Our Domestic Church

Written by Jen Nelson, September 4th, 2023 | The Landing, Issue 1

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

As I turned the aisle in my favorite craft store, there they were. 

Halloween decorations…in AUGUST!

It seems to me the stores are moving the holidays earlier and earlier.  On my drive home, I passed a house down the street that already had up its fifty-foot skeleton and crime scene tape for October 31. 

It is almost as if we are receiving the message, “Hurry up and get it before it is too late!”  

I realized that this modern practice of planning ahead and hurrying up is the enemy’s trick to get us to be so distracted that we forget to “live holy the present moment,” as St.Gianna has said. 

Now, it isn’t wrong to make plans or to do things in haste, but the devil is in the details.  Satan likes to rush us; God likes to still us.

Corrie ten Boom, who was arrested by the Nazis for hiding Jews and placed in a concentration camp, said, “If the devil cannot make us bad, he will make us busy.” 

Having too much to do, often times we cannot have the stillness to sit with God.  We don’t allow time for God so He can fill us with grace and help us in our day-to-day work. 

We can live holy the present moments of our days when we invite God into the day.  How does this look on a practical level?  First, we can make the sign of the Cross when we open our eyes in the morning. 

If you’re like me and hit the ground running as a busy mom, that small act shows God that you’re putting Him first. 

Something that is “holy” is sacred and consecrated to God. Throughout the day, whether at work, school or in the home, we can live holy present moments by seeing Christ in each and every person we encounter throughout the day. 

Some people are difficult to work with or encounter, but if we see people as St. Gianna did, as flesh on the face of God, we may be able to allow God’s grace to help us be more patient, forgiving and loving towards those whom it is difficult to be around. 

St.Gianna began each day with the Holy Mass or at least fifteen minutes of prayer in the Church before the Tabernacle.  Now, this may not be possible for everyone reading this.  However, I have something I am going to try this year and hope it may help some of you too!  

Our homes are called our “Domestic Churches”. 

They are places where God is to be known, loved and served. 

This year, I am going to try my best to act like Jesus is in the house. 

At Mass, when my kids begin to act up a little or raise their voices a little louder, I lean over and say, “please remember you need to act well because Jesus is here.” 

In our churches He is physically present in the Eucharist.

How would we behave as individuals in the family if a priest brought the Blessed Sacrament and placed it in our living room? 

Would there be less fighting?
More kind words spoken?
Prayers prayed with more reverence? 

This year, in my home and in the day to day, I’m going to try my best to live holy the present moment. I am going to challenge myself not to rush through the tasks of the day without first presenting my entire day to God. 

Whether it is doing yard work, making a meal, folding the laundry or shopping for Christmas decorations in October, may we remember to still our minds and hearts, present what we’re doing to God, and live holy the present moment. 

About the Author, Jen Nelson

Jennifer Nelson is the founder of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Relics. She is married to Derek, a man with an abundance of patience who puts up with all her crazy ideas and they have seven beautiful “Gianna babies” aged 16 to 6 months. She holds an MA in Systematic Theology from Seton Hall’s Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology. She loves the saints and figuring out which saint can help pray for various dilemmas. She does not consider herself a writer, but her friends tell her otherwise and the Holy Spirit keeps making her do it against her will!