The idea of homesteading, certainly the term as borrowed from historical renditions, calls to mind picturesque agrarian practices – the prairie lifestyle. The imagery abounds with considerations largely of the products of labor – raw milk, abundant produce, ruminant animals traversing the lands and more. Often, the visuals create an appealing landscape for inspiration. Between hatching chickens, milking cattle and seed planting, the pursuits of the homestead are often birthed and nurtured.
The Catholic Homestead, however, is far more sturdy, and conducive to the development of heroic virtue. Its inhabitants may or may not be any degree further proficient in the spiritual life, but its intended disposition is far superior in everyway.
What is the Catholic Homestead? The Catholic Homestead is the intentional space for the fostering, promotion and defense of the individual and family towards the Beatific Vision. God is rightfully centered the cornerstone of its foundation. The Catholic Homestead is guided by and adherent to the Catholic Church, as founded by Jesus Christ and oriented towards Heaven – all praise and Glory be to God.
It is evident at this time that interest in the homesteading lifestyle is abounding. In some fashion, this must be curious and peculiar. Humans have largely abandoned the agrarian and homesteading lifestyle for urban landscapes, consistent income and pleasantries not afforded by the demands of the homestead. And, does the homestead by itself guarantee one becomes holier – of course not. It does seem, however, that now is a satisfactory time to consider the homestead lifestyle for Catholics. And if the homesteading lifestyle is what a Catholic believes God is calling him or her to, then it is important that the homestead firstly be defined by its degree of Catholicity rather than its commitment to agrarian practices.
The Catholic Homestead is a remarkable venture. The Catholic Homestead is a manner by which families can employ intentionality into their lifestyle, from the making and enjoyment of food, to the incorporation of liturgical practices and more. The homestead, especially with consideration to agrarian practices – affords a certain leisure to the natural order, discipline and the development of virtue that is often absent from modern economies and manners of lifestyle. Is it necessary for salvation – no. Is it helpful to revealing and encouraging the Catholic faith in the world today (2023)? I believe so. The Catholic Homestead it is a positive response to a world often characterized by apathy and hostility. It is a response that is not rooted in anger but in compassion, passion and charity – may God protect and guide us.
The Homesteading lifestyle is not one of ease or without great difficulty, but it does provide remarkable satisfaction and the potential for natural security. The Catholic Homestead, however, affords space not only for natural protections and the fulfillment of bodily needs, but includes an intentionality of the homestead and family lifestyle unto its proper ends – Heaven.