I've realized that one of the reasons I've been having trouble with prayer the past few weeks is that I have no images around to lift my heart to God. I do have a beautiful home, beautiful surroundings, and a beautiful family to remind me of His presence. But it's also easy for me to forget Him when I'm not glancing at artwork reflecting Him throughout the day.
We have a lot of religious pictures and statues...things we've collected over the years which could make our home appear to be a chapel! I sometimes wonder what my non-Catholic friends think when they come into our home and see our little family altar with Mary statue and candles.
I love to wake in the morning, get the girls settled with breakfast, and then spend some time relaxing on the sofa and meditating and journaling on His love while reading and looking at the artwork around me. Even a beautiful painting by my grandmother which isn't religious in nature helps to lift my heart and mind.
Some criticize Catholics' devotion in praying "to" (with) statues and pictures. But it's really no different than the photos I have throughout my house of family and friends. Religious images help me to remember Christ and those who followed him so fully (the saints), just as my framed photographs help me to recall the friends and family I hold so dear. Yesterday I put up our Christmas cards and pictures on the fireplace mantle and some framed photos on the bookshelf. It makes the place feel more like home and brings a smile to my face when I see the sweet childrens' smiles.
So I'm much looking forward to putting up some of our artwork, statues, crosses, and crucifixes throughout the house. In fact, I'm going to go unpack a box right now so that my MOST important family members can be viewed in honor!