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Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Notes from the Trip: Teachable Moments

(Written Sunday, May 25 at 12:15 PM in our little mountain cabin; to be posted once we get a web connection.)

We went Saturday Evening Mass at the little Catholic Church that we visit each year. For his Corpus Christi homily, Fr. addressed the incarnation by talking about how we would present ourselves for invitations to dine at the White House, at Buckingham Palace, or for an audience with the Pope. He then talked about Jesus being present here, and Jesus having invited us all there to meet him. Izzy and I weren't sure if the congregation was being admonished to be more reverent, dress better (clothing appropriate for a Papal audience was mentioned) or what? It's a pretty casually dressed Parish -- who knows? Since Padre will do Masses at two more churches tomorrow, it's also possible that this sermon will have been written for one of them, more than for this location.

The woman in front of us, with the less-than-controlled three or four year old grandchild, likely couldn't hear or focus on a homily on decorum. It's got to be very difficult to parent and provide religious formation in the pew. Unfortunately, I think she missed a great teachable moment.

During the homily, Little Guy perked up and paid attention just once: Padre was describing Old Testament sacrifices and the priests' sprinkling of blood over the congregation. He then turned to John 6 and talked about drinking Christ's blood. Little Guy's eyes got bigger, then rolled; he made a yucky face, then resumed playing with his sippy cup and moving between the pews.

During Communion, Little Guy looked up at the line of people waiting to receive and asked:

“Are they going to drink blood?” (Blood was said more like

Grandma, reacting from tiredness and likely trying to avoid more yucky faces, said:
"It's just wine."

Older sister looked a bit confused, then repeated
"Oh, it's just wine."
I wondered if I would have had the patience to say, at least to the older child: "No, it looks like wine and tastes like wine, but it's actually Jesus’ blood." Or maybe, to have said that to Little Guy, before trying again to sit him down with the quieter toy he had brought but ignored.

All we could surmise, and agree on afterwards, was that this woman (a convert herself whose sons now attend the Brethren church and whose husband shows up for C&E) would not be raising Catholic grandkids.

It made me even more impressed with the parenting and religious education I see from parents and grandparents in our own Parish. It's not easy, and God bless those who are making it their business to bring up their children and grandkids in the faith.


Mattheus Mei said...

The things that come from the mouths of babes....

St. Izzy said...

Same g'ma wasn't too terribly concerned about her boys going to a bretheren church because, "it's all the same God, right? There's not any difference."