From True Men as We Need Them by Fr. Bernard O’Reilly, 1894

Paradise, As Realized in the Home of the True Man

Oh! hail, my roof-tree and threshold of my home, How glad I saw thee!

Social Importance of the Sanctities of Home Life

The Catholic Church attracts those who love the simplicity of natural manners, by the harmonies of a restored creation…

The Catholic Religion is not presented to us as separated from nature, but in conjunction with it forming a grand whole, fostering all the domestic affections with manhood, gentleness, liberality, and all the virtues which conduce to the happiness of Home, banishing not more the luxuries which militate directly against the social state in general, than the false notions of spirituality which would interfere with the free action of the natural relations.

For, as a recent author says, the beauty, peace, unity, and truth of life repose on that religious equilibrium which protects the flesh against the pride of the spirit, and the spirit against the invasions of the flesh…

In truth, nothing is so natural as Catholicity—nothing so full of heart—nothing so favorable, therefore, to all the sweets of Home.

Virgins and boys, mid-age and wrinkled elders, soft infancy that nothing can but cry, all are in the secret of its charm. —Kenelm Henry Digby

Let it not be thought that we dwell at too great a length upon this notion of Home, and all the duties and charities inseparably connected with home-life.

When one looks abroad upon the nations which once constituted Christendom, and examines seriously the causes of social and political prosperity or decay, this great fact stands forth as evidently as a bright beacon-light in the darkness over a dangerous reef:

The strength or weakness, the vitality or decadence of nations, is to be measured by the purity of their home-life, by their sacred regard for Home, its authority, and its sanctities.

Take any one people among whom Home—from that of the sovereign or chief magistrate to the lowliest and poorest citizen—is protected by law, manners, and a wholesome public opinion, against everything calculated to loosen or to weaken the sacredness of the marriage tie, the rights of parental authority as sanctioned by the Christian law and immemorial custom, or the duties of filial love and reverence— and you will find the nation distinguished for private worth, political honesty, and an enlightened love of freedom.

Abuses there may and will be in the administration of the best human institutions; but where the homes of a nation are sincerely and thoroughly Christian, public corruption must find a certain and most effective remedy in a public opinion fed by the purity and honesty of private life.

The labor bestowed on describing the Home as it ought to be, and as it still is in many Christian lands, is surely a labor well bestowed, and the pains taken to make the description of home-life so enchanting, that all may feel its charm, must assuredly be blessed of God, the Author of our nature and the unwearied promoter of its highest welfare.

Guard Inviolable the Sanctity and Privacy of the Home

In the magnificent new countries in America, Asia, and—it may be—Africa, which Providence throws open to the thrifty and over-crowded populations of Europe, it is free to every man worthy of the name, to build up a home of his own.

It was, and is still, the boast of the freeman living under the common law of England and these United States, that his home was his castle, all his own in its length and breadth, and as high as the heavens.

It must be the fault of a degenerate race, neglectful of never-to-be-abdicated rights, if the inviolability of their homes and the hallowed privacy of family life, are surrendered into the hands of the policeman or given up to the lawless curiosity of the public press.

At any rate, no one may deny that it is free to every willing and true-hearted man to create for himself a home as happy, as honored, as lasting as those visited in the present or past ages by God’s richest blessings.

Every such home should be one founded on God-given love.

“No man or woman,” says a Catholic writer, “has ever felt true love without feeling a desire to become better, and to thank God for His having given therein a foretaste of the joys of heaven.”

“Where faith (says Digby) has stamped its character on the maiden’s heart, where man is reminded of the graces of her whom he delights to serve, woman’s divine air and her countenance, her words and her sweet smile, can so separate him from all evil influences, that no obstacles upon the road to truth will be able to detain his feet from pressing forward to embrace it; and then hand in hand he is led to his second home, where love and truth made one with it, will remain with him thenceforth forever.”

This is the only sure foundation of the Home—a true mutual love hallowed by the blessing of Him who made the human heart, and tempered by the fear of His dread majesty.

“The woman was given a different assignment, that of helpmeet, mother, homemaker. We apply the word helpmeet to mean the role of the wife as she offers understanding, encouragement, support, and sometimes help. Since she is biologically created to bear children, her role as a mother is unquestioned. Her homemaking role is assumed: She must nurture her young and run the household, to free her husband to function as the provider.” -Helen Andelin

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