In her Quick Takes last Friday, Aubrey, over at Laughing All the Way asked of us Catholic moms, particularly of our First Communicants:
"What do you expect of your child at Mass? Aside from being still and quiet, does he pay attention all of the time and seem interested in what is going on?"
I've been thinking about the answer to this question. It's pertinent to me, and has been for a long time, seeing as we're working on our eighth First Holy Communicant now (Anna).
Now the first question: What do I expect? I expect them to try to pay attention and be engaged in what's going on. And I expect them to improve as they grow older.
It's a learning process for all of us, this understanding of the Holy Sacrifice, and, I don't know about you, but I have troubles staying focused all the way through Mass, myself. If you're an extrovert, if you're an introvert; if you're a parent, if you're a child, if you're tired, if you're hungry, if you're human -- you'll be tempted to distraction during Mass. But, if we want to stay focused, and keep pulling ourselves back around to Jesus' iminent and then actual presence on the altar... If we're trying to follow in our missals and are doing our best not to mentally rearrange the hair of the girl in front of us... Well, I do believe God sees and appreciates our effort -- and our success as we improve our focus. We get credit. Maybe more so the harder we struggle.
* I have a lengthier post saved that explains in more detail how we train our children for Mass. I don't know if it's something of interest or not, though... What do you think? It's kinda long. Maybe I'll put it out there next Sunday?