I was delighted this morning, to hear the words of our parish priest during his homily. He was saying that as Catholics, we use all our senses in our search for God. That is how we were "fearfully and wonderfully made" by our Creator. We are called to "guard our senses", especially in this media-saturated age. We are to avoid watching and listening to things that will weaken our faith and instead, fill our senses with images and music that lift our hearts and minds to the Lord.
Our priest also said that we should not be ashamed to put up our crucifixes, Mary and saint statues in our homes. Do not minimize such things as "old fashioned" and especially not "intolerant." Surrounding ourselves with spiritual art, music and literature is especially important in this age of spiritual "meltingpot-ism". A Catholic home should be obviously Catholic to anyone who walks in . Our homes are the center of the Domestic Church.
Along with the visual reminders of statues, pictures and crucifixes, don't forget music and media. If you are someone who has, or is thinking of getting satellite radio, consider getting one that has a Catholic channel (Sirius has 2). If you have cable TV, ask your local cable company to carry a Catholic television channel such as EWTN. Imagine, being able to fill your ears and your mind with your faith instead of with the hopelessness of today's secular media.
Don't forget, as well, the senses of smell and touch. Try praying the rosary or a chaplet using rosary beads. The soothing feel of the beads as they pass through your fingers is calming and centering and really helps with focus. The repetitive prayers are a wonderful way to reach out to God when we have no words of our own. We are like a little child reaching our hands out to our Mother when we feel overwhelmed. While you are praying, or doing spiritual reading, try burning incense. The sense of smell has been proven to evoke long forgotten memories buried deep within the subconscious.
We should be as proud of our Catholic heritage as we are of our particular ethnic heritages and do everything in our power live and pass along that heritage to future generations.