A house outwardly displaying signs of faith

By Kristen Bourgeois

It was several years ago when my husband and I were looking to buy our first home.  During our house search, we viewed a lot of houses.  But the memory of one particular house left a lasting impression on me.  Now, we didn’t buy this house, but what was inside this house has circulated in my brain still to this day.

In this house, at every entrance to a new room was a small little ceramic piece with Hebrew letters inscribed on it.  I had never seen anything like this before, and I was curious.

A quick Google search led me to an answer. The pretty little ceramic piece was called a Mezuzah, which inside holds a piece of parchment with the Shema prayer. The Shema prayer reminds the Jewish people of Scripture from Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21 – “Hear, Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. And you shall repeat them diligently to your sons and speak of them when you sit in your house, when you talk on the road, when you lie down, and when you get up. You shall also write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

I thought the mezuzah was such a beautiful tradition, to have a reminder in your home on literally every door post of who God is and how we are to love him.

Judaism is rich in symbolism, and so is Catholicism.

Decorating one’s house with signs of our faith is deeply beautiful and personal. The priest who married my husband and I gifted us with a beautiful crucifix, and that was one of the first signs of our faith that we hung in our home. As we have lived our lives, our home has become peppered with various art forms of special devotions to certain saints and devotions.

It can become so easy to just go on with life on autopilot. But the signs of faith that are decorating our house help keep in mind who our God is and how much he loves each of us.

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