“If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
As Christians, our lives are supposed to be our witness. In the Gospel of John (13:35), Jesus said to His disciples: “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” And this was true of the early Christians, according to Tertullian: “Look . . . how they love one another . . . and how they are ready to die for each other.”
I would like to think that my life gives some indication of my beliefs: my kids go to Catholic schools, we attend Mass regularly and are active in our church, and of course Facebook and blogging have given me a public platform to witness to my beliefs.
But I also used to take comfort in the many visible, outward manifestations of Catholicism with which we adorned our home. We didn’t just head out to the Catholic knickknack store one day and come back with a bunch of decorations; no, our collection was meaningful and gathered over several years. Almost every room in our home bore evidence of our family’s religious convictions, daily reminders of what we believe to be the real purpose of our lives.
This is a portrait of the Blessed Virgin as a child. It had a companion which I did not photograph of the Child Jesus.
And here’s the Holy Family. I purchased all of these, at different, times, from my dear friend Antoinette Fritz, the proprietor of Myrtle’s Mess in South Knoxville.
When I was a little girl, we lived across the street from two brothers from Lebanon, Hafez and Joseph (Youssef, really). Hafez and been in the U.S. for awhile, but his brother, who was a college student, was newly arrived and didn’t speak English very well. We becamse friends with them, and you cannot imagine how incredibly exotic this was in Knoxville in the 1970s. The above picture was originally a gift to my mother from Joseph.
This was the Polish Madonna that once hung in my laundry room. It was my blogging friend Dwija‘s tweet about this picture yesterday that inspired today’s blog post.
I also miss our crucifix, and the marriage cross that we received as a wedding gift that hung above our bed, and the statue of St. Patrick that I won in the Irish Basket at the St. Joseph Fall Festival, and the small print of the T.Chandler painting of our church, and the multitudes of crosses and rosaries, and more. I know that what’s in our hearts is most important, but these outward manifestations are important to Catholics, and my house feels bare and soulless without them.