There are no limits to the many wonderful things that a Catholic could have in their home. This list is simply seven suggestions of things that Catholics should have in their homes, with a brief explanation or reflection. Enjoy!
The symbol of the Christian Faith has been the cross, since the earliest times. The Cross of Jesus Christ is the instrumental cause of our salvation. On the Cross, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gave His own Body and Blood as a ransom for many. The earliest followers of the Way would trace the cross over their whole body. This we still do as the Sign of the Cross prayer in which we invoke the Blessed Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
In our homes, the crucifix serves as a daily visual reminder of the gift of Jesus Christ for our sake upon the Holy Cross. It is a sacramental of the Church by which through the eyes of our body, the eyes of our soul are opened to the flow of God’s grace.
Another great visual reminder of the Faith is sacred art. Statues, paintings, and icons are far more than mere souvenirs. The images themselves of Jesus, Mary, the saints, or the angels are not given adoration that is due to God alone. Of course, we only give worship and adoration to the Father in the Son through the Holy Spirit.
The images, paintings, statues, and icons mediate the one who is imaged. If we have an icon of St. Nicholas, for example, we are recognizing the fact that this great saint is with God in Heaven. Thus, St. Nicholas is very much alive in Christ. We, as the baptized, can speak to the saints by the almighty power of God. This is not “going around” God, for it is by His grace alone that two members of the Body of Christ can be so intimately connected on either side of the veil of death. The icon mediates the presence of the glorified saint, who is in Heaven with Christ, and thus allows our bodily senses to move our souls to veneration and ask that saint’s intercession.
While the bulk of the theological legwork regarding icons was done by the Eastern Saints one thousand years ago, especially St. John of Damascus, the same principles hold for statues, paintings, and other images. They make present to our human senses the spiritual realities that are symbolically represented on wood, metal, plaster, or clay.
Hooks on the Wall
Every Catholic needs hangers or hooks on the wall in the main living space, like a living room or den. These serve a very practical purpose. With hooks on the wall, you can hang things on the hooks. For those of the Latin Rite (or whomever practices this devotion), you can hang your family’s rosaries. For those of the Byzantine tradition, you can hang your chotkis or prayer ropes. This serves the useful purpose of cueing you or your family to pray, perhaps together.
Holy Water Fonts
Holy water is a powerful sacramental of the Church that evokes the Sacrament of Baptism. By the waters of Baptism, we are cleansed of the stain of sin, we are incorporated into the Mystical Body of Christ, we are marked for Christ, and we receive sanctifying grace into our soul which is the very life of Almighty God.
When we make the Sign of the Cross with holy water as we enter or exit or home (or as we enter or exit a room), we are allowing the sacramental to dispose us to God’s actual grace in the moment, but it is also a renewal of our own baptismal promises. The life of God, through Baptism, is already within us. Holy water reinvigorates this already existing connection by the power and grace of God.
Mary Garden and Statue Outside
One beautiful act in the family home, if possible, is to put a statue of Our Lady in your yard and perhaps plant a garden around it. This could also serve a more evangelistic purpose by having the statue in the front yard, in clear view of the street.
We can certainly never love the Blessed Virgin Mary more than her Most Holy Son Jesus Christ does. To honor her is to bring honor and glory to Him. She points us to Him. She watches over us and protects us with a motherly gaze and hand. She is the neck of the Mystical Body of Christ and the channel by which all graces flow, by the Holy Spirit, from Heaven to each of us on Earth.
From the first moment of her “yes” to God until now, she continues in her holy mission of bringing her Son into the world. The action which we mark as Christmas has never ceased. Mary is also pointing us to her Son and bringing us to Him and Him to us.
Many churches hand out calendars that have the entire liturgical year of the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite marked on each month. This calendar can be placed in a central place in the home for all to see.
It is good for us to know what is happening in the Church calendar in order to keep the Faith close to home. If it is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, perhaps have a white cake with white icing to mark the purity of the Blessed Mother. There are many different ways to bring the liturgical calendar home and consecrate the house with the practice of the Faith.
Photo credit to lirioblanco on Cathopic.