This past week, I have been blessed with teaching a Vacation Bible Class for children. There are approximately 70 children in the entire program of which I have 9 under my wing. Todays lesson was “Love God”. “He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Luke 10:27
In teaching this class for the past week, along with being blessed with the honor recently of taking on the role as Captain of our churches Perpetual Adoration Chapel, along with volunteering to do many things in my parish for the entire community, todays lesson for me has a duel meaning. Not only does our Lord command this “Love God” but for me today, it was our Lord sending me His meaning of this as His salutation. It didn’t hit me until mid way through the class, when I was blessed with seeing what I have been doing for the past few years. Like a lightning flash through every memory. All of which is done in love and for my love of our Lord.
The best part of today came after receiving this love letter from our Lord, when a teen volunteer named Michael came to me with his shoes untied and couldn’t tighten them. Michael is a special child who definitely holds my heart in his hands. He asked me if I could tie his shoes and without hesitation, I was on the floor trying to figure out how to tie this awesome kids shoes so he wouldn’t trip over the obviously way to long strings. The second my eyes looked down and all I could see were his shoes, that flash of lightning echoed through my mind and I heard: “I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals.” I can not put into words the peace that filled my heart at sitting on the floor in LOVE just to tie this child’s shoes. In my heart, mind and soul, I was tying our Lords shoes. When I got up, I was so moved I could barely speak.
Again came the salutation, Love, God.
Today being First Friday, along with the last School Mass before Summer Vacation, I attended the 9 AM Mass with my children and all their classmates. Following Mass, it was a day of FUN and no classes. I helped out getting lunches and with a few games and the entire time was nothing but a welcomed distraction away from the world. A distraction away from a lot of sadness I felt last night after attending a meeting, in which I will be a group leader for our Vacation Bible Study for children.
At the meeting last night, during the introductions, I couldn’t help but feel the worry from 90% of the other volunteers. Most of which are grandparents who are the ONLY source of religious activities in their grand children’s lives. Most of which mentioned that for most of the children who would be attending, the week long program was the ONLY TIME through the year, God was even mentioned in the children’s lives.
I couldn’t help but feel the secular world crushing down on these poor people as they watch with so much worry as another generation of children are growing up without any knowledge of God and the Catholic Faith. Where is the miscommunication? Where is the disconnect between them and the Catholic children THEY raised, who now refuse to give THEIR children the same gift of faith, their parents gave them?
I couldn’t help but think of how many baptisms are performed along with First Communions. How many people attend mass when there is a special occasion. Or even the amount of people who attend on Christmas & Easter. I wondered, where are all these couples were, who were so determined about having the big Catholic Wedding? When couples choose to get married in the Catholic Church, your swearing an oath to God, not just to each other, but also to the entire Church.
The Catholic spouse, if the other spouse is not Catholic, must promise to do all that he or she can to have the children baptized and raised in the Catholic faith. If your married in the Catholic Church its required to bring your children up Catholic. Where are all the parents? If more couples spent as much time preparing for that wedding day as they did ensuring their children know who God is, maybe our children could fix a lot of the problems we now have in today’s society. Never forget! The absence of God, is hell. If we can’t set aside at least some time each day to pray and learn about God with our children, ask yourself, who are you raising God’s children for?