Apologia: The Fullness of Christian Truth


``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D


The Christian Home: A Guide to Happiness in the Home

Conclusion

It is with a feeling of deep satisfaction that I bring this little book on the home to a close. God grant that it may be the humble instrument of accomplishing at least a small amount of the good for which it was undertaken. To that end I can only beg the kind reader who has had the patience to peruse the foregoing pages, not to put the book aside for good after the first reading, but to pick it up again and again until the lessons it contains become deeply engraven on his heart. The substance of those lessons is this: that since society, which should help the individual to lead a God-fearing life, has become a means of leading him astray, to counteract this evil influence, the family, which is the unit of society, must be reformed by being again imbued with the spirit of Christianity. When religion once more directs, controls, and permeates the family life, not only will the individual have an effective safeguard against the evils of society, but society itself will be reformed.

The means to accomplish this end are the simple but efficacious ones that I have pointed out. Think not lightly of them, dear reader, on account of their simplicity, and despise them not for that they are old. Parents above all, fathers and mothers, see to it that these old-fashioned manifestations of Catholic life once more come into honor in your homes. You cannot have religion without religious exercises, as little as you can have fire without fuel. Nor can you make of your religion a purely church affair, because it is something that touches life at every point.

To children, and especially to those young men and young women who will soon be looking forward to establishing homes of their own, I say: If you hope to have a truly Christian home when you marry, you must lay the foundation for it now. Be faithful to the practice of daily prayer and frequent Communion in the years of young manhood and young womanhood; be chaste during the time of courtship, and you may justly expect God to bless your future home. But if you neglect your religion and incur the wrath of God by your liberties in keeping company, you run great risk of building your Christian home upon sand. Avoid the occasions of sin, therefore; for he that loveth danger shall perish in it. Let me warn you especially against following that custom, as pernicious as it is widespread, which accords young unmarried couples the privilege of almost as complete privacy and seclusion as if they were already married. The proper place for keeping company is in the presence of the father and mother or some other member of the family. These nightly tete-a-tetes and long drawn out private interviews between two young persons of opposite sex are occasions of sin and a source of many other evils, not the least among which are hurried and unhappy marriages. It is during the time of courtship, I repeat, that the foundation is laid for the future home. Let it be made of religion and virtue, my dear young men and young ladies, and then you can securely build up thereon that beautiful edifice, that bulwark of religion, that fortress of morality, that pillar of society, that citadel of peace and happiness--the model Christian home.

Home, sweet home! What a multitude of tender thoughts and feelings are associated with the utterance of that sweet word! What a host of happy memories it conjures up of the innocent days of childhood, of the carefree days of youth, of the toilsome days of maturer age. The home is, indeed, the center of the sweetest and purest of all earthly joys, the starting point of all that is best and greatest in human history. Our Divine Savior Himself gave the home a special consecration by gracing the humble home of Nazareth with His presence during thirty long years; and He thereby gave us also the first and the supreme model of the truly Christian home. Yes, so sacred is the word home that it is commonly used to designate even that eternal dwelling place that God has prepared for those that love Him.

Love your home, then, dear reader, and try to make it worthy of that sacred name. You can adopt no surer means than to establish religion in your home by enthroning the Sacred Heart as its King and by conforming it as closely as possible to the home of the Holy Family. If the father seeks to imitate St. Joseph; if the mother emulates the loving care of Mary; if the children are docile and diligent after the example of the Child Jesus; and if all seek first the Kingdom of God and His justice,--be it ever so humble, yours will be a happy home. What, then, if those foes of your salvation, the devil and the wicked world, storm and rage without,--you and yours will be safe within the walls of your Christian home. For, built as it is on the rock of Faith, we may truly say of it what Our Blessed Savior said of those who hear His words and do them: "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew; and they beat upon that house, and it fell not; for it was founded on a rock" (Mt. 7, 25).
Continue:
Introduction
Chapter I: Necessity of Religion in the Home
Chapter II: Prayer in the Home
Chapter III: Catholic Atmosphere in the Home
Chapter IV: Good Reading in the Home
Chapter V: Harmony in the Home
Chapter VI: Necessity of Home Life
Conclusion

Back to Domestic Church: The Catholic Home
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