How do we make decisions? Do we enter into a state of unrest, losing sleep…drawing lots? Or do we enter the sanctuary to make decisions, allow the silence of our hearts to commune with God, engrave His name like a seal as a reminder of whose decision it really is? (Exodus 28:21; 28-29). Decisions should be made in contemplation, in front of the holy of holies, in the sanctuary of our hearts that have been consecrated to Jesus Christ.
We have no tossing and turning, can never be wrong when we come to Him, can move and walk in the direction of the light. But we need reminders, visuals, holy pieces, holy places that bring us to the valley of decision; to remind us, it really isn’t our decision at all…
Several days ago I was listening to a radio program on Catholic radio. On break, a tidbit from a speaker got me thinking. He was discussing how many of our children leave the faith and what may make a difference to them. A study was conducted and the findings made me turn up my radio. What made a difference? The study found that if parents had a home altar, that the chances of their children remaining faithful rose somewhere between 20-30%. I was dumbfounded. It wasn’t attributed to attending mass ever Sunday or bible reading or praying the rosary. It had nothing to do with being married or divorced. It was the presence of Jesus that reminded them who ruled the home they lived in, the reminder that their homes were living sanctuaries.
Home altars are silent. They are crucifixes and books, bibles and small vases of flowers. They are pictures of Mary and the saints, rosary beads. Or maybe for you they include something else. It can be a shelf, a table or a nook. But it is not hidden, it is out in the light. It is the shrine within your home. It is a witness to those that pass through, especially the ones that live there.
Kids will sit and pray. You may stop just to say thank you. You can bring decisions there, it will remind you who rules your home and gives you peace. It must be out in the open, it doesn’t require explanation. When the candle is lit He is there, and to your defiant teenager, not a word need be said.
Exodus 28:29, “Whenever Aaron enters the sanctuary, he will thus bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastpiece of decision over his heart as a constant reminder before the Lord.”