Regina Coeli Report - August 2019: The Blossoming of the Domestic Church
The term ecclesiola (Greek for “little church”) has been used from the dawn of Christianity to designate the domestic Church. It refers to the family, the smallest body of believers. Our early Church Fathers understood that the home was fertile ground for faith and holiness.
Every Catholic home should be considered a microcosm of the Church, with the father as the head, the mother as the heart, and the children brought up learning how to know, love, and serve God. But, in reality, Christ is the true head of the home and the pope is His visible vicar. The Holy Ghost is also the true heart of the home, and the totality of Church members are sons of God. And so, the family is a miniature representation of the Catholic Church at large.
If this is so, it is of the utmost importance that both parents and children strive and thrive in pursuing their God-given role within the family: to make Jesus and Mary reign over their home in every aspect of their life.
Many are familiar with the apostolate of the enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the home. This, along with the regular home visit and blessing by your pastor, can only encourage all members to turn their eyes and heart to imitate the charming virtues of the Holy Family of Nazareth, charming because they are hidden under the gaze of Jesus, King of all hearts.
Letter from the District Superior
This summer issue of the Regina Coeli Report draws your attention to the family. If we are returning time and again to this theme, it is because it is foremost in our preoccupations. No leader, whether political, economic, social or religious, can pretend to usher in a bright future without firstly aiming at restoring that first social cell which is the family.
Allow me to pursue this theme with a moving address from our new Superior General, Fr. Pagliarani who wrote last October:
We must also have a growing concern for the education of children. It is necessary to keep clearly in mind the goal that we wish to achieve and not be afraid to speak to them about the Cross, about the passion of Our Lord, about His love for the little ones, about sacrifice. It is absolutely necessary for the souls of children to be captured already at a very tender age by the love of Our Lord, before the spirit of the world can seduce and ravish them. This question absolutely has priority, and if we do not manage to transmit what we have received, that is the sign that we are not sufficiently convinced of it.
We know the parable of Our Lord about those who built their house on sand and those who built upon the rock. And rain and windstorm came and the house built on sand fell in ruin, whereas the one built on solid ground stood up indomitable. We can apply this to the family. We have those traditional families where the natural hierarchy has been preserved, with order and the spirit of reverence and obedience to authority. We have also, alas, all too often, the spectacle of dysfunctional families where the children are kings and the parents at their feet obeying their least caprice, heading for much trouble down the road. Here are the two opposite sides of the spectrum constantly before our eyes as society is increasingly renouncing Christ’s law.
And so, I cannot but conclude with a prayer. Indeed, it is high time for us to pray and to entrust ourselves and our beloved ones, especially the littlest of all, to the Blessed Virgin. From the mouth of Sr. Lucia, we know that “the devil’s last battle will be launched against the family.”
This is another reason for us to get on our knees and pray ardently for all our families. “O Lord, grant us Catholic families!”
- Fr. Jürgen Wegner