Sister Manners Response by Fr. Mike
FEEDING INFANTS AND TODDLERS
Who are the People of God, those called to worship and to give God all glory at Holy Mass? Who should be trusting in the Lord and expressing their faith in the Lord’s power to feed us with Himself and to transform our lives little by little? And, at exactly what age does this begin and at what age does this no longer apply?
TWO FORMS OF NOURISHMENT
Folks, we need physical nourishment from the moment we are conceived in the womb; while we are in the womb, our mothers nourish us directly. Within moments of being born into the world, we begin nursing. Our need for physical nourishment is never doubted or thwarted. We all know that it is absolutely unacceptable (even in this secular age) to deny our children physical nourishment. It is so important that there are legal ramifications for such failures.
All-the-more horrifying, however, is denying our children spiritual nourishment! From the very beginning, our souls cry for spiritual food. Infants, toddlers, children, teens, young adults, mid-lifers, all of us from the very first moment of our creation until the final moments of our lives on earth must be fed with true spiritual food. Yet, there is no earthly penalty for withholding this nourishment.
Folks, there is no better spiritual food than Holy Mass: the rich food of God’s Word; the Precious food of our Lord’s Body and Blood; the affirming food of the body of all the faithful gathered as families to be a family of faith.
COMPASSION AND UNDERSTANDING
Folks, all of the faithful are welcome and indeed all must gather to worship as the Body of Christ. As we gather, all of us with various needs, levels of maturity, of various ages, with various abilities and disabilities, from various income levels, and all of us sinners who are healed in Christ, we must use the eyes of Christ as we look upon one another.
INFANTS AND TODDLERS
Let all parents know the support of this faith community working fervently to feed one another with the assurance of Christ. Parents are encouraged to prepare themselves and their children, as best possible, before arriving at Holy Mass. Parents are strongly encouraged to bring all of their children to Holy Mass and to never give up on being sound examples to your children of focused worship, even when small children may present challenges over and over again. (The nursery is available when parents absolutely need this option.)
Infants and toddlers are the sign of God’s people increasing in number, in new life, in innocence, in joy and in hope. Bring them with you, and rely more on your ability to parent well than on toys, snacks and things to distract from worship possibilities for the small ones.
DEALING WITH HUMAN REACTIONS
Folks, our Lord lovingly was born into a cold, dirty, chaotic, and distracted world. As the Body of Christ, we are going to experience the same tension: we are “In Christ” and yet experience the fallen qualities of our still unconverted parts of our lives. Any of us who has feelings arise of impatience or upsetment while parents shepherd their small children present at Holy Mass, or if people with various disabilities participate as best the are able, and yet we are steaming on the inside, then we must open ourselves to the fact that God is attempting to open our eyes.