Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
A couple weeks ago I listened to an interview with Dr. Greg Popcak, who founded and leads the Pastoral Solutions Institute, and with his wife Lisa has a daily Catholic radio program on family life. They attended the Symposium on Catholic Family Life and Spirituality, held at Notre Dame this past summer. Since that time they have developed some ideas from that symposium. The interview I heard addressed the “Liturgy of Domestic Church Life”. I love this phrase; and I find it so dynamic with meaning and potential!
What is the “Liturgy of Domestic Church Life”? The Popcak’s answer:
“Liturgy” is a word that refers to “work” God does through his church to heal the damage that sin does to our relationship with him and each other. The Liturgy of the Eucharist is the “summit and source” of that healing, uniting us with God and giving us the grace to create communion with others. The Liturgy of Domestic Church Life is the primary way lay people exercise our common priesthood, consecrating the world to Christ by literally bringing Jesus home with us and letting him transform our common families into dynamic domestic churches!” (from “The Church At Home: Celebrating the Liturgy of Domestic Church” on Patheos blogspot, March 24, 2020)
We normally use the word “liturgy” to talk about Holy Mass, and then perhaps about Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, or about a formal morning or evening prayer service at Church. In addition to what the Popcak’s answer about the word “liturgy” from God’s perspective, I would add that it’s the “work of the people” on behalf of God as well. The greatest work of humanity is the worship of God, and then all that humanity does on behalf of God.
Perhaps you remember that St. Paul wrote to the Romans, “I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:1f).
From this quote we can see that St. Paul is really talking about our entire life being an act of worship to God.
He exhorts us to “offer our bodies as a living sacrifice”! That’s pretty much our whole life, since we are body-soul composite and do everything with our bodies. So, in some way our entire life should be a work for God, a “liturgy”. Since the family is considered a “domestic church” (i.e., a home church), the entirety of family life can exist to the glory of God.
Well, imagine all the work that goes into family life! The financial support parents provide. The training of children in right moral living. Learning what love requires in family relationships. Honoring parents. Showing mercy to children. Chores. Family fun together. Prayer and other spiritual activities. None of it escapes God’s domain. And all of it, therefore, can be part of the “Liturgy of Domestic Church Life”. Certainly there will be more to come on this theme!
Have a blessed week! Stay holy and stay safe!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,
dibus Iesu et Mariae, Father Poggemeyer