Friday, March 5, 2010


Dear All: I promise promise promise to catch up someday soon. Snowmaggedon has us a bit behind, but I couldn't miss writing tonight, not with the very few of you I blog, all of whom I thought might appreciate a little Lenten Oy Vey.

Gabby is receiving the sacrament of reconciliation tomorrow. It isn't a big-white-dress affair, in fact as with the Jewish Yom Kippur, the Church has kept this sacrament solemn, private. In a way, recognizing your wrongdoings, and then learning that these can have eternal ramifications, is pretty heavy stuff. Of course, learning that there is a way to salvation through reconciliation with God is bigger still. One of the ways to get to this understanding is to pray "Stations of the Cross." Kids in Catholic school do them often enough. John remembers well being a Roman soldier gambling for Jesus' clothing in a passion play. If you've ever walked the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, that's the real trail. In every Catholic church, you'll find artwork depicting the 15 stations from Jesus' initial sentence to death through falling, being forced to carry His own cross, meeting His mother, all the way until they find His tomb empty. It is a heavy meditation.

Tonight, our church had a family pizza party followed by stations of the cross. If it sounds casual, it was. Our church does a nice job of nurturing, especially young children who do not attend the school (and this really was for us "public school" kids). There were about twenty kids and as many parents. Ponytail-ponytail-ponytail, Gabby, Kit and Caroline followed Fr. Don to each station. So this is great: Fr. Don will hear Gabby's first confession tomorrow, and they are getting to have a nice moment praying together tonight.

But this is better: the fireworks going off over Kit's head. She is reading now, and praying aloud at each graphic depiction of torture one can't imagine, each meditation and prayer revealing a horrific act and the soul-wrenching lessons we are to take from it, made all the more real since these are child-centered: "Lord, let me see you in every person, even those I don't like or who bother me . . ." This all sounds dark, but she was actually excited. She had about a million questions ranging from "If Jesus is the only one who ever rose from the dead, then why was Elijah and that other guy [that would be Moses] there at the mountain? "(i.e., Tabor, during the Transfiguration. What, weren't you listening last Sunday?) to "Wait . . . is there a big lake there?" (confusing Jerusalem with the Galilee.) And the clincher: the my-best-friend-is-Jewish-so-now-what-do-I-do response to "Why did they kill Jesus?"

Me: "Well, the Jews didn't believe that Jesus was God's son."

Kit: "Oh, no! Shouldn't we tell Riley?!!"

Me: {dead silence/muffled snicker/silent prayer]

Kit: "Well?"

Me: "Did you know your father studies religions all around the world? (phew!) Let's ask him."

Me silently to self: Weren't you the kid who corrected my "Alleluia" way back when when you were two ? "No, Mommy, it's Allah Rabi!"