Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Our Little Oratory

Remember how I asked you for your input on how/where to create an oratory (prayer space in our home)?

Well, it's (mostly) put together, so I thought I'd share a few pictures.

We have this great little area behind the family room loveseat.  It's a focal point when you enter the space, and it's an area we pass by several times a day.  I chose this as the spot for our little oratory.

First, I found this fantastic teal accent cabinet from Target on sale.

Look at all of the fun colors it comes in!  I like the teal even better in person.  I am so proud of myself for picking out a color that I love instead of something safe or neutral.  

Then, I found a large paneled mirror from Home Goods that reminds me of a chapel window.  Philip helped me to hang it above the cabinet.  The room's high ceilings and the mirror make the space seem larger.

Finally, I added the finishing touches and filled the cabinets.  Here's the (nearly) finished product:

We will continue adding to the space as time goes on.  

In the left cabinet, I have the Bibles, books of saints, the Catechism, the family prayer binder, prayer journals, and other devotional materials.  

In the right cabinet, I have the kids' Bibles and other religious books, holy cards, and holy water.  I used to have all of our rosaries here, but they became what you could call a "near occasion of sin" for Mr. Harry.  He thinks all things with strings are numchucks and doesn't understand the whole "we don't throw sacramentals around" rule, so the rosaries got relocated. 

I'm still deciding what I want to put on the middle shelves.  The trouble is always those little hands and little mouths that love to throw and eat everything...  Let me know if you have a great idea for a home with young children.

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to put on top of the cabinet.  I decided on items that would expose the children to various vocations--the priesthood, religious life, and married life.  Additionally, we needed a little pretty, so I put in some fresh flowers.  Gotta love a $7.98 bouquet from Sam's!

This is a special memento from my high school days at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart.  The statue captures St. Rose Philippine Duchesne (my confirmation name!) stroking the hair of a young girl.  St. Rose Philippine Duchesne founded the Society of the Sacred Heart in America.  Her order served the Native American communities where they traveled while establishing schools.  The Native Americans called her the "woman who is always praying."  I love this tender scene between St. Rose Philippine Duchesne and the little child.  What's more beautiful than a woman happily serving the Lord by serving others? 

This image of St. John Paul II, "Totus Tuus," was done by local artist Terrence St. Hilaire.  He specializes in Catholic and patriotic fine art.  Isn't that sketch beautiful? St. John Paul II is a personal hero of mine (and the guy behind the name of this blog).  I love his model of suffering well and deep devotion to the Blessed Mother, illustrated by the Rosary in his right hand.    

Finally, I included a black and white picture of us on our wedding day alongside our unity candle.  I had this print already, but I want to get one of us from the moment of consecration during our nuptial Mass.  It's probably more fitting for a little oratory than us smooching!  We want the kids to know that marriage, just like the priesthood and religious life, is a vocation that we are called to with the aim of bringing us, our spouse, and all of our children to sanctification.  It's not just a default thing you do when you're not a priest or religious!    

I love our little oratory!  It's been a great focal point for our home, and it brings me joy every time I look at it.  The kids love having all of their Bibles and religious books set apart, and they regularly sit in the little nook area to pore over the pages of Bible stories or lives of saints.  Being able to access our prayer and devotional materials all in one convenient, prominent spot helps to make prayer the center and focus of our home.  

Do you have a little oratory in your home?  What kinds of things have you included?  How do you use the space?  

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