Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Home-Made Prie Dieu (Kneeler)

Here's a shot of my recording studio (and hopefully  prayer room) in the basement. I found the picture of The Sacred Heart of Jesus in a junk shop in Titusville, PA this past winter for 7 dollars. The kneeler is a project I was working on for months and finally finished. 
      I have found that many Catholics have an area set aside for prayer and they call them their "family altars" or "home altars." Kneeling during prayer is a way to get our body in correct alignment with our soul in order to pray more effectively. It's all about ultimately being in the right frame of mind. Since our flesh is intimately tied to the soul and spirit, we have these gestures in Catholicism, genuflection, bowing, kneeling etc. to  improve our ability to commune with God. These are not dead rituals, but beautiful expressions of our desire to place our bodies along with our hearts and mind in position to worship, intercede and give thanks.
   Now back to a "family altar." Just to clarify, we don't actually sacrifice anything of course other than offering up our sacrifice of praise and sufferings as well, but  it's a sacred place we can set apart to pray. I find it less distracting to be able to get away a bit. Some folks have candles they light in front of icons or statues they use as touch points of prayer and the image of the sacred heart is one of those for me. I don't worship this image (since that would be breaking one of the big ten) but I use it to direct my thoughts to Him when I get distracted in prayer, which is not an uncommon phenomenon in our overstimulated society.*
    Do you have a favorite place to pray when you can't be in Church before the Blessed Sacrament?

*The top of the prie-dieu  is cedar that I had left over from my last hammer dulcimer and the sides are scrap pine I had laying around in the garage. So when I am praying the smell of a yellow #2 pencil comes wafting up to my nostrils and I think of elementary school and hammer dulcimers...ooops there I go getting distracted again!


Blogger Deborah said...

Love it!

June 12, 2011 8:20 PM  
Blogger Shirley said...

I'd love to have a Prie Dieu, I've wanted one for years. Guess I'll have to make one too.My normal place of prayer at home is at the kitchen table so I can spread my books out, or in my home office, which has plenty of framed pictures to help with my devotion.

June 12, 2011 10:35 PM  
Blogger Magister Christianus said...

This is beautiful! As a self-taught woodworker (and believe me, it is pure avocation...I am no Norm Abrams or Roy Underhill!), I am interested in the dimensions and type of wood you used. Would you consider posting your plans?

June 13, 2011 2:59 PM  
Anonymous russ said...


will try to write up and scan the plans! irdonder

June 13, 2011 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Mark J said...

Beautiful craftsmanship!

June 14, 2011 5:17 PM  
Anonymous russ said...


June 14, 2011 9:15 PM  
Blogger daniel2u said...

I am full circle catholic also. I just looked on line to see if I could make my own homemade kneeler. I am a little prayer space dedicated to St. Therese Lissieu. I want to make it very special yet simple. The one you have is great. God Bless you and welcome home to the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

May 11, 2012 10:14 PM  

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