Thursday, June 5, 2008

She Said JEEEEE.........

A post about Jesus, you never know what I will talk about now do you?

Jesus holding baby overhead pencil sketch
Being the good Catholic Mom I am, ok that I am striving for, I want Sarah Cate to know Jesus and develop a personal relationship with him. From my personal experience, when i am "with Jesus" I feel so much more at peace and so little anxiety. If only I can give her some strong foundation that she will continually build upon, I know she will be OK no matter what life sends her way. Jesus tells us in the Gospel according to Mark:

"Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it."

So my challenge at 19 months is how in the world do I have Sarah go to Jesus. I try to point out to her at mass the many images of Jesus that surround us: the risen Christ statue over the altar, the wooden carving of Baby Jesus a gift to our church from the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, pictures of Jesus in the Crying room - when she gets unruly and loud, the crucifix of Jesus in the crying room, the host at the time of consecration when the altar servers are ringing the bells - this is my personal favorite time of mass, and the tabernacle on the altar. I will ask Sarah Cate "where is Jesus" and she will smile and point to the statues...I get a huge smile when she points to the baby Jesus statue, she loves that one, especially his cute little belly button. She doesn't so much get the Eucharist but you know transubstantiation is not the easiest subject for a 19month old so I will give her some time on that one.

We also have several books with Jesus that I read to her on regular rotation. I want her to love and know more about Jesus as she does about Elmo or Curious George - which are her favorite books.

Sarah is not the best verbal communicator at this point. She will say "A ball" with enthusiasm when she sees a ball of any shape or size, and she regularly says a few other words but that is about it. She does have her sign language so we know she is processing and communicating with us, but when it comes to SAYING things, she is quiet - which she gets from her dad. Being with her all day I wonder if I am saying enough to her since she isn't saying alot. Andy's theory is that I do all the talking so she doesn't really need to say anything.

Today I was at St Andrew my wonderful church on the river for a Familia Meeting. We met in a room full of banners from past Christ Renews His Parish Weekends, really some beautiful images. I asked Sarah "where is Jesus" and she pointed to a banner with the image of Divine Mercy like the one on my blog. She then looked at me and said "JEEEEEE.....". Now I know she didn't really SAY the full name, but the fact she knows the first syllable put a huge smile on my face and melted my heart. It was as if God was saying to me..."she is getting it, keep it up my daughter". Heck even Andy smiled when I told him about it. I wish Patti and Jacki had heard it, but Sarah was being my little meeting distractor as she always is and had me paying attention to her rather than the topic at hand at that moment. As much as I say to Jacki and Patti, "sorry I zoned out during our meeting" I want to say "Thank you God for letting me see that your Son's name is among the few things she will verbalize right now. "

I think that to Sarah "Jeeeee" equals an acknowledgement she is accepting the Kingdom of God, which is GREAT news for her.....just based on the fact I have told her what I have. What a gift! Of course I realize at some point she will question what I have told her about Jesus, among many other things, but hey, for now I am feeling good.

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