Forgive me if I brag a little about my family. My sister, Ann, called me this week to tell me about her youngest, Seamus. Seamus is 7 years-old, and recently participated in their parish’s Vacation Bible School (VBS). After the first day, Seamus told his parents that he was pretty much a saint. Apparently on the first day of VBS one of the catechists gave the children a list of things that saints do, and Seamus told his parents, “I pretty much do all those things, so I must be a saint.” His parents had a rebuttal.
Vacation Bible School had a lot of the typical activities for children that age: games, crafts, songs. One day the kids had a water pistol fight (I am not sure where they found that in the Bible, or in the theme for the week, “Totus Tuus” or “Totally Yours”), and on the last day one of the catechists got into a kiddies pool and the kids turned him into a giant sundae by spraying him with whipped cream, and throwing sprinkles on him.
At the end of the week, Ann asked Seamus what was his favorite thing. He said, “When they took us into the church.” Ann asked him what did they do in the church, and Seamus said, “They put the Body into a gold star so that we could see Him, and we got to just sit with Jesus.”
Wow! Not the water pistol fight, not the crafts or games. Not even making a man into a giant sundae. No, his favorite part was just sitting with Jesus. A couple of days later, when his parish had a Corpus Christi procession, Seamus excitedly pointed out to his family, “That’s the gold star which has Jesus’ Body in it!” Ann told me that their parish has Exposition on Thursdays, so she plans, when she has the day off, to take Seamus so that he can continue to be excited about “sitting with Jesus” and grow in his relationship with Him. Maybe he is going to be a saint.
What about us? Are we striving to be saints? Are we teaching our children to desire to be a saint more than anything else? We are blessed in our parish to have perpetual Adoration, so what is stopping us from introducing our children to “just sitting with Jesus?” Sure, we worry that they might not be quiet, but we can teach them that discipline. Naturally, they probably will not be able to do a full hour, but even if they start with just 15 minutes, we can do nothing better than to help our children to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
For the past several years, Resurrection Parish has participated with other Christian churches in hosting a Vacation Bible School. It is held at the Moravian church in Riverside. Please consider signing your children up for it, and even better, volunteering a day or so.