Sunday, October 20, 2013

When does our Blank Page end?

This morning (caveat: I write this days or weeks before they are published) I had an experience with a group of 4th grade girls I will never forget.

Enjoying the fragrances from one of our parish's old oil sets:
Chrism, Oil of Catechumens, Oil of Infirm
They recalled smelling these during our discussion on the sacraments
We have been preparing to work on the Plan of God for a few weeks and the girls finally unrolled the control strip today. We discussed the portions, they jumped right on to the idea of the breakages as wars, of declining civilizations merging into others and passing their gifts along, of God speaking to Moses through the bush and beginning the line of the Hebrew people with that Revelation.

We discussed the sacraments, the time of Jesus, the spreading light of Christ - and we reached the blank page - something they have seen for 4 years now on various timelines (Fettuccia, Blue Unity, History of the Gifts, Level 3 Fettuccina, Level 3 History of the Gifts). Only now in level 3 are they finally coming to the understanding that a response is required. In level 2, the response was "to remain" on the true vine - now, in level 3, we are beginning to explore "how" to remain.
Working on the Level 3 History of the Gifts - re-creating a personal strip of their own

For our Plan of God presentation, I intended to simply review what they know about the blank page - nothing new.

But they had other plans ;)

"I have a question about the blank page," one young lady asked. "When does our blank page end? When we die? at Parousia? another time?"

I countered her question with another: "What happens when we die?"

And this led to further discussion amongst the girls - me mostly asking further questions and bringing in Church teaching and Scripture teaching only when appropriate.

  • Personal judgment: heaven, hell or purgatory - based on your state of grace and cleanliness of your soul at the moment of death (there were a lot of follow-up questions and discussions to this one, regarding specific crimes, level of repentance, and proximity to the sacrament of reconciliation)
  • children who die before the age of reason, including those who die in the womb - if they were baptized or would have been baptized - they are *saints* not angels (angels being another order of creation) - therefore, we can ask them to pray for us - to intercede for us
  • the girls asked about God sending spirits (ghosts) to earth for particular missions - yes, this is something God does (there is much documentation on this) ---- and they wanted to know if God could do it, could "he" too? (pointing downward as they asked) - yes, sadly he can too. 
  • the girls worked out that if anything spiritual leaves them uncomfortable, fearful (not the "fear of the Lord" variety of fear), or just not feeling "right", they would bless themselves immediately and get to a place of safety as quickly as possible
  • back to the blank page: so after death, others intercede for us (if we are in purgatory) and we intercede for others (when we get to heaven) - and we are all waiting for the Parousia
I wonder if these girls are ready for the 'Holy Bible & Parousia' material. Perhaps I can work with them with just a few of the verses, the ones pertinent to this particular conversation, and see how they respond. At least to show them where the ideas we discussed can be found in the Scriptures. 

And it seems they are definitely ready for '2000 Years' and perhaps moving towards 'My Century' - ready to discover what the blank page means in their own lives today, going deeper into the intricacies. 

Follow the child. 

It is amazing how different this specific group of children is from the other 4th graders I have, who all (except 2 individuals) came from the exact same level 2 atrium and previously the same level 1 atrium. Universal tendencies, individual expressions! I love the challenge :) Some children we are still planting seeds and tilling the soil. With these girls, on this topic, sprouts have sprung forth! 

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