Ours is the family sofa, which also happens to be the most comfortable spot in the house. It’s old and slip covered and smells a little like Cap’n Crunch, but if you happen to put your feet up (it’s almost impossible not to) and close your eyes for longer than 30 seconds, you might as well grab one of the seven or eight quilts draped across it because you will fall asleep. But don’t worry, we don’t mind. You wouldn’t be the first to succumb to the enveloping charms of our family sofa, and we’re used to tiptoeing past sleeping/drooling family members just about any time of the day. The couch just has some sort of relaxation attraction. Which makes it the perfect family prayer corner.
A lot of folks will disagree with me on this, but I think there’s a time for being comfortable in prayer, so you can free yourself from distractions and open your mind and heart to God. I want my kids to remember family prayer as a peaceful time, a time when they feel comfortable in the presence of a loving family, and an all-loving God. I also like to help them see that when they are stressed or having a problem, prayer is the answer. So when our family prays together, we’re surrounded by candles and rosaries and holy cards and holy books and Bibles, but we’ve also got lots of pillows and blankets. At least one of us is lying on the couch, or snuggled into a big pile of pillows on the floor. (Wasn’t it Faustina who heard these words from Jesus, “Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it with peace”?)
Of course, our prayer corner wouldn’t work for everyone, but it’s right for us. I’m interested in hearing about family prayer centers, so if you’d like to share, please let me know in the comments below. And if you don’t have a prayer corner, it’s not hard to create one. It could be a comfy chair, your dining room table, your breakfast nook, or anyplace really. As long as it does honor to God, and reminds you that the heart of your home is the heart of God.
And here’s a neat photo article on prayer corners in homes, written by John, a Benedictine oblate of a Catholic monastery.