A Window to God: Five (Affordable) Ways to Bring Beauty into Your Catholic Home

Everything is all sixes and sevens around here this week, with me preparing for my annual Christmas Tree Decorating Party. This Saturday, a few dozen children and a few dozen more adults will show up in their fanciest attire to hang ornaments on my Christmas Tree, eat tiny appetizers off silver trays, and drink cocktails carefully crafted by my friend Dave. This madness has been going on for over 15 years now, and every year it gets bigger. Because I am crazy.

I’ll blog all about the party next week. This week, however, I’m returning to our ongoing theme: The Catholic Home.

Up this week: the Catholic home should be beautiful.

First Things First

Before I start talking about slipcovers and wall décor, I’ll insert the necessary qualifications…for my personal safety if nothing else.

The most important thing that can be said about cultivating beauty in the Catholic home is that the most beautiful things in your house will never be things you can buy. They won’t really be things at all. Rather, the most beautiful things in your home will be the love between you and your spouse, the children who sleep under your roof, and the faith you witness to every day through the love you give and the life you live.


Continue reading

Deck the Hall…With Traveling Graces


This is the easy one. Yay! Hurrah! Special treat for me! No hate mail today! Or maybe not. I said that last week about the “personal” post and soon found both my pretty house and my virtue maligned. Alas, such is the life of a Catholic blogger.

Anyhow, for the sane Catholic set, selling sacramentals isn’t hard. We love our statues, crucifixes, and Divine Mercy images. We know they belong in our homes….and outside too. Nothing says, “A Catholic Lives Here,” like a Marian grotto in the front yard…or the back yard if there’s no good spot for one in the front.


I’ll admit though, this need wasn’t always evident to me.

Continue reading

Housekeeping 101: Catholic Style

This is what I’m doing.

This is me doing it….starting with point number one: The Catholic Home is well-maintained. Hold fire until the end please.

When I was a little girl, my mom worked part-time in a local bookstore. She wasn’t gone much—maybe two nights a week and Saturdays. But oh, my sisters and I hated when she left.

“Don’t go, Mom,” we’d all cry in unison. “Dad’s going to make us cleeeeeeeeen.”

It didn’t work. She left, and before the car pulled out of the driveway, Dad was tossing cans of Pledge into my eight-year-old hands.

Life with my father—a former Navy man—was a life filled with cleaning. There are pictures of my sister Annmarie and I, ages 4 and 7, standing on chairs at the sink washing the dishes. We also scrubbed bathrooms, mopped floors, and dusted furniture well before we reached double digits.

It’s not like we grew up in a museum. We spread Legos on the floor and built forts with blankets. We just had to take care of the messes we made. Or hear about it.

Not surprisingly, as a child, I thought my parents’ predilection for order and cleanliness was a horrible plot devised to torture me. As an adult, however, I couldn’t be more grateful. They taught my sisters and I that having things was a privilege, not a right, and that if we wanted nice things, we had to care for them.

From them, we learned responsibility, discipline, and stewardship. We also enjoyed the peace and security that comes from living in a clean, well-ordered home. That’s a peace we all continue to try to cultivate today in our own homes.



The Why Continue reading