Home is sacred space. It is also sacred time. Whether home is a physical location or a state of mind while we wander the globe, we have the power to make it sacred, to hold it in loving attention and simultaneously offer it to God and the world as our gift to give.
Here are a few ideas for “making sacred.” I make home sacred by:
- Receiving it with gratitude, noticing its details from day to day.
- Attending to its needs: taking care of a physical house, nurturing an important relationship.
- Remembering the important moments that occur there—through scrapbooks, photographs, storytelling, song, paintings . . .
- Offering it to others, by opening its doors and receiving people for who and where they are.
- Developing its beauty, whether planting a garden in a permanent home or building temporary shrines—prayer altar, photo collection, important objects of beauty and meaning—in tents, hotel rooms, and rented apartments.
- Filling its space with conversations that are meaningful and with activities that are hopeful.
- Cleaning it out from time to time, removing clutter that is physical, spiritual, or emotional.
Please add your ideas as well!
When I travel I make sure I have my Magnificat book with me. I feel lost when I can read the daily readings and reflections.
KEEP THE STATS. There’s a reason why a best-seller is a best-seller.
At the end of the day, when things are settling down, by simply sitting and using all my senses to “be present” in this place.
I have a screened in porch upstairs and so feel the Lords presence and those aha moments most frequently
Thank you for this gentle reminder. As I read your words my heart was filled with gratitude for God’s gifts to us. Sometimes I just go about my days without realizing how sacred is the space that ‘house’ me.
When I was a little child my family and I found ourselves between homes for a time. We were offered the use of the sun porch of my dad’s former co-worker’s home as a temporary residence. I still recall how unsettled I felt and how our presence threw the host family’s lives into chaos but how welcomed that family made us feel, especially around the supper table. Gratitude for my home is pretty high on my prayer list – even on this, Friday housework day!
Thanks to you and all who have shared their thoughts and experiences re: making a resting place for those who need rest. Sadly I lost my wife of 40 years to cancer and other medical complications on Sunday, December 7th, 2014. I am now living alone in our basement and my children now own and live in the rest of the house.
Happily I have learned to share my life (and our home) with others from my former life as a Benedictine Monk, a parish priest, a social worker and as a happily married person over these many (76) years! I (we) learned to call it “mercy” and “Hospitality”….
Thanks so much for your encouraging words!
My home is truly a gift from God and I’m tremendously grateful, not only for my physical home but for all that has occurred within these walls. Most of all, I’m grateful for the people who come for all sorts of reasons but who often share that my home is peaceful and they feel the Holy Spirit here. Some don’t have these exact words but they communicate this in their own way. What a gift my home is! Thanks, Vinita, for sharing these thoughts with us.
Thank you for this wonderful reflection, Vinita. There are stretches of time I can walk numbly through my day, taking my home, its warmth, its joys and comforts, its “service” to my family and to me for granted. And then I see the news of people who have suffered floods, hurricanes, fires, and mudslides and I awaken to the pure gift my home is–with its protective walls and roof, its radiator heat in the deep of winter and its open-window breezes in summer and gratitude begins to awaken in my heart. And I look around its walls and see photos of family and friends, artwork speaking of my family’s faith, and mundane items that spark memories of holidays and ordinary days where laughter rang out and love was made manifest. Your wise and practical tips make so much sense as ways to invite, and notice the holiness of our daily lives. I especially appreciated and will put into practice the ideas for when traveling–especially on business which is when I often feel rootless and most away from home. I so appreciate this wise guidance to a more abundant life–right where I may be at the time.
Imagining/visualizing Jesus with me in each and every space: His armchair, His place at the dinner table…
I very much appreciate our bloggers and all the prayer, reflection and time you invest in your
articles. I would like to suggest something that would make ignatianspirituality.com even better.
Please drop the stats. They remind me of posted class rankings in Jesuit high schools. Who’s hot and who’s not. Keep the photos and names though.
But…with much respect, if the stats on numbers were removed we could still count the comments if so inclined, couldn’t we? I wonder how many readers would resort to that? Not many I would imagine as this is a place of spiritual refuge; all of it inspiring. I seldom comment as I keep the material I read in the morning in mind throughout the day.