. . . a few scattered thoughts. . .
Poor Ben has an ear infection—his own little participation in the passion. Dom and Tree both got to watch for some time last night as they comforted my poor unhappy boy in his midnight agony—I’d have got up with him but I was nursing Anthony. He hasn’t had a fever at all and while he’s had more crankiness and disturbed nights recently but not consistently so that I always second guessed myself when I though maybe I should take him to the doctor. So the long and short of it is we were tired today and it was a bit crazy squeezing in a trip to the pediatrician—or would have been except that my sister volunteered to take him. She really is Ben’s second mother and I don’t know how we’d survive without her.
I am also so grateful today for the Church who in her wisdom gives us a liturgy for this solemn day. On my own I have failed so miserably at all my attempts at prayer and contemplation. But then we went to the celebration of Our Lord’s Passion—me and my sister and all four kids—and I got to listen to the Word—especially the proclamation of the Gospel. And I got to venerate the cross. And Sophie upon seeing the cross exclaimed, “Look, it’s the Cross, Mama! Jesus died on that cross!” And I got to receive Him in the Eucharist. And suddenly I don’t feel nearly so unprepared for Easter.
We came home and all the kids gorged on hot cross buns. (I made them for the very first time. I’d never even eaten one before today.) And I read some of the Philosopher Mom’s meditations on the stations of the cross.
Leila is right, you don’t need to create elaborate lesson plans when you live the liturgy. The liturgy itself is the best teacher. For them and for me. The girls got it. Today was a solemn day.
I thought today of the questions that the youngest child asks at Passover as Sophie asked question after question: Why is there a cross? Why are the candles there? Why is the cross there? Yes, there’s a wisdom in that ritual because they’re going to ask questions anyway. And given that tendency to ask questions when confronted with the unknown and mysterious, the best thing is probably to just answer as best you can with the proper story and then let them enter into the mystery as best they can.
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