Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Beauty Tuesday: Children in Church

I'm pretty late getting this up.  To be honest I have been a bit discouraged with the blog.  My time is so short all the time and the whispers of doubt keep making me toy with quitting.  Is there anyone out there that wants me to continue?  If you do, please comment so I know these words are reaching somebody.

Sunday is a workout.  Getting everyone up, dressed, and out the door is a Herculean effort every week.  It shouldn't be, we get dressed every day.  Why is it so hard to even just find socks and underwear on Sunday?  Why are the same dress shoes that you have tripped over three times during the week now no where to be found? Why?  Why is it so hard?

Then there is making it through Mass.  I regret to say that as much as I love the Mass and thrive on its nourishment, I am often just surviving it until the final blessing.  Sweaty and tired, I silently rejoice when the priest extols us to "go in peace." Alleluia, no more wrangling little ones in the pew praying no one sees the antics that are going on.  How it would hurt my heart to think my little ones are disrupting others' Mass prayers as well.  Gospel?  I think there was one.  Homily?  Oh, did I miss it.  Consecration? There must have been, it's a Mass, but honestly for me it's just a blur.

This Sunday was particularly rough.  We got to the van and the gas light was on, I promise you there had been a quarter tank the night before or I would have stopped.  Little Man was irritable and uncooperative.  Lovie-Lu was clingy and easily upset.  I was tired going in, praying for a good soul quenching Mass. I needed it so badly.  I think I heard the Second Reading, the Gospel I apparently missed because when the Homily began and our priest began to preach on the Gospel I had to figure out which one he was even referencing.

Then Lovie-Lu lost it.  She cried and screamed.  I attempted to nurse her but she couldn't settle and Little Man was suddenly so intrigued by my nursing cover that I use practically every day!  I quickly exited just before consecration. Discouraged that I am not better at managing this.  Fatigued by the lack of quiet in my life.  Standing just outside the baptistry where there are windows to look in on the altar.  I swayed and rocked the baby for the rest of Mass.  At the final blessing, I sighed a breath of resignation and relief at the same time.

That is when it happened.  Our priest hushed the choir from beginning the recessional and spoke to the parish. He acknowledged that there were a lot of children who had not been happy and had been very noisy through Mass.  (Oh dear, the screaming had been one of mine.) He invited all the children who had struggled through Mass to come up to the altar for a minute. 

Fr R proceeded to grant them a special blessing.  He turned to the full church and praised the beautiful sounds of the vocal children.  He thanked God for the blessings of each little one who had come to Mass, and he asked all the parishioners to pray for the parents who had brought them because they were working so hard to just be there each week. Fr R said, "Parents, please, bring your children to church.  This is your home.  Do not ever be ashamed to be here with these little ones.  You belong here and we welcome you always.  Jesus said, 'Let the children come to me!' You are bringing your children to Jesus and you deserve our deep appreciate and love.  Always bring your children to church. We want them here and so does God."

Thunderous applause arose throughout the church.  Those few moments were such balm to my soul, I don't know that Fr R will ever know just how much. After the Mass, I approached Father and thanked him.  I admitted that my little girl was the screamer and he blessed her so tenderly. He looked at me, said he loved hearing her beautiful voice and thanked me for coming.

Children are beautiful. They are little snips of heaven. Each is a gift, a glorious gift from our LORD.  They are His, and we owe it to them to bring them to Jesus at every opportunity. I will most likely miss a good portion of Mass this week again due to distraction and the need to discipline a very active little boy.  However, I know that my fellow parishioners, my brothers and sisters in Christ, love me and applaud my effort.  How sad it must be to have a church with no children.  They are our future and our primary mission in this life to is lead the little one to heaven.  How can we do that apart from the Mass? Let the little children come to Me....

Today is Beauty Tuesday as we have been doing this summer on Veils and Vocations.   If you have a blog post you would like to share, please add it in the comments.  Thanks.

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