Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost, which signifies the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and the birth of the Catholic Church. On Friday my class had a birthday party for, essentially, ourselves as we all make up the Body of Christ and the Catholic Church. It was so much fun! We made birthday cards that read, Happy Birthday, Catholic Church, we made flames out of red paper that said Come, Holy Spirit, and then we sang "happy birthday" to the church by holding the flames over our heads, just like the Apostles. (They even said we looked like birthday candles!)
I know this sounds cheezy, but you should've seen all the connections they made between themselves, society, and the Church. We have been studying the US government in Social Studies and during our discussion on Pentecost and the reasons why Jesus gave us the Catholic Church, without any prompting they made the connection as to the reason why our church is established like it is. For example, the Pope is representative of a President, acting in the place of the first "President," which in our case would be Jesus. The Congress is like the Cardinals and Bishops who govern the Church, and without which there would be chaos! And the Law of the Supreme Court is like the teaching of Jesus and the doctrine of the Church, which can be found in the Catechism. When my kiddos started rolling with this connection, my heart was beating so fast and I could've jumped for joy! They saw the reason as to why we need an established Church and the importance of following the teachings of Jesus through it. Jesus said, "I will not leave you as orphans," just as our founding fathers in America gave us a constitution to live by.
I once gave a talk to college students about Scripture and Tradition and the reasons why "Scripture Alone" doesn't quite work. If, in the US, everyone was left to discern the constitution for themselves (as it seems to be occurring now!) we would be in utter disarray and contention. However, within the context of a structure, we can more fully live out our rights and our duties - as a citizen in a country and as a Christian following Jesus. There are many more reasons beyond this analogy, however I didn't have to give them to my students. They just got it. In a sense they are smarter than me because, for them, they have purity of heart and Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure of heart, because they shall see God."
We also compared the Old and New Testaments in this same discussion and talked about what a covenant means. I described a contract as one that, if ripped up, it no longer exists. However, a covenant is something that, even if we stop believing in it, it will never dissolve. Marriage is a covenant. And our relationship with God is a covenant. The Old Testament covenant was marked by law and ritual for the people to be reconciled with God. The New Testament covenant is JESUS HIMSELF. He is how we are reconciled to God, the Father. And my kids went directly to the source where we can physically find Jesus on earth - THE EUCHARIST. The Eucharist is the New Covenant! It is what keeps us bound to God the Father! And because it is a covenant, even if we stop believing in it IT STILL EXISTS. Or should I say HE STILL EXISTS!
Can you tell how proud I am of them? I simply cannot wait until Michael and I have our own children, God willing, so we can raise them with these Truths! I will leave you with a quote from one of my kids. We made rosaries a couple weeks ago and some from another class were hanging in the library. One of my girls comes in a said she saw a rosary made out of army guys and she said,"it's like the army fighting against Satan!"
Saints in the making, I tell you!
ps...I've wanted to blog about this for days now but because we've been super busy I haven't been able to. So, now that I have you can expect house pictures coming soon!!!