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The Sacramental Potential of a Home

It takes holy people, though.

Thomas Howard, “Your House as a Holy Place” in Touchstone, January/February 2024, pp. 32ff.

Howard leads us to consider how our home can become a holy place unto the Lord. Holiness has to do with separateness, with being a distinct people set apart unto the Lord. The guiding principle in a holy home is love, expressed in terms of service: My life for yours.

His point is that a home has sacramental potential, the ability to radiate the glory of God through the physical things and acts that occur there. But this entails a conscious and consistent effort on the part of all who dwell in the home to point beyond themselves and their selfish interests to the greater glory of loving God and one another.

Howard walks us through various rooms of a typical home to explain the many quotidian ways such service can be rendered and thus the holiness of God brought to light. His brief excursion is instructive, especially in his insistence that the home is the school for all meaningful learning and service as the first principle.

He could have done more to talk about the appearance of the home and the ways truth, beauty, and goodness are celebrated and displayed. But his main point about a the home being a common dwelling where, for the love of God, love of one another obtains provides plenty of food for thought.

This is a very fine article to begin a conversation about how to make our homes more like the “holy ground” God intends they should be.

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