Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Tuesday # 4: Maria und Josef

This week’s theme was Mary and Joseph. I brought in a world map, and we talked about where Switzerland is (they couldn’t believe how small Switzerland is on a world map, and were astounded at how vast Russia is), where they were born, and where Jesus was born. Diego asked which friends I had brought with me today. (Last week, I had brought Jesus.) This week, I had Our Lady of Grace (of the Miraculous Medal), a sweet baby-faced Angel (standing in for Archangel Gabriel, who in my mind, looks fiercer), and a donkey. I debate all week whether to bring Our Lady, as she is very special to me, and I was worried that she might break. (She assured me that this wouldn’t happen.) The children (well, except Cedric), handled her with tender reverence.  

The friends I brought to class today

Maeve actually skipped our session today. She is usually free on Tuesday afternoons. Today, her teacher invited the class for an impromptu sledding session near the school, and I let her go. (She was so excited.) Before she left for sledding, she asked me what we were going to be talking about in Unti. So I showed her and Olive Our Lady, the Angel, and the donkey. “Why is she stepping on a snake?” the girls ask. So we talk about God creating the world, and Adam and Eve. I told them how God told Adam and Eve that they could have fruit from any tree in the Garden, except for that from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. I ask them what they think happens next. Maeve thinks for a moment, then says, “They’ll have some of that fruit. Whenever you tell us to not-not-not do something, the more we want to do it.“ “Like what?” I ask. “Eating on the couch!” pipes Olive (who got into lots of trouble for that yesterday). “If God really didn’t want them to eat that fruit, maybe He should’ve just said, oh, don’t bother with that one. It doesn’t taste so good, “ muses Maeve. I agree with Maeve on this one. In my teens, an aunt once told me, “You can have any, and as many, of my books to take with you except this one.” Well, I took the one and only one. (It still weighs heavily on me, 20 years later.) We talk about how Mary’s foot on the snake is God fulfilling His promise to Adam and Eve when He kicked them out of the Garden. I’ll have to show them this illustration of Eve and Mary, by Sr. Grace Remington, which I found out about through a post today by kkollwitz on his blog Smaller Manhattans.
Illustration of Eve and Mary reconciled, by Sr. Grace Remington, O. C. S. O.

I allowed Maeve to skip our lesson today because of the fabulous snow. Actually, I was half expecting a lot of parents to excuse their kids for the afternoon to play outside. I myself had been out for a run in the morning, and it was truly wonderful outside. 

Photo I took on my phone during my morning run. 
Dear God, Your creation absolutely rocks!

I try to run or work out on Tuesday mornings (while Olive is in playgroup) to help me with my pre-catechism nerves. It is similar to the feeling I would get before a big conference presentation, when I was in academia. In those days, the audience would include über high-profile professors, scientists, industry experts, collaborators, and competitors. I know it doesn’t make sense to be nervous now, since my current audience consists of a group of (mostly) enthusiastic and inquisitive seven year olds. In any case, I was a little more jittery than normal this morning, and after my run, decided to spend a few minutes in my prayer room (it’s really a closet). I lit some candles and sat quietly until it was time to pick Olive up from playgroup. I especially directed my prayers to Mother Mary, asking her to guide me in telling the children about her.  At the end of the day, when Olive and I got back home after our session, I brought back the Our Lady of Grace statue into the prayer room. I said a prayer of thanks that she was safely back in the prayer room. Perhaps it was my imagination, but there was a hint of rose-scented incense in the prayer room. I checked the candles that I had lit earlier, and none of them had that particular scent. Thank you, dear Mother. 

1 comment:

  1. Tonight I had two girls act out Eve & Mary before handing out the picture. Eve had an apple, and Mary had a balloon under her sweater as baby Jesus.


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