Trying to go to Mass together as a family.
With my handicapped van again in the shop, I’m not in my wheelchair, so Mass is back to being difficult. We’ve been taking turns the past few weeks.
I sat in the car with Joe and Clara with the air on, listening to prayers and hoping they’d go to sleep. When I thought it was too late to risk missing Communion, I got them out of the car and went in. In fact, the priest was just beginning the Consecration.
We sat down with Mary and the girls. Both Joe and Clara refused to sit in my lap. Clara was OK, but Joe started jabbering. Now, the real problem is, he wasn’t being “bad,” per se, in that he was focusing. He just wanted to know what was going on. He was pointing to all the pictures, and saying, “Oh, Mommy! Jesus is being hurt!” That sort of thing.
Mary kept trying to quiet him down. Some old woman in front of us with her hair dyed maroon turned around and loudly “Shh”‘ed.
After another moment or two, she angrily got up and walked away.
As always, it makes no sense that we are a Church that claims to be pro-life, claims to encourage large families, claims to oppose contraception and abortion, yet does *NOTHING* to help families. Instead, the contraceptors and NFP Nazis alike look down their noses, in spite of everything every papal document says and families and the role of the Church as community.
Meanwhile, tons of heretical protestant communities get lots of members because they have “children’s services” and so forth.
I’m the last one to suggest we change the Mass to be more ‘entertaining’ for kids–indeed, my experience shows that my kids behave better the more traditional the liturgy is (and also that the parishioners are more accepting of kids the more traditional the liturgy is). Yes, some people have kids who are naturally well-disciplined–and among my fellow homeschoolers the same people we envy for their well-behaved kids will say they wish their kids were as outgoing as our kids are. And
Then we came home, and, in honor of Fathers Day and the Month of the Sacred Heart, we said the Byzantine Moleben to Jesus over the dinner table. Clara had to go to her room for being disruptive, but came back and sat quietly when given a second chance. Joe was disruptive. Allie and Gigi prayed the responses and offered their own petitions when it was time.
Then I got out the Fr. Lovasik Best Loved Saints and Gigi, just having finished Kindergarten, read the first page with my help on the big words. Given the fact that she can actually see, she’s reading much better than Allie was at this age.
Allie then read the second page but wasn’t interested in reading given that she and Clara were dancing to the religious music–both classical and contemporary–I had playing.
When Allie and Gigi were little, we took them to Mass. After a while, we broke down and used the cry room, in spite of my resistance to it. There was a time when Allie wouldn’t go to sleep unless she’d at least watched Mass on EWTN, if we hadn’t actually gone. Back then, we said, “to heck with anyone who criticizes us,” because we were doing what Jesus commanded: “Let the little children come to Me.”
Now, we have two girls who are absolutely pious.
It’s gotten harder with Joe and Clara–particularly Joe. Lately, he’s been saying he doesn’t believe in God, and we think it’s because he’s already come to see Mass as something negative.
Keep him out of Mass, and we risk not building that habit, building that love for Mass we’ve developed in his older sisters; try to take him to Mass, and it’s put up with the comments and dirty looks and scrutiny, while still making him think of Mass as something bad because we have to discipline him for just being interested in his own special way.
I mean, if someone exclaims, looking at the Stations of the Cross, “Oh, poor Jesus!” Shouldn’t that be a time to say, “Amen,” not “Shh?”
But it should would be nice if the Catholic Church practiced what it preached.