Kids want the Truth!

A.M.D.G.
J.M.J.
A.T.C.

Laudetur Iesus Christus!
In Aeternum!

Saint Barnabas

Saint Barnabas, pray for us!

Memorial of Saint Barnabas, Apostle (Why not a feast?)

Today is a special day.

Not just because today is the Memorial of Saint Barnabas and my Infant is looking smashingly regally adorable in His red vestment.

Nope.  Something else.

Today, 11 June 2012, my dear collegiate alma mater gave ME money.  They actually cut ME a check instead of vice versa.  My checking account will be a little bit bigger instead of a little bit smaller.

Holy Mother Church.

But there’s a caveat.

It was technically originally my money to begin with.

It is a refund for a Spring Formal ticket that I ended up not using because my date dumped me not three days before.  And he did not even do it well.  He did it in an awful and hurtful way.

Three years ago.

While I was at work.  I was AN HOUR late for work because of this peat for brains decided that he was going to tell me after Mass and over the span of an hour why he could not go with me.  Mind you, this was during what had become something of a relationship.  And I wasn’t the only one who thought that.  It was actually assumed to be the fact.  ‘cept for him apparently.  But there were darker motives on his part.

But still.  The College gave ME (my) 25 bucks!  Holeh Muddah Cherch!

My one sadness from that event in my life:  I did not get to wear the kickin’ dress I got to Formal (my College was small enough that we could still have a Prom/Formal without it being a riot) until later.  Thank teh Lord for the School Gala.  I got to strut that babeh around then with my black spike stilettos which to this day scare me with their height.  How did I walk around let alone dance in those things?  They do look cute with a pair of long narrow-legged dark denim jeans.  Sometimes, when I wear them it looks like I am impersonating “my first DUI” (though that will NEVER happen in reality).  That’s just what my oh-so-loving friends called it.  Totally citing MST3K:

It’s at about 4:40-4:50.

Yes, I have the commentary memorized.

So yeah.  That’s been the highlight of my day besides the Source and Summit (you know, Mass … yeah … that whole “thing”) and doing two loads of laundry.  Mine siblings and I were supposed to go to see a movie film today but schedules did not mesh right.  Hopefully later this week.  Next week will be kinda hard.  At least in the morning for me.

Why is that?

Because I am participating in that annual tradition at SJA known as “Vacation Bible School!”  Oh yes, people.  Srsly though.  I enjoy it.  The music gets stuck in my head like an inclusive language Benedictus and Magnificat (those things still rear their ugly illicit heads every once in a while mentally while I am praying my Office).  But I do love helping the kids.  I am usually a crew leader which means that I get my own group of about 8-10 kids to indoctrinate … I mean … catechize/faciliate for the week ranging in age from Kindergarten to about sixth grade.  I usually also get a high school helper which is nice because then I can make comments under my breath and they get the references.

It’s really cute because back when I was an altar server, the kids would always ask, “Allie, can we be in your group?”  I always thought that was sweet.  Especially for such a caustic person like me.  I usually ended up with a few servers and some others whom I usually converted to our liturgical ways if they were of age.

Another fun thing about having my own group: I get to teach them random Theology.  Who said my BA with honors was going down the ter-let?  I had the young ones saying “transubstantiate” by Wednesday and having an idea of what that means!  Goal this year: Consubstantial.  How do I do it?  Use it in random and yet applicable contexts!  Some think the kids don’t understand.  That’s a load of first-class Saint Michael relics (FYI, angels are pure spirit).  They know and understand more than they let on.  Another thing I usually do with them is when we get our saint of the day, I give them a bit more background on them (you can only cover so much in a brief presentation).  And I assign random point values to doing certain things well.  Kids love helping with clean-up all week if it means that Allie will make them a rosary in their favorite colors!

That brings to mind something that I really believe with all mah heart: We need to teach our kids the fullness of our beautiful, wonderful, Christ-given, and Spirit-led Faith.

My catechetical formation in grade school was “meh.”  It wasn’t a vale of heresy but it was also quite typical of the time (90s-ish) with it’s touchy-feely, felt banners, and saccharine “teaching.”

Yeah, we got the basics of the Faith but that was it.  And there was no zeal behind it.  If there was, it was limited.  That rubbed off on some in my generation.

We were not taught, as the Church teaches, that the Catholic Church is the Church (only Church) founded by Jesus Christ and the perfect and sole way of attaining salvation.

The result?

A generation of kids who thought that since Catholicism was nothing special, they could pick and choose what they wanted to believe.  Heck, they didn’t need to go to Mass (though that was taught to us).  Heck, they didn’t need to be a part of any particular faith tradition!  They could be (oh Lord, here it is) “spiritual but not religious.”  I have even encountered some persons in my generation who have a hybrid belief system.

What is that you ask?

Oh, typically the person was baptized Catholic (at least from my experience) but did not find wholeness in the Church (poor soul … if only they knew) so they picked and chose beliefs from other faiths and not necessarily Christian.  I have meant “Catholic’-wiccans.  Those are fun discussions.  My personal favorite for chats.  I would ask how they could reconcile a monotheistic religion like that of Holy Mother Church that believes in the one true God with a faith that finds the divine literally in nature (mother earth and all that jazz).

Then they would say it: the Trinity.

*face 2×4 with nail stuck in end*

Really?  The Trinity?  Really?  *facefist*

“Yeah, Allie, Three Persons!”

“Yeah, three Persons in ONE GOD!  Prepositional phrases count here.”

“Yeah, but it’s THREE.  How could there not be more?  How could God not be in everything?”

“God is omnipresent but the way you’re putting it is reeking of pantheism which is a big NO!  Bleach that heresy and Febreeze the life outta it!”

And it would go from there.

But what I want to talk about is more current because I have seen and experienced it with my work with kids (not just at the parish) though I can speak from a lot of experience there.

Whenever I would train new servers, I would refuse to “dumb down” the language.  When I wrote the handbook, I made a point to use all the formal terminology.  Some said I was writing over their heads.  Sure, for some fourth graders, it may be hard but really?  God forbid a kid crack open a dictionary or ask an intelligent question.  God forbid they pop a few neurons.  Besides, if you want to become an altar server, you learn the language.  You don’t cater to the lowest common denominator.  But that’s a whole other rant post.

When I would be spending time with the kids before Mass or something like that, sometimes we would get into a discussion about religion (oh joyz).

It amazed me the answers that came out of some of their mouths about things.  Some could not even tell me the difference between the Immaculate Conception of Mary and the Virginal Conception of Jesus.  The difference between the Ascension and the Assumption besides one was Jesus and the other was Mary?  Nope.

But then they would start asking questions.  Really profound questions (at least coming from grade school kids) about faith.  They want to know this stuff.  And they are not being fed.

Case in point, the whole veil debacle that happened a while back (I have my ways of wearing my veil *wink*  *wink*)

The only people who raised a rank stench of plague-ridden blech were adults.  The kids I encountered liked it or they didn’t really mind it.  They asked questions about it.  I answered the questions (I told them it was not a hard and fast rule but rather more a matter of personal preference) as best I could and we moved on.  The girls especially liked it (can’t imagine why).  They thought it was pretty and a cool tradition.

But no, the adults get their trousers all in a tizzy.  They infer intentions that were not there.  Probably out of some distaste/hatred for more traditional Catholicism.  You would have thought I was wearing a hoochie-momma outfit that had inappropiate words slathered on it by the flak I got.

One of the teachers even b!tched to the pastor that it confused the kids!?!?  WHAT?!?!  They were asking questions?!?!?!  Intelligent questions?!?!?!  Holy Mother Church?!?!?!  Why would they be asking about Catholic traditions in CATHOLIC school?!?!?!

God forbid they treat that like a teaching moment rather than an attack on them.  God forbid they have to Google “veiling in the Catholic Church” and read the myriad of articles.  Though they should be careful about from whence they get the info (some sedevacantist/trad-trads have a rather extreme view in some cases).

Since when has teaching the Faith become such a problem?  Since when is the Truth a bother?

The kids want to learn this stuff.  They hunger for it.  Adults have the duty and privilege of handing on the fullness of the Faith (the easy and hard parts) to the next generation.

If we don’t do this, we reap what we sow.

If we don’t teach them the fullness of Truth, they will look elsewhere and find some false source of fulfillment.  And we will all ask why and how did this happen.  We will wonder why they don’t go to church anymore.  Why they don’t believe in God.  Why they believe this, that, or another thing.

Run away from the felt!

And this isn’t even the worst one I could find.

If we teach the fullness of Truth without watering it down or Elmer’s gluing it to death to a felt piece of doom, then we will have a generation of kids that love the Church and stand up for her.  Oh, and we might even get a few vocations to the priesthood, religious, and consecrated life out of it.  Not to mention strong Catholic marriages with kids and nary a piece of contraception in sight or on the mind.

It sounds rough but it’s the reality.

Oh, and don’t shelter your kids too much.  You can bubble them a bit but not too much.  From my experience, the kids who were excessively bubbled either: a.) ended up extremely shocked at the world outside their bubble, b.) ended up rebelling in ways their families probably did not want, and, in some cases, c.) adjusted enough to keep their soul but acknowledge reality for what it is.  Sheltering can help them to a point but there will come a time when mommy and daddy will not be there and things will start to happen that they won’t understand but they will have to experience.  Oh Lord did I ever.

Well, I have a couple things I need to do before heading out for din-din.

Have a great evening, everyone!

-Allie

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About Ms. Allie

I am a Catholic young woman who works as a Theology teacher at a Catholic high school in the Archdiocese of the Detroit. In Spring of 2015, I graduated with an MA in Theology with a concentration in Systematic Theology. My MA thesis was titled: "Mary as Woman of the Eucharist in the Theology of Pope Saint John Paul II." I also hold a BA in Theology (with a dabbling in Philosophy) and is a member of Theta Alpha Kappa (θΑΚ), the National Theology/Religious Studies Honor Society. Prayers are appreciated.
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