Home

This reflection on the home is taken from the personal journals of Father Schmemann.  May these reflections help us as we prepare for the blessing of our own homes in the season after Theophany (January 6).

I love my home, and to leave home and be away overnight is always like dying—returning seems so very far away!  I am always full of joy when I think about home.  All homes, with lit windows behind which people live, give me infinite pleasure.  I would love to enter each of them, to feel its uniqueness, the quality of its warmth.  Each time I see a man or a woman walking with shopping bags, that is, going home, I think about them:  they are going home, to real life, and I feel good, and they become somehow close and dear.

I am always intrigued:  What do people do when they do not “do” anything, when they just live?  That’s when their life becomes important, when their fate is determined.  Simple, bourgeois happiness is often despised by activists of all sorts who quite often do not realize the depth of life itself, who think that life is an accumulation of activities.

God gives us His Life, not ideas, doctrines, rules.  At home, when all is done, life itself begins.  Christ was homeless not because He despised simple happiness—He did not have a childhood, family, home—but because He was at home everywhere in the world, which His Father created as the “home” of man.  “Peace be with this house.”  We have our home and God’s home, the Church, and the deepest experience of the Church is that of a home.  Always the same and, above anything else, life itself—the Liturgy, evening, morning, a feast—and not an activity.

–Fr. Alexander Schmemann
Friday, December 14, 1973