4th Sunday of Lent (did you know that Sundays are not included in the 40 days of Lent?)
Chapter 4 of A Covenant with God
Building a strong family for Christ. That is what Des and I are striving to do. We try to pray as a family every night (though there are some nights we are so tired, we all just fall asleep). And most nights our eldest reminds us that we have forgotten to pray. We try to go to Mass…. wait… no that’s wrong. We try to pay attention at Mass with 2 little girls running around, playing, eating and sometimes screaming.
I am actually torn between 2 lines of thought. One is to bring the kids to Mass even if they do not understand. Because they will learn from example. But that causes other people to be distracted when they get rowdy. And it also causes us to sometimes miss parts of the Mass to bring them out for fresh air, or other things.
Another line of thought is to not bring them until their First Communion – when they’ve had the proper formation and understand what the Mass is all about. This way, you can listen and participate at the Mass, and at the same time the kids attend at the proper time.
I know faith is done by osmosis, or from seeing and following the example of their parents. That’s why so many kids are growing up nominal in their faith. Because they don’t see it in their parents – who might be nominal themselves; or don’t see their parents at all!
For now, we are bringing the kids to Mass. Practical reason is because we can’t leave them at the house alone. That would be irresponsible. We just have to make sure they are “prepped”. Meaning, they aren’t grouchy from just waking up; or hungry; or bored (so they have toys). And, if they do get too rowdy or excited, then one of us brings them out (just outside the chapel) for a little talk. It has worked so far. And no one has screamed at us for having noisy kids…. yet (oh how I imagine that day sometimes).
And hopefully these small steps will make our kids better Catholics. Because they learn from us – their parents (the most important people in their lives) – and not their ka-barkada (who doesn’t know any better than them) or their liberal school teacher.
Next step…. school! Let’s see how this goes.