Learning To Say I Do
Happy Seven Months, Gus!
Sara: Just this past week, Gus had his seventh month birthday. It’s hard to believe he’s so big! I feel like every day, we experience another milestone with him. Gus is now crawling, occasionally sitting up by himself, and babbling away. I feel like I’ll be taking Gus to kindergarten before I know it!
Gus and I also saw one of my friends and her four year old son. Because she no longer lives in the same city as us, it had been a couple years since I had seen her or her child. I was so impressed with what four year olds can do – and especially how much her child knew about the faith. He recognized Jesus on the cross and could tell us about what Gabriel the Archangel told Mary. He said Gabriel the Archangel told Mary, “You will have a baby right away.” Although his interpretation may not be 100% scripturally accurate, it was neat to see how he knew the story and made it his own in his imagination.
This made me start to ponder how Justin and I are showing Gus our faith. We want Gus to know more about God than just going to Mass for an hour each Sunday. We both want Gus to have a grasp and an appreciation for the Scriptures and to learn how to pray. We also want Gus to strive to live life as a Christian, and continually discuss how best to make this happen.
As we continue to ponder how best to raise Gus in the faith, I realized perhaps the answer is simpler than we realize. Gus has tried to get our rosary several times in the past weeks.
Justin: Actually, the first time Gus ever really crawled (I mean on all fours, not like an inch worm), it was to come get the rosary out of my hand.
Sara: One of our friends was nice enough to make the whole family matching cord rosaries because she said this was a rosary Gus could chew on. Since the rosary is, in fact, a cord, I am careful to watch Gus with it. Plus, Gus only gets his rosary when we pray.
The first time we gave Gus his rosary, Gus sat very intently with his rosary while Justin and I prayed. Gus did try to eat his rosary several times, but he also looked like he knew we were doing something serious, as well. After we finished praying, we took a few pictures of him with his rosary because he looked so cute.
Justin: I have also noticed how intently Gus seems to stare at Father before Mass each week. He loves to look at Father’s vestments. Again, I know he doesn’t know what is taking place, but you get the impression he knows something is different about those long robes and the vibrant colors.
In fact, I think this is one advantage we have as Catholics in teaching the faith to our children. The entire Mass, every action is designed to engage the senses. From the colors of the liturgical seasons that change like the color of the trees during autumn to the smell of incense, our faith calls our attention to Christ in the physical world. It is truly a faith that we should be able to relate to.
Sara: It’s amazing to me how much Gus seems to “get” that our prayer time is an important time. Because Gus has seen how seriously we take our rosaries and praying together each evening, Gus already realizes that something important is going on. Perhaps the best way for Gus to learn how to be a Christian is to watch Justin and me strive to become closer to Christ.
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