In this article I describe how it is prayer, above all, that binds families together; and the most powerful form of prayer we can pray in the home is the liturgy of the hours. Furthermore, with the father leading the prayers, we are opening the way for a powerful driving force that has effect not only within the family but also beyond the four walls of our home.
I first posted this exactly three years ago. It was in part a desire to see this home-based driving force for change that lead to the writing of the book on prayer in the home, The Little Oratory.
The word Oratory, incidentally means in English ‘House of Prayer’. When I used to go to the London Oratory – the wonderful Catholic church in England whose liturgy was so influential in my conversion – I used to see these words on the walls around the sanctuary: domus mea domus orationis vocabitur. It was a quote from Isaiah 56:7 which is echoed in Matthew’s gospel – my house shall be called a house of prayer, says the Lord. This isn’t the full quote, I know there’s some Latin missing there but I am handicapped by a combination of poor Latin skills and a bad memory; but here’s the point, I wanted to include at least part of it because it shows the word ‘orationis’ – ‘of prayer’ – so that you can make the connection with the title of the book.
We chose this title because we wanted to communicate the idea that even the most humble house can be transformed into a house of prayer in accordance with the ideal articulated in Isaiah, and just as the London Oratory, in all its wonderful glory does. This is how a house becomes a home, however many people live there. The book we have written, we hope, helps us to fulfill that ideal and it places fathers, when we are talking of families, once more right at the centre of family and in right relationship with all others. As one might say, the father is the head and the mother is the heart. Both are necessary!
I will be doing a series of postings over the next few weeks that draw out themes discussed in more detail in the book. Anyway, here is the article….
In the exercise of the lay office in the liturgy each person (Read More)