By Breanna Cannon
CONNECTING FAITH AND LIFE
My family recently rented cabins in one of Georgia's state parks. We spent our vacation days hiking to beautiful waterfalls, playing in creeks and taking in the beauty that is our great country.
One morning, while we were making breakfast, all six of the little cousins were begging to go outside. Outside the front door of the cabin was a place of adventure and discovery for those little cousins. It was a place for all of them to find ways to play together and make memories. Outside also came with less exciting features: constant lookout for poison ivy; and reminders to stay close to the cabin and away from the campfire. In that moment, I realized just how significant the front door of a home or cabin really is.
A friend once told me, “I am the guardian of my front door.” She was referring not only to her physical home, but also all of the hearts and minds of those who dwell in it. What comes into the home directly affects what goes into hearts and minds.
Today, the front door of the home is open to individuals, books, music, news, computers, phones and social media; the front door is any avenue that allows influence in our home environment. We cannot control what is on the outside, so we must filter and sort out the evils of the world to keep the domestic church secure with things that are true, good and beautiful.
To be a guardian means to protect, watch over and defend. It does not mean we have to shut ourselves in our homes, never to open the door to the outside. It’s actually the contrary. Much like little children, opening the front door allows us to seek adventure and discover so many amazing things God has waiting for us.
Proverbs 20 reads, "My son, to my words be attentive, to my sayings incline your ear; Let them not slip from your sight, keep them within your heart; For they are life to those who find them, bringing health to one’s whole being. With all vigilance guard your heart, for in it are the sources of life."
“With all vigilance guard your heart.” We must remain faithful to the Word of God, defend and seek what is good, and not lose hope of what is to come.
There are many ways to guard the front door. The greatest way is to be in constant prayer and discernment. The closer we are to God, the less likely we will fall to things that do not give Him glory. We must ask the Holy Spirit to guide what content and material we allow in our homes and hearts.
It can be hard to filter the true and beautiful in our daily lives; though what we seek and contribute may be good, the ads, commercials and controlled content pushed at us are often where we encounter disturbing content. Everything we let in must first come with great discernment. If something does not give us peace, we should proceed with great caution.
Another way to guard a dwelling is to “seal the doorpost” with an image of the Divine Mercy; to place the image on the front door of our homes. This is a movement based on the writings of St. Faustina’s confessor, Blessed Father Michael Sopocko. He wrote of a promise Jesus gave to St. Faustina: “Let everyone procure for their homes this Image because there will yet come trials. And those homes, and entire families, and everyone individually who will hold this image of mercy in deep reverence, I will preserve from every sort of misfortune. The time will come when all those who do so will give witness to the miraculous efficacy and to the special protection of mercy flowing from this Image.”
Much like the front door to our cabin on vacation, there is so much adventure and hope out in our world. As the late Saint John Paul the Great said, “Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors for Christ.”