What do you think makes a beautiful and happy home? How important is this?
Having a happy home is crucial to the spreading of our faith. To whom do we want to spread our faith? First of all, to our children. They need to see the deep and lasting beauty of our faith shining forth in our everyday lives, making our home beautiful and happy. Our faith should be an unspoken reality, the undercurrent in the everyday bubbling brook, that flows into every facet of our lives, without it being brassy or aggressive.
This happiness does not have to be unrealistic. Life is what it is and there are many days where the smiles don’t come as easy and nerves are rawer because of whatever is upsetting the apple cart at the time. These are opportunities too.
Father Curtis, over this past weekend, said that if our kids see ONLY that life is perfect at home, if they grow up wearing rose-colored glasses all the time, they are going to get quite a jolt when they enter into their own vocation and it is less than perfect…and it will be. So it is good that the kids see reality, too.
That being said, we need to create a home that is joyful and lovely, in amongst the “real”-ness.
J.R. Miller gives us a lovely analogy of moss on an old thatch of a ruin, comparing it to the love that surrounds and covers a multitude of sins and makes an imperfect home, with imperfect souls dwelling therein, a fortress of beauty and happiness.
SECRETS OF HAPPY HOME LIFE – J.R. Miller
Few things we can do in this world are so well worth doing as the making of a beautiful and happy home. He who does this builds a sanctuary for God and opens a fountain of blessing for men.
Far more than we know do the strength and beauty of our lives depend upon the home in which we dwell. He who goes forth in the morning from a happy, loving, prayerful home, into the world’s strife, temptation, struggle, and duty, is strong — inspired for noble and victorious living.
The children who are brought up in a true home go out trained and equipped for life’s battles and tasks, carrying in their hearts a secret of strength which will make them brave and loyal to God, and will keep them pure in the world’s sorest temptations.
We may all do loving service, therefore, by helping to make one of the world’s homes — the one in which we dwell — brighter and happier. No matter how plain it may be, nor how old-fashioned, if love be in it, if prayer connect it with heaven, if Christ’s benediction be upon it, it will be a transfigured spot. Poverty is no cross if the home be full of bright cheer. Hardest toil is light if love sings its songs amid the clatter.
“Dear Moss,” said the thatch on an old ruin, ” I am so worn, so patched, so ragged, really I am quite unsightly. I wish you would come and cheer me up a little. You will hide all my infirmities and defects; and, through your loving sympathy, no finger of contempt or dislike will be pointed at me.”
“I come,” said the moss; and it crept up and around, and in and out, till every flaw was hidden, and all was smooth and fair. Presently the sun shone out, and the old thatch looked bright and fair, a picture of rare beauty, in the golden rays.
“How beautiful the thatch looks!” cried one who saw it. “How beautiful the thatch looks! “said another. “Ah!” said the old thatch, “rather let them say, ‘ how beautiful is the loving moss!’ For it spends itself in covering up all my faults, keeping the knowledge of them all to herself, and, by her own grace, making my age and poverty wear the garb of youth and luxuriance.”
So it is that love covers the plainness and the ruggedness of the lowliest home. It hides its dreariness and its faults. It softens its roughness. It changes its pain into profit, and its loss into gain.
Let us live more for our homes. Let us love one another more. Let us cease to complain, criticize, and contradict each other. Let us be more patient with each other’s faults. Let us not keep back the warm, loving words that lie in our hearts, until it is too late for them to give comfort. Soon separations will come. One of every wedded pair will stand by the other’s coffin and grave. Then every bitter word spoken, and every neglect of love’s duty, will be as a thorn in the heart.
-St. Theophane Venard