Later Sister St. Aloysius can busy herself with cooking. I have a inkling that potato soup is in store. I have to find that pickle soup recipe for her. That stuff was superb.
We're still talking about blessings. A good time for that.
Dear Sister Mary Martha,
Since we're talking about blessing people, when did the practice of priests blessing babies and kids at communion start? Is it even allowed by Rome? It bugs me when all these kids get into the communion line, arms crossed against their chests, waiting for their blessing. What irks me even more is the lay Eucharistic ministers giving the kids blessings, too. (Let's face it, not everyone can get in line on the priest's side only, now can they?) If you say it's OK, I'll stop complaining, I promise.
I don't know when it started. Last week? It bugs a lot of people. I think I just read somewhere that it is being dropped like a hot potato, lately. Hot potatoes, with a little dill.....when is lunch?
Eucharistic ministers can't give a Blessing. They can give a blessing. It's just not the kind of Blessing that some people apparently imagine that these children are getting. That's the problem that needs to be addressed.
Since we've already discussed blessings and blessings, let's differentiate the two from now on this way: blessing (our prayers and hope of goodness from God) and Blessings (the supernatural power of the priest to bestow God's goodness). Eucharistic ministers can not bestow Blessings, by definition.
So now the argument becomes, is it okay to line up the tiny children for a blessing?
I guess so, as long as everyone understands they are getting a blessing and not a Blessing. Good luck with that. The idea here is to help them participate. It's not easy for a little kid to get through the Mass. After they are done looking at the statues and eating Cheerios from a baggie, it's slow going for them. And for little kids, time moves much more slowly than it does for adults. I remember as a little kid feeling like Christmas vacation went on for months.
So if the little kids have something to do that everyone else gets to do, meaning get up and get in a line (after you get their shoes back on them), they feel more a part of things. Is there really a down side to that? Only in the misunderstanding of what kind of blessing they are getting, which is most certainly lost on them, no matter how smart you think your toddler is. I wouldn't waste my breath trying to explain to a toddler the difference between a blessing and a Blessing. I only really care that all the parents understand it, although I hold out little hope for that.
The whole thing also puts the Eucharist Minister in a bad position as a fake Blessing giver. Maybe he should just pass out lollipops. Or graham crackers.
We shouldn't minimize this misunderstanding of the Blessing. The last thing we want to dumb down is the Catholic Church. Or the people in it. We've spent enough time dumbing down the world around us. People can't even make oatmeal anymore. We have to have it all ready to go in a little envelope with sugar and flavors. Liturgical cha-cha, anyone? Which reminds me, apparently I have been dumbed down because they are not "Eucharistic Ministers", they are "Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist".
Perhaps it's better to toughen these kids up. Bring some extra Cheerios and call it a day.
But I'll admit that I think it's really cute when they all line up.
Here are some women who have not compromised their smarts:
Hello, Sister Mary Martha,
I'm sending you some pictures of some of the RGS sisters in the Philippines. These are from the Thanksgiving mass, on the occasion of their 95th year in the Philippines. I could not find a picture of my former principals, Sr.and Sr. Mary Catalina, but I found some beautiful picutres of Sr. Mary Consuelo. I have wonderful memories of these wonderful ladies, and I will always be thankful to them for their kindness, counsel, and yes, even their strictness.
God Bless you, Sister.