Joining up with the gang over at Fine Linen and Purple finally.....I've been meaning to do this for awhile, and decided Lent was a good time to start. Enjoy!
We've been working on getting the boys to understand just how special Mass is for us Catholics - how important it is and how amazingly special it is to be there - with Jesus truly present in the Eucharist. We've got rascals who are getting ready to make their First Holy Communion this year (and next year), and Mike and I are trying hard to teach them what exactly that means. Part of that teaching/educating has to come from our own actions and examples, we've decided.
So how do we do that? It's a bit daunting. I mean, come on, we both just *really* began to understand the Mass ourselves in the last ten years or so. We were late to the party, you could say. How do we reflect what we know to be true about the liturgy to little boys who aren't quite able to grasp conceptually what is going on (although Rascal #1 is there, I'm sure of it)?
Well....we show them. With our actions. With our behaviour. With the way we dress. With the way we participate. We can't put it into words that they'll understand just yet - - but we can help them *know* it by showing them what we believe in our actions. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Actions speak volumes, right?
Over the past year, we started "grading" the boys on their behaviour at Mass. In turn, they get to "grade" our behaviour. Did we show respect in our actions? In our participation? Were we reverent with our body language at Mass? Were we respectfully quiet when God was talking to us through the Scripture readings? All of this factors into our "Mass grade," and then Mike and I grade the boys using the same criteria. It's not actually recorded in a gradebook somewhere, but since they all get graded on their lessons (and understand what those grades mean), this puts our expectations into a concept that they all can understand. It's sort of turned into a Facebook joke, but we truly believe it helps the boys understand what we do at Mass....and why. It's not just a passing comment - it's a chance to discuss what is happening at Mass and why we do what we do, as Catholics.
Recently, we've taken it a bit further, discussing our clothing choices. Why do we take the time to make our family look as presentable as possible - even though it often leads to chaos getting out of the door? (you know, those moments when you realize that Rascal #3 put his church shirt on BEFORE brushing his teeth and now has a neon blue streak up his arm from where he wiped his mouth?). What we choose to present to the world (and Jesus) reflects what we really think on the inside....are we showing Him just how much we love Him and wish to worship Him with our clothing choices?
I've been meaning to join in on this link-up for awhile, but often forget to snap a picture when we get back home from Mass (before just isn't going to happen....see the toothpaste example above!), and by then, I'm rushing to get lunch on the table before Rascal #3 faints of starvation because he's wasting away, obviously......and the picture never gets taken. However, we've really been focusing on this concept around here, and it's finally time to join in. I encourage you to do the same! Think about what you wear to Mass (or church if you're not Catholic), and share it!
The Holy Spirit kind of forced me into starting today for one very fun reason: we went out for breakfast after Mass today, and the waitress gave the boys cups of crayons and paper to colour on while they were preparing our meal. Rascal #3 decided to take that opportunity to draw a picture of what Mommy wore to Church......complete with the description that I was falling on the ice outside of Mass (yes, it's true) in the picture. Sigh. These rascals definitely keep me humble. ;)
|Sigh...Mommy at Mass, falling on the ice|
|Don't mind the double chins....Mike snapped the picture just as I laughed. Humility is a virtue, right? ;)|
I'm not much of a fashionista, so the outfits aren't going to be exciting, but I try. ;)
Skirt: New York and Company
Cardi, cami, top, tights, and shoes: Target. What can I say? I'm a one-stop-shop kind of girl. YOU try shopping for clothes with three little boys in tow! haha
Rascal #1: A
Rascal #2: A +
Rascal #3: B (would've been an A if he didn't try to curl up and fall asleep so many times on the pew, complete with overly dramatic YAAAWWWNNNNSSSS. You'd think we kept him up all night or something!)