Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Monday, April 5, 2010

Home Altar/Prayer Table

"To decorate the houses with religious pictures is a custom as old as Christianity itself, for the true Christian has always considered his home as nothing less than a Temple of God, and the religious pictures as means to extend and preserve the spirit of Christianity in the home."
~St. John Vianney~
This is our Home Altar/Prayer Table within our domestic church.   It has been a work in progress but we have grown to love and cherish a peaceful place within our home to reflect on God's wonderful deeds and His Most Holy Mother, given to us at the foot of the cross.  Our family is consecrated to Mary and pray for her intercession to guide our daily lives, leading us ever closer to Her Son and His will for us. This has transformed into a great place to keep our family bible and rosaries for easy access too!

One of the things I most enjoy is changing the table colors and pictures to depict the liturgical season.  The rhythm of our lives is such a reflection of our faith and family...It is a joy to express this outwardly within our home. (This is a photo during Lent...The plates were a Palm Sunday craft)

I love these words from St. Therese of Lisieux:
" For me, prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed to heaven, it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus."

A prayer box has been a wonderful way to keep track of prayer intentions.  We place all of our prayer intentions on slips of paper and place them in the box.  At the beginning of each week, we read the intentions out loud.  (If there are private intentions, we just write the person's name and mark it as a private intention). Every day following, we lift up the box of intentions during our morning prayer.  Our prayer box is kept, primarily, in our School Room/Learning Place.  But we aren't afraid to move it around if we need to.  During the summer, we often bring it downstairs to our home altar so we can be sure to keep it an active part of our lives.

Our prayer box was easy to make! It's just a small shoe box, wrapped in paper that I found in our local Catholic bookstore. As mentioned, we found that this is the best way to keep track of all the prayers we have promised.  It's also an interactive tool for small children learning how to pray for others.  The charitable conversations that have emerged have been priceless!  I might also point out that our prayer box doesn't take away from other prayers promised. ie) Rosaries, etc.  It's simply a great way for us to be sure we actively and generously "do" as we have promised.
"The more we pray, the more we wish to pray.  Like a fish which at first swims on the surface of the water, and afterwards plunges down, and is always going deeper; the soul plunges, dives, and loses itself in the sweetness of conversing with God."

~St. John Vianney~
For more great ideas about setting up a Domestic Church, be sure to visit St. Peter's List, 7 Steps To Setting Up A Proper Catholic Home.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, I love this! I have been wanting to create one in our home too, but couldn't quite visualize it. I don't really have a big space for one, nor do I want to spend a bunch of $$ on a table. I need to get garage saling. Thanks for the inspiration.


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