Saturday, April 16, 2011

Servants of Mary

My daughter, Samantha, has been going to a class at a convent just North of Downtown Kansas City. It is called Servants of Mary. About 8 times a year, a group of girls ages 7-12 spend 3 hours with the Sisters doing activities, praying, playing games, learning about their vocation, and learning more about their faith. The first day I was there, I was waiting for the entire 3 hours inside the convent with my new baby. It was quiet and peaceful. I walked quietly around and observed every room that looked open. I felt like a bored patient waiting for the doctor and playing with all of his "toys" to occupy my time. Each picture was of a religious nature. There were pictures of saints, the Holy Family, Mary and Jesus. Unlike that feeling of being sneaky and afraid of being caught by the doctor, it was a feeling of love and peace. It was like a spa for my soul. Like my soul was being pampered and massaged by a communion of saints. It got me to thinking...Is my home like this? Haha...snap out of it Katy! <eyes reopen and head shakes> Sorry about that. Back on subject....

Samantha and Theresa with one of the Sisters. This is Theresa's first day.

The girls played outdoor games with the Sisters, had snacks and ended the day with the Stations of the Cross
I think that what you have in your home represents what is important to you. If a stranger walked into our vacant home, what would he learn? Would he know we have kids? You betcha. The first thing you see is our family photo surrounded by 8 pictures of each child...and the neighbor girl.... That might throw off the stranger when he passes the Asian girl. LOL. Would he know we are Catholic? I sure hope so.  
When I was a child, my friend  asked me why we worshiped pictures and statues. I always thought that was an odd question. Why would anyone think that we worshiped pictures and statues? I knew they had pictures of family and landscapes and statues of trophy's and even the baby Jesus at Christmas time.  It never dawned on me that they could be worshipping them.  So what is the deal with this misunderstanding?   Just in case that ugly rumor is still in the back of your mind, I would like to correct this. One of the Ten Commandments is used to argue against images..."You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them" (Ex 20:4-5).  But we must take into account Ex 25:18-22 and 36:8-33, where Moses is specifically commanded by God to make images for use in worshipping Him. In Numbers 21:8-9, God commands Moses to make a bronze serpent in order to save those bitten by the poisonous serpents. The Israelites were commanded to look up at the image in order to be healed.  God commands the making of images again in 1 Kings 6-7 when Solomon builds the temple. The Catholic use of images fits in precisely with a biblical understanding of the Ten Commandments. Catholics use physical reminders to focus their souls on the worship of God.
I have also heard the complaint, "Why are Catholics wasting so much money on lavish decorating when all that money could be given to the poor." I understand their point. We have stained glass windows, paintings, statue's, the finest buildings made of jewels, marble. So, where is the Catholic Church getting all of this money to be the #1 charitable denomination in the world? Let me correct myself. It is not only the #1 denomination. It is the #1 denomination over ALL denominations PUT TOGETHER. Wow! Well then? Put simply, when you glorify God first, He blesses you in abundance. Try it. Give to God what is God's in your time, talent and tithe and watch what you get back.

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