Sunday, January 24, 2010

Spiritual Imitation

Well, The 4 B's made it to mass for the third Sunday in a row this morning. And we are PROUD! And happy and thankful and peaceful. It is always hard to get there (to mass), because it is so easy to justify staying home. Brady and I have really been making an effort to get ourselves to mass, though, and so far we have been sticking to our Revolution. It helps that when one of us doesn't want to go, the other does. Not to mention the guilt that kicks our B-hinds when we don't put God first. In any case, I noticed this morning that Brailey Shaye was imitating Father Steve as he prayed over the altar. He was holding his hands out to his sides with his palms up, and I looked down to see Brailey holding her hands the same way. My little spiritual angel... Later on, as we were kneeling, I noticed her checking my hands and then folding hers in exactly the same way. I told her last weekend that it is important to hold her body up straight when she is kneeling and not to lean on the pew behind her or to squat down on her knees, and she worked really hard at making sure she was "respectful" this morning. I explained to her that the Sisters taught me this a long time ago during Summer Church School. It is okay to slouch and lean on the pews if you are elderly or sick, but not if you are young and strong. I think it is a good lesson, although some people would probably disagree and criticize the church. I believe it is important to show respect, though, and I am proud of my Shaye-Shaye for doing what I asked of her. She also likes to sit in the front row. All of my life, I've tried to sit as far in the back of the church as possible. A couple of years ago, however, my mother shared with me that a priest we mutually know shared at a mass my brother attended (he is the one who told her, and then she passed it to me) that it is pleasing to the Father for members to sit in the front of the church, making room for people who arrive late to come inconspicously into the back. Most people prefere to sit in the back of the church - isn't that interesting? Nevertheless, one Sunday I decided to test my courage and to try sitting in the front pew. To my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I felt more a part of the mass, better able to pay attention, and proud to be there. So now, we make it a practice to sit as close to the front row as we can, and guess what? The front rows are the last to be filled. I am thrilled that my kiddos are learning to enjoy mass in this way. Brady wasn't too high on the idea to begin with - he prefers the second or third row back. This morning, though, Brailey Shaye asked him if we could please sit in the front row, and he said, "Sure! We can sit wherever you like, Brailey Cakes!" And now that he is used to the idea, I think Brady likes it, as well. If you are wondering where Britt is at in all of this, he gets to attend his Church School class during mass. On the Sundays he doesn't have a class, though, guess where he prefers to sit? The front pew. I hope my B's will always feel comfortable to do this throughout their lives. And let me just say, it was a beautiful sight to see my darling little girl imitating our priest - front row and center, she's got the perfect view.

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