Art · Catholic

The breastpiece of decision

Lovely devotional home altar to the Virgin Mary with rosary beads, fresh flowers, candles, etc.:

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.”

Found the little one like this

8 thoughts on “The breastpiece of decision

  1. I have one on the counter above my sink—icons of ancient images of Christ as well as an Orthodox image of Mother and Child, a small bog carved celtic cross, a beautifully carved candle holder from the Cathedral of San Antonio in Padua, Italy received on the feast day of St Anthony, a Connemara marble carved cross, along with several figurines of sheep picked up in Ireland—
    above the sink my seem like and odd place for a bit of an altar—but it is a place that I spend a good bit of time–on and off throughout the day—-so as I mindlessly and routinely wash, I may look to see the face of the Savior looking back at me…beckoning me, consoling me, comforting me, supporting me…..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Check out the picture I just put up of my little Meadow! I found her like this when I came downstairs this morning 🙂


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