Daily reading of Scripture, especially the New Testament, should be joined organically to the practice of daily prayers. For in prayer we address God and in Holy Scripture God speaks to us.
The Word of God helps parents to raise their children and helps children to respect their parents. Having understood this, the family will turn to Holy Scripture as to their best counsellor.
Spiritual literature, which includes the Lives of the Saints, the works of the Fathers of the Church, and ascetical literature, favours the establishment and development of one’s personality in the grace of the Holy Spirit. As one reads spiritual literature (e.g., the Patericon of the Kyivan-Caves Monastery, or the Confessions of Saint Augustine), one learns the experience of repentance and conversion. In the process of spiritual growth, a person must walk along the difficult path of ascesis—overcoming sinful habits and temptations, and struggling with passions. This path was described by the ascetics in their works (e.g., Saint John of the Ladder in his Ladder of Divine Ascent).
Through the centuries, the most accessible and beneficial work for family reading was and remains the Lives of the Saints. In their lives, the saints are shown in a variety of situations of life that they resolve because of the sanctity of their lives—a sanctity derived from cooperation with God’s grace. Every family member’s growth in sanctity, similar to the saints, is the principal aim of the family community.
Besides the reading of religious literature, the spiritual life of the domestic church is fostered by the viewing of religious films, television programs, religious sites on the internet, and by listening to religious radio programs and recordings on evangelical themes, as well as by reading Christian magazines. All this will help the contemporary family to find eternal spiritual treasures. It will also help them to draw responsibly and constructively from authentic spiritual and cultural springs, to react against a simplistic and coarse understanding of the family, as well as erroneous views of the human person, society, and the natural environment. Thus all that is sacred and magnificent in the church building will also have its place in the domestic church.
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