Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Children and Mass

I came across this beautifully written paragraph the other day regarding children and the mass in the book "A Little Way of Homeschooling" by Suzie Andres.
"A good lady I know once made a wonderful comparison; she likened learning to love the Mass to learning to love the symphony. Children won't learn to love the symphony by being forced to attend and sit still and to "appreciate" the music. Instead, exposing them to the music you love, talking about the instruments, and teaching them about great composers is much more likely to get them interested and to develop in them the same love for music that you have.
Mass is just like that. If a parent truly loves the Mass and believes it is heaven on earth, the children can't help but fall in love with it too. Just like the symphony, however, having daily Mass attendance forced probably will not help the children develop the love for God that is already written on their hearts. When we totally fall in love with Jesus, then we want to spend time with Him, and we want to learn about His Church."
I thought this was such a magnificent comparison. It really is true when you delve further into children and teaching anything for that matter. They will love what you love and what you spend time showing them. I liken the analogy to sports also. We are Nebraska football fans. We watch every game, yell at the TV, buy jerseys of our favorite players, make great food on Saturdays to celebrate. Guess What? Our children love Nebraska football. As the second eldest of ten children, I was able to witness first hand the announcement of each of my new siblings.. My parents always told us with delight and excitement. So, my brothers and sisters associate babies as being something good. We all still throw a party every time somebody is pregnant no matter if we know you or not. When I was growing up, babies were GREAT news.
I have just started focusing my attention a little bit more during mass to MY participation and attention to detail of my responses, how well I sing, how long do I genuflect before going in the pew. I try to smile at the kids during mass and hold their hand. We are shifting a little from the "perfect mass" attendance posture and focusing more on the true meaning of the Holy Mass.  John always tells the kids "Every Sunday is a little Easter."   Just like teaching them to love other things, I pray they love the mass.
I know this is a small detail, but instead of announcing "Alright, we are going to mass at Noon. Please get your shoes on." I have started saying, "Who wants to go see my friend with me?"

10 comments :

  1. This reminds me of a grace--really, a kind little correction, by our Father--given to me one day when I had my little one at Mass. While the Host was being elevated, I used to poke Liam and say, "Look, there's Jesus! Tell Him you love Him." One day, however, I saw how wrong that was to be MAKING Liam (even though he was still really just a baby) "say" that. Now whenever the Host is elevated, if my tenacious toddler is near, I try to gently coax him near and say, "Look! There's Jesus! HE loves you."

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  2. Love this, Lindsay!
    And I like Laura's witness of the Blessed Host also. I'll have to start that. I used to tell them to get ready for the miracle.
    Peace!

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  3. Love this, Lindsay!
    And I like Laura's witness of the Blessed Host also. I'll have to start that. I used to tell them to get ready for the miracle.
    Peace!

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  4. Love it. We do that, too--thinking of your last paragraph. We say excitedly (because I AM excited) "We're going to go see JESUS!" I also completely agree with your explanation of how kids receive the news of a new sibling. If the parents are excited, the children will be as well. I do not remember my parents expressing excitement with the announcement of a new baby. It always seemed they were tired, put out, and apologetic. But when we told our children about #6 (and all the ones before) we were giddy, excited, and so were they. They were/are over the moon! It was like Christmas morning but in the spring! Well said, Lindsay.

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  5. beautiful thoughts - thank you so much for sharing! i love the unabashed zeal that children have, and when they imitate the zeal of their parents it really reminds me to be intentional about being excited for things (holidays, new babies, Mass, etc.). our two year old son squeals with joy as we pull into the church parking lot before Mass and starts singing "a-way-woo-ya" as he kicks his little legs. the world would be such a better place if we all imitated the zeal of a child more often!

    as a side note, i have been a follower of your blog for a while, but have never posted a comment. it was recommended to me by a friend, and i absolutely love it! your words and pictures always encourage and inspire me to love my husband and two little boys better each day. may God bless you and your little ones! always look forward to more posts...

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  6. I read that book fairly recently, and for some reason, this quote didn't stand out to me at the time. Thanks so much for drawing my attention to it, and sharing your own reflections!

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  7. That was one of the main points that struck me about that book also. Children are so observant and ABSORBANT. Like little sponges, they are. Thanks for the great post.

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  8. Thank you for posting this! I needed to hear it. I go to daily mass twice per week with my little ones, and it is a great reminder that teaching them to love the mass--and their faith--starts so fundamentally with ME. :)

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  9. These kids are the beautiful kids in this world , Specially two little girls , They are amazing . God Bless you my child

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