Hi, I’m Andrea
I”ve been blogging for a while under different guises, my latest creation still remains as a sister site to this at La Maison du Sacré Coeur. Whether you’ve joined me from there or you’ve found me anew let me welcome you to this new (old) project.
You see, for a long time now I’ve felt that I wanted to embed the Truth of Who Jesus Christ was and what His Church teaches throughout the liturgical year into our own little Domestic Church.
You know what strikes me about the Old Testament? How specific God is about how Israel should remember. Each year they had to carry out rituals that encompassed mind, body and soul; the intention being that from generation to generation the Truth of what happened would not only be communicated, but in some way experienced by their descendants.
Of course each time Israel grew materially comfortable these annual times of remembrance were discarded by some, routinely carried out without the right intention by others and, worse, entered into only for the pleasurable benefits for others. After all, Judaism has its feasts as well as its fasts too!
When they faced persecution though they returned to them, crying out to Yahweh God their Saviour for mercy, deliverance, redemption. Doesn’t this pattern sound familiar? We may be of the grafted in branch of Gentiles, but humanity is humanity. Fallen in nature.
When you consider it Jesus was born into just such a time of persecution. Under the boot of Caesar, Jews were persecuted. Some submitted to the state, others sought earthly means of liberation like Barabbus.
Jesus was divine, but he was human too. The site Cold Case Christianity (J. Warner Wallace) outlines the early heresies about the nature of Christ and the most significant for what we are talking about here are defined as;
Apollinarianism (4th Century)
This heresy denied the true and complete humanity of Jesus, because it taught He did not have a human mind, but instead had a mind that was completely Divine. The heresy lessened the human nature of Jesus in order to reconcile the manner in which Jesus could be both God and man at the same time.
Leader(s) in the Heresy: Appollinaris the Younger (bishop of Laodicea in Syria), 360AD
Corrector(s) of the Heresy: The Council of Constantinople in 381AD
Eutychianism [Monophysitism] (5th Century)
This heresy taught Jesus’ humanity was absorbed by His divinity. The heresy is Monophysite in nature, derived from the Greek words “mono” (“one”) and “physis” (“nature”). In essence, the heresy claimed Jesus had only one nature (something new and different than the Divine or human nature that God and humans have, respectively). Instead, this heresy taught a third unique nature was possessed by Jesus; a blend or mixture of the human and the Divine.
Leader(s) in the Heresy: Eutyches of Constantinople (380 – 456AD)
Corrector(s) of the Heresy: The Fourth Ecumenical Council in Chalcedon in 451AD. The Chalcedonian Creed addresses this heresy.
Monothelitism (7th Century)
This heresy emerged in response to the Monophysite heresy (see above), but it also taught something denied by the Scripture. The name is derived from a Greek root that means “one will”. Monothelitism taught Jesus had two natures but only one will. Instead of having two cooperative wills (one Divine and one human), Jesus had one Divine-human “energia”.
Leader(s) in the Heresy: Patriarch Sergius I of Constantinople (610 – 638AD)
Corrector(s) of the Heresy: The Third Council of Constantinople; the Sixth Ecumenical Council (680 – 681AD)
The nature of Christ is Truly Human and Truly Divine, as taught by the Church for millennia. As a result His mind and will had to be taught, wisdom had to be nurtured. Living in times of fear and political powerlessness Jesus’ community remembered and hoped in the manner in which God had prescribed for them. We know this because in the early part of the narrative of Jesus’ life Mary and Joseph did all that was requested of them along with their community.
We know too that Mary and Jospeh did these things with their hearts firmly placed int he hands of God; she said yes in faith to the angel and so did following his dream.
It was into this type of Domestic Church that Jesus’ human nature was formed. It is this example we must follow.
We live in a culture that is increasingly antagonistic towers the Christian faith. There are times that I feel impotent in the face of it – particularly as I am married, happily thankfully, to a man who does not share my faith and does not always view the world in the same way that I do. My faith has grown significantly since before my marriage, with a conversion experience just a year and two weeks after we got married.
He is a wonderful person, a better one than I am (although God is changing me). We share the same goals of developing and loving our children most of the time, but in this most significant goal we do not.
When I contemplate on this I am further disheartened when I consider my own weak, selfish nature. Like the disciples I fall asleep even when I know there is danger at hand.
Like the Holy Family I live in a foreign land, though not one that is as hostile. We have our home here in France. For the last year I’ve blogged about transforming our home with all the talents I have for DIY, sewing, crafting, brocante hunting…you name it, I’ve used what skills I have.
I’ve also used them for creating decorations to celebrate the feasts, including the Holy Days of Obligation. It’s from this that I’ve evolved a desire to develop a lived experience of the faith in our Domestic Church; one that I hope will sanctify and nourish all my families souls.
I want this to be a joyful experience, so that we feel the Peace of Jesus in our home. So that we become the monstrance that present Jesus to the world.
I want to strengthen them by a deeper understanding of the Truths of the faith so that they have confidence in their veracity in a world that not only doubts that, but is beholden to ideologies contrary to it.
I want their knowledge of what the Church teaches to have such clarity for them that they are able to defend their faith against this hostility.
Nevertheless, God did not just outline feasts for the Israelites – He outlined fasts as well. A Domestic Church must include and I would argue that the need for this is more necessary for now.
As the culture continues to grow in hostility to the Truth there will be times that we will have to choose; material comfort, status, acclaim or Christ?
Many who hear me talk in this way may think I’m melodramatic, or that Christians are the persecutors not the persecuted. Yet Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world, and we have seen in all of the west how when one Christian denomination has fallen out of favour of the powerful the other has been persecuted to death. It is not division within a religion that causes this in developed countries either; look at the persecution of Christians under the Terror of the French Revolution, within the Soviet and other communist regimes, and yes, under Nazism.
The Church is now small and weak. We the remnant must prepare for unpleasant times even as we may still have plenty of material things. The decorations I produce cost money and if you do not have any to spare please use them as a starting point to think of viable options for you and share them with us on here. I also plan to include activities for children, menu plans for liturgical feasts, ideas for fasting with children and organisation tools to help you access the depths the Church offers within her liturgical year. Please, again, if you have alternative ideas share them – I will provide a space for you here on the site.
You see, this is my Benedict Option. Living in a country as an immigrant, communicating in a second language and as the sole parental believer I need to connect with the Body of Christ. I’m hoping this space provides a place for those who need to connect with that body too.
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having… Read more
Some of these tips will help anyone organise their Christmas decorations, but some will help you focus your next advent season on Christ for you and your family. How? By having your decor organised so that it’s easy to identify, and within easy reach.
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