Linking up with Blessed Is She and #BISsisterhood to talk about Living Faith.
Like most other people, I go through ups and downs of faith. I also have periods where particular aspects of the faith are more appealing than others.
When my husband was traveling, I got really into the Liturgy of the Hours - like really into it. It felt like if I clung to this structured communal prayer of the Church, then I could rely on their strength to get me through the hard parts of the days and nights.
In that time, the part of my faith that was about joining with others in prayer was alive and well.
However, I didn't let anyone see me. I didn't share this expression of faith with the little ones occupied for ten minutes with water and beans in various containers.
Now, I am going to say that I think it is important to do some of your prayer alone. Some things are very intimate like that. But what I was doing was making ALL of my prayer alone.
So I decided to change that.
I brought a bin of quiet (until the 3 year old gets them anyway) toys into my room, and let the kids pray around me while I said the office.
The first two times, John spent a lot of time trying to distract me: playing with my hair, tickling my feet, trying to turn the pages in the book.
But by the third time, they both got quiet during the chanting parts.
By the fifth time, John was trying to match the tones - shyly and quietly off to the side.
By the sixth time, John starting bringing a little book of his own and kneeling down with me (not actually a prayer book, but hey, effort!)
I was listening to him play while I changed the baby the next morning, and John was carrying on a conversation with his stuffed animals that went like this, "First we gotta go into mama's room. It's the CHURCH room. It's where we sing our Jesus songs. Because I love you sooooo much!"
Even though we have been working on learning the prayers, celebrating the liturgical year, and reading bible stories most of his life, what made John really grasp the faith I am trying to pass down was inviting him into MY faith. Into MY prayer.
It's not enough to make "kid-friendly" versions of faith and prayer. What kids really need is to be invited into the living faith of adults. If we are to have any hope of passing down the beauty and richness of the Catholic faith, we must be willing to be role models of adult faith.
It's perfectly fine to have saint crafts and kid level bible stories, just also make sure to let the kids see the faithful adults we are meant to be.