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A mom is the caretaker of a huge, wonderful, potentially beautiful, critically important place! She, herself, this actual, unique person, is the single most important ‘environment’ in the lives of her children. Like Mary, like the Church, she is an atmosphere.
She is an atmosphere of affection. This is not just warm, fuzzy feelings, but her capacity to be affected, to be moved. Home is Mom’s joy infused into persons, like grace.
She is an acoustic atmosphere. Think of all the sounds she makes besides yelling, “Off with their heads!” now and then! Home is Mom’s voice lifting persons toward God.
She is an aesthetic atmosphere. All the order and beauty, color, line, pattern, radiance, and integrity of the environment she is, and the environment she creates, is the child’s first taste of love-in-formed. Home is Mom wrapped around persons like love.
With thanks for the poem, The Blessed Virgin Compared to the Air We Breathe, by Gerard Manley Hopkins, I designed this talk for the 2014 Kansas Catholic Homeschooling Conference, and will gladly present it again for you!