At least two significant things will transpire in the Atrium tomorrow, March 13: We’ll begin our time together an hour earlier than we’re used to, hoping that families remember to move the clocks forward, and we’ll observe the First Sunday in Lent, the season of “waiting” for the great feast of Easter. But before this change, it seems good to share a thought from last week, one statement made among a panoply of praise which erupted as our morning began.
These times with the children are never scripted and cannot be predicted. In fact, it’s hard to recall how this flow of passionate and firm statements began. I think I spontaneously asked aloud, “Why is it that we praise God?” Wondering and asking questions is normal in the Atrium.
It’s just as normal not to hear answers to some of the really big questions we consider. But last Sunday the children had answers that could not go unstated. They began to declare a litany of what God made: ‘”wood ; Mars (someone has been thinking about Mars for a month) ; us; fire; water; toys; food. “ Someone said, “He made our hearts.” Someone else said, “He gives us friends.”
But the thought that stayed with me the most this week was the statement, “He builded the church.” One might wonder how someone 5 years old could have a thought like that in the first place. Perhaps he was considering just the top of the building next door that we can see from our second floor window, but interestingly enough, later on this same child had to share one more thing God had made: “He makes invisible things.” I couldn’t resist, so I asked, “What kind of invisible things?” Sadly, my mind was running toward something like invisible ink. I was happy to hear the simple, better answer: “AIR!”
As I talk with people about the work of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, it’s important to underscore these exchanges are not cute stories about children. Rather, what the youngest tell us serves as pointers toward truth and our own formation. Last night I reached Chapter 2 (page 106!) in one of my 2011 Books To Read list, Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Should I have been surprised to find this statement?
”On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church.”
No, never surprised. Remember– I heard that just last Sunday: from somebody who already knows.