Making Christ-Centered Homes a Priority
This year I want to invite you to focus on making Christ’s love known and experienced in your home a new priority. This goal is best lived out when our focus remains on Christ and we have a heart like His. Jesus invites us to not only follow His ways, but love like He loves. In my new book, Secrets of the Sacred Heart, I share how essential this devotion is to families and how this devotion focuses on the Heart of Christ, from which all graces and love flow. The Sacred Heart desires to be in our home, to live in our messiness. This objective might sound a bit daunting but the truth is small changes can have a large impact in the life of the family.
This devotion offers families profound spiritual benefits and brings grace to all who seek His Heart. What families need to counter the challenges of our world is grace that flows from the Heart of Christ. One of the most striking words shared to St. Margaret Mary from Jesus in the 1670’s were, “Behold this Heart, which has loved so much but has received nothing but coldness, indifference, and ingratitude in return.”
The real question is, what is our response towards Jesus?
I challenge all of us to answer this question. What is the thermostat of your home, and how can we make some spiritual adjustments to get a warmer and more loving environment?
Consider this beautiful aspiration to replace your thoughts of worry and concern: Jesus, meek, and humble of Heart, make my heart like unto Thine. or Sacred Heart of Jesus, protect our families.
I want to suggest a few tips for creating a more loving home:
Don’t focus on the storms; instead, keep your eyes on Christ. (Matthew 14).
Focus on prayer – begin your day in prayer, pray throughout your day, and end in prayer. We are blessed to be able to understand that prayer isn’t just something we do at Mass, but rather it is the way we connect with Christ at any time. Pray with your family each day. “Just do it.” Don’t be discouraged; just do your best, and build this family habit.
Long live Bethany: This phrase is in reference to the town of Bethany where Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived. These were the dear friends of Jesus. Jesus shows us in the Gospel over and over again that relationships matter, and spending time with others is important as well. A more loving home not only begins with prayer, but through prayer we are better able to love and listen. Turn off the screens and spend time with your family. Make sure that as parents, you have good eye contact and ask your children important questions like, “what do you think we can do around here to make our home more loving?”
Create a family culture and affirm traditions. Family time is essential for creating better bonds. Ask your children to help; not because “they should” but because you need their help. What traditions can you start this year, such as ice cream on Sundays or something else creative and fun? Make memories to last for generations.
Promote the virtues of the heart of Jesus: Compassion, mercy, forgiveness, love, kindness, humility – seek to live out the virtues that flow from the heart of Jesus.
The 12 Promises are a great roadmap to the spiritual world: They are a way to better understand and strive for not only a personal prayer life but a family that lives out a devotion to the Heart of Jesus. Peace in your home, safe refuge in life and death, blessings on your undertakings, an infinite source of mercy, and restored and enlivened faith for those who surrender themselves wholly to Christ are some of the promises offered.
Expose and honor His heart: Consider welcoming Jesus into your life through Enthronement. Jesus invites us to come to Him with our burdens, and he will make them light. Enthronement of the Sacred Heart is forming a family covenant with the Lord and inviting you and your imperfect family to begin these steps. Visit www.WelcomeHisHeart.com to learn more about Enthronement.
Don’t give up: Keep affirming the importance of faith, manners, and kindness to your children. Never lose hope, do not despair over the state of your family’s faith life. Instead, take the advice of St. Padre Pio, “Pray, hope, and do not worry.”
As we pause and evaluate the thermostat of our home, we need not be overwhelmed, but instead thank the Lord for this opportunity to grow in His love, to change patterns, to be people of hope. Love heals all. The Sacred Heart devotion is for everyone. Whether you have already consecrated your home or are newly embarking on the journey of discovering the graces of this ancient practice, you will find a personal encounter with Jesus.
This short video focuses on how we are called to not look at the big waves and dark clouds of our life but rather focus on Jesus.