Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Let's Get More Ashes!

Since our little girls have been sick, the past two weekends I have gone to Mass without them.  I have come to the discovery that when they are not there, I actually am able to focus and pay attention, but I missed them so much, that in itself was almost a distraction.

Being distracted during Mass is something that I constantly struggle with these days.  I suppose with two little children, this isn't all that surprising.  I used to worry more about the older daughter being a distraction to others, but she has been much better and she always sits with her memere, so I'm off the hook on that score.  (Ok, so maybe she isn't better and I just don't realize it since someone else is always watching her in church.  My mom will have to weigh in on that one. She does periodically come to my end of the pew and peer at her sister or lean up against me, but it isn't very often!)  Our six month old usually needs me to walk her around in the back of the church to keep her somewhat quiet.  I try to avoid the "cry room" as much as possible, mostly because it is very crowded during 10:30 Mass, but in part because the kids in there are doing whatever they want with very little supervision.  Maybe those parents are able to focus more on the Mass than I am and that is their main concern rather than whether or not their children are paying attention. 

For some reason, this has me thinking about the sacrament of Baptism along with weekly attendance at Mass.  Now, I know that there are some people who will bring their infants to Church for their baptism and then not be back until their first communion.  Quite frankly, I don't get the point.  Baptism is not just claiming the child for Christ or a merely to ensure that if, God forbid, something happens the child will go straight to heaven.  By having your child baptised you are initiating them into the Catholic Church, standing before God saying that you believe the Catholic faith and will be passing that faith on to your children.  If you are not going to Church regularly, do you really understand your faith?  And if you are not going to Church, why is it important to you to have them baptised into the faith?  I just don't get it.

I have friends who have said that a child doesn't get anything out of going to Mass, but I have to differ.  My two year old daughter seems to enjoy Mass every week, even if there are times where she seems to try to do everything possible to get out of the pew!  She pays attention when the procession goes up to the altar, she dances around to the songs, puts the envelope in the basket.  Just this Lent, my two year old on Ash Wednesday left Church telling me, "That was a good one, let's get more ashes! That was a very, very good one at church!  I talked to Gary!"  It occurred to me that she is getting something out of Mass, yes, even at the age of two.

our six month old on Ash Wed.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you that parents baptise their child only to have it "claimed for Christ" in the hopes of guaranteeing that it will go to heaven in the end but thinking they don't have to do anything else after the ceremony. Or they do it because they don't want to offend an older/elderly relative who would be mortified if their grandchild wasn't baptised.
    But what they're all missing is something that I found from Romans 4:6 with a couple of words I added in parenthesis: "We have been buried with him by baptism in to death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might (rise and) walk in the newness of life (everlasting). Baptism without the other core sacrements is no guarantee of getting in to heaven just as picking up the weekly buletin doesn't mean that you can check off on your scoresheet that you went to church even if you didn't get anything out of it. Symbols without substance are as empty as the sins we as humans commit.
    -Eric Pharo