or BIG) reminders, He keeps us humble and dependent.
Last year, my brother and his family moved out to Vancouver Island. The first neighbour that greeted them was a nice, retired couple – so warm and welcoming. Well, just a few months ago, a massive fire completely destroyed their house, and they escaped with only their lives.
I couldn’t even imagine what they were going through. My brother asked all of us to pray for them, and of course, we did.
I admit that sometimes I get carried away with wanting to make our house look nice. There always seems to be a corner to embellish or a wall to fill. However, when we received the message regarding my brother’s neighbour, it really woke me up. It helped me put things into perspective, and it was a strong reminder that God gives…and God takes away. But in taking away, He is helping us re-focus on our real goal — Heaven.
So, let’s get back to making the house a home again. Before the repairs, the furniture, the decor, and, yes, the piano, we must remember that our house is a gift. Our homes must be blessed! Even if the coffee table hasn’t arrived, or the wall still has a hole needing to be filled, we call the priest and have our house blessed. I think of it as a “Thank You” to God for the roof over our head. And even though we can’t see it the way we see that painting on the wall, the numerous graces that will rain down because of this, will be exactly what our home needs as it weathers the ups and downs through the years.
We are now in the beautiful month of June – the month of the Sacred Heart. I know there are many who get their homes blessed and feel that is sufficient. But, simply consider the words of St. Margaret Mary, herself – the one to whom the Sacred Heart revealed Himself. We are not living in a nice and safe time for us or our children. I mean, all you have to do is read the headlines to see what a mess everything is out there. If there can be any love and order, it should be found in your home, and it can only be found in His Sacred Heart.
“…Those who desire to render Him and procure for Him all the honor and love possible, might themselves be abundantly enriched with those divine treasures of which this Heart is the source. (…) He should be honored under the figure of this Heart of flesh, and its image should be exposed…He promised me that wherever this image should be exposed with a view to showing it special honor, He would pour forth His blessings and graces. This devotion was the last effort of His love that He would grant to men in these latter ages.” (St. Margaret Mary)
You would think everyone would just follow this. In the times we’re living in, we should just use all the resources He offers us. I mean, Our Lord never uses words lightly – He means every single word He says. It’s not just some extra “flare” over-zealous Catholics choose to do. Our families need Him in our homes…and this month of June, the Church reminds us of that. And let’s not forget, where the Son is, the Mother is also! What greater blessing than to have both the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart watch over and protect our families!
It really saddens me that God is being removed more and more from everywhere and everything. So, our home had to be that place where God is more and more welcome. I felt it was very important for my children as they grew up, that from standing anywhere in our house, they are reminded of the Faith, whether through holy images or statues. I want them to never take our home for granted, and that it is God’s gift to us – not only for the roof over our head, but as a constant reminder of the eternal Home we have to look forward to.
Heart of Jesus, King and Center of all hearts, have mercy on us.