Fonticulus Fides

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Yeah, that was my kid at Mass on Sunday...

As any Catholic knows, Sunday the 6th was the Feast of the Transfiguration. So the “regular” Gospel reading got bumped, and it was the first part of John 6. John 6 usually takes three Sundays to cover, and well it should because it establishes the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

We have a new priest residing in our parish – he’s not our pastor, but a hospital chaplain, and he is sharing the rectory with our pastor and the chaplain for the rehabilitation hospital. But both chaplains celebrate Mass and hear confessions at our parish, and we are glad to have them.

Anyway, our new Father M is rather young and very enthusiastic about celebrating Mass. He is also a fine homilist, and when I found he was celebrating the Mass we attended Sunday (the 13th), I was looking forward to what he had to say. He had sort of smooshed together two homilies in one and covered both this week’s and last week’s John 6 passages.

He was getting rather excited as he was going through the passage and explaining this or that, and at one point compared the Protestant interpretation of communion with the Catholic Sacrament of the Eucharist. It was very interesting. It was so quiet out in the pews, it seemed that everybody was hanging on his every word. And as he made his final comparison, he practically shouted, “Do you see the difference?”

One small voice piped up. “No!”

It was Lola. My Lola. My funny two-and-a-half-year-old Lola, who somehow inherited perfect comedic timing.

All around us, hands were clamped over mouths to hide smiles and snickers. My hand was over my mouth, too. My husband, who was actually holding Lola on his lap at the time, buried his grin into the back of her hair and did his best to shush her without laughing.

Father M just kept right on going.

Later on in the afternoon, I was having a conversation with Zooey about his lack of participation in Mass. I know he’s only seven, but as I said to him, “Saying the Our Father is easy for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re tired or you don’t feel like praying, you should pray it because it’s easy for you. And the less you want to do it, the more of a sacrifice to God it is when you do do it, and God will accept and honor your sacrifice.”

Besides, he will be receiving instruction for his First Penance and First Holy Eucharist this year at school, and I want him to be in the habit of participating in Mass, not daydreaming.

After my bit, Zooey was apparently considering the magnitude of God. He said to me, “God is so huge and so much bigger than the world, when He looks at us, we’re just tiny little specks.”

I nodded my head in agreement, because I think from Zooey’s seven-year-old perspective, that’s probably a fair statement. Then I added, “But God’s sight is so much better than ours is, even though we are just tiny specks, He can see more about you than I can. He knows everything about you and can see every little atom in your body.” (Zooey already knows what atoms are.)

Zoo mulled this over and asked, “Can God see in three directions at once?”

“I think God can see millions of directions at once,” I answered.

I need to have more conversations like this with my kids. Maybe next time we go to Mass, Zooey will be thinking about that and he will pray the Our Father because he wants to, not just because it’s easy for him and a good thing to do.

--Sparki

3 Comments:

  • It's a struggle to get my 6 yr-old son into Mass either. He's fairly distracted with all the goings on in the cryroom (and the toys), that it's tough to get him to focus on what's going on in the sanctuary. C'est la guerre.
    Still, I'll bet he's the only one in his upcoming Kindergarten class that knows what 'Theotokos' means. That, and I'm sure that his teacher will also be getting on him to do the 'Sign of the Cross' in English instead of Latin. Kids today..

    By Blogger St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse, at 2:23 AM  

  • Jimbob, your boy must be telling you it's time to move out of the cry room, I guess. Good thing that there are many families at your parish, and none of the priests there mind the occasional voice of a small child. We did on occasion attend St. Teresa's when we were a bit too late for the 9:30 Mass at St. Mary's. But now they've changed the schedule and we have a 10 a.m. Mass, too.

    Still...I don't know the secret of getting a 6-year-old boy involved in Mass!

    By Blogger Sparki, at 11:37 AM  

  • Cryrooms are anathema!

    [well, maybe for nursing babes in prudish parishes, they will do.....)

    JimBob, my presumptious prescription:
    Move asap to the front pew, where six-year-old can see and hear everything (not just grownup backsides). Get him an illustrated missal or Magnifikid to read the evening before Mass. And if your parish has Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, enroll him. And watch him bloom!

    By Blogger Karen Marie, at 9:33 PM  

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