Sunday, June 22, 2014

Making a "Little Oratory".........a lovely book to read

I read about this little book on a lovely blog that I follow and I decided to purchase it.  It really is a beautiful and helpful book.
I also discovered that I have been doing most of what they suggest quite naturally for years now.  My own mom always had a theme for the dining room table, which was her chosen "Little Oratory".  She had different colored place mats and table cloths for the liturgical season. No doubt her many years with the Ursuline Sisters in Quebec as a student in their school had a great effect on her.  

Monastics live the liturgy as no other group can.  It is revealed in their altar decorations and even in simple shrines around the monastery.  I think my mom soaked all of that in and brought it to her family.    She had very beautiful little statues and pictures arranged there.  Our family naturally followed the seasons by watching that table change from month to month.  I can still hear my Dad's voice as he blessed the Advent Wreath on the First Sunday of Advent with a flourish of sprinkled Holy Water to deepen the solemnity of the coming days.  I see the painted gold eggs that my sister so delicately decorated at Easter reminding us of new birth........the statue of Divine Mercy wreathed in lilies.  It really is quite true that these kinds of customs seep into a child and carry them into their own adult life.
Here are some ideas  from my own "Little Oratory".  I have chosen the buffet in the dining room as it is passed by a hundred times a day by all of us and seemed like a good place for reminders that "God is with us".  
The writers of the book also suggest a little incense. I have never thought of that before, but I might get some.  Incense always brings to mind the otherness of God.  All these things have reminded me anew that our souls are mysteriously and profoundly informed by what our senses take in.  Color, scent, feel, taste, sounds.  It is so important that we provide the beautiful things to our children.  So their souls can find Him who their hearts seek. 

I recommend this little book to everyone.  It is a very peaceful read early in the morning when no one is awake yet except the birds.


  1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful post! You are blessed to have memories to draw on, and your home is so warm, holy, and inviting. God bless!

  2. Thank you Leila! I love your book and your blog!