Bye Bye Dust!

When spring arrives, the swallows return. New plants sprout from the earth: fragile yet resilient. A gentle breeze blows through the open windows. It’s the season of renewal, of awakening, of life… and of spring cleaning! At least, that’s what we used to do to give our homes a fresh look.

Before summer begins, I recommend you perform a small, practical exercise which doubles as a way to honour Saint Brother André. My suggestion: rejuvenate the entrance to your home! This idea comes from a publication by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) 2010, to mark Brother André’s canonization. It proposed six ways to pay tribute to the new saint through simple, everyday acts. I chose the most original, and certainly most popular idea at a time when home staging is in vogue.

Fenêtre fleurie

Credit : Nathalie Dumas

Refresh the entryway of your home… but why and how, you may ask? “Saint Brother André was a doorkeeper, and the lobby was his post; the place where he would nudge people toward the Lord. The doorway to your home is your way of welcoming the world. A bit of paint or a thorough cleaning are excellent ways to express your devotion to our saintly doorkeeper,” it explained. So, I invite everyone to take out the broom, bucket and dust rag, shake out the doormat, and make the windows and door handle sparkle to make the entrance of your house a more welcoming place. And if you add some flowers… so much the better!

This concrete act can cause us to reflect on how we receive others. Does our door open easily and without creaking? Does the fear of encountering the other and the unknown keep us from crossing the threshold? Is our entrance jammed with this, that and everything or does it have a touch of beauty? Are we accessible? Cheerful? Available? Ready to serve? Open?

The words of Saint Paul (Romans 12: 10-13) still ring true today. “Love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the holy ones; may your house be one of welcome.” And the house in question is your heart.