Friday, February 29, 2008

Holy Relics

Do you guys want to head over to the church to check out some relics?

You might think that question would be met with all kinds of protests and questions. I thought it would. Nope, instead there was a mad dash to make sure we could get ready in time to attend daily Mass before seeing the relics. We have tried to add that in for Lent. Usually it is in the mornings but the little ones and Jason wanted to join us so today we waited for the evening Mass. We were late getting started so that meant no dinner until after 6:45 p.m. Mass and then how ever long we stayed to see the relics. I wrongly assumed that hungry would make our visit short.

I overheard conversations, as we ran around to prepare to leave. The little ones were getting information on what we were talking about from the bigger kiddos. A few of them just needed to hear piece of bone and they were all ready. Click here if you want to better understand this Catholic tradition of veneration of Holy Relics.

The show was wonderful. A gentleman from Companions of the Cross gave a presentation with a slide show. We were late, because we came from Mass. I walked the halls with the younger kiddos and the older ones sat in on the lecture. Every two minutes someone was running out of the lecture to tell me something they had just learned. Wow! The presentation was scientific, faithful to the traditions and teachings of the Church, and filled with wondrous stories of saints, miracles and history. I was very jealous to be in the hall way with the little ones. One positive is that it did give me time to try to answer the one million questions that Pickle now had.

When the talk was over we got to roam between the tables and venerate each relic. The collection had over 100 relics. One was actually from the veil of the Blessed Mother, another was a piece of the lance that had pierced the side of our Lord and one set on a table in the middle was a piece of the True Cross. (The actual Cross our Lord was crucified on!) The tradition is to kiss the relics (they are incased in glace) or to touch a Blessed object to the relic.
I say this to point out that this is meant to be a hands on experience and yet these are bone fragments of our deceased and deserve to be treated with the utmost respect. Not always an easy task for young ones.

My inclination was to stay back and not go in between the tables until it thinned out a tad. My kiddos would not hear of it. I gave them strict instructions and set them off in pairs. I stayed back with Bagel who was in a full melt down now. I know she was hungry and this was beyond her comprehension so I wasn’t upset with her but I needed to keep her back. The Relics were staged with a picture and description of the saint next to them. This meant that even my non readers were off having a blast.
I got reports that Santa was there (a.k.a. St. Nicholas) and various household favorites. Princess took my rosary so that she could see that it touched each and every relic. They took my camera and returned Cowboy. (Apparently the reliquary looks too much like a rattle and he wanted to teeth on them.)

I could hardly wait. Goobers finished and offered to sit with Cowboy. Bagel and I took off. Wow it was very cool. Bagel gave a big kiss to St. Nicholas and to St. Therese the little flower, her patron saint. The kiddos were in various spots around the room and they were anxiously watching me. As I approached the table with the True Cross they all appeared from around the room. They were full of stories of how it was discovered, the miracle that have happened around it and that even though it was covered in glass ever one of the pictures they took of it came out perfect. I knew our time was running short before the next group was there to see this piece of history and of our faith.

I asked the little ones what we should do, they replied with “PRAY!” We all knelt down and tried to think of what words to use, then one of us started the Act of Contrition. “Oh my God I am heartily sorry of having offended thee . . .” The emotion was strong. I had tears running down my checks as we finished this prayer. We said a thank you for the sacrifice which was completely inadequate and for this incredible time of visiting with other faithful Catholics, other homeschooled children, each other and with the Saints.

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