The kids gathered for Mass last night as part of their class, and parents and family were invited to join. Critter and Miss Bear joined me - though Miss Bear fell asleep promptly after the opening hymn. We sat behind the eighth graders, the ones who will be confirmed come Easter. And I have to admit, I was discouraged at what I saw. Many of them had no idea how to act in church, even when to sit, stand, or kneel. But they sure were enthusiastic to open the hymnal - not to sing, just to make noise!
I could have let myself continue to think negatively - I do have that tendency and one I fight daily. Instead, I forced my thoughts to prayer - for these kids, their teachers, their parents. I encourage you to say a little prayer for our children round the world, that they may find true love in God and a burning passion for the Holy Spirit. Pray for their educators - parents and of the parish and of those adults close to them. I pray most for a love and reverence of God and a simple faith, something that far surpasses whether a child knows his catechism or not (though I sure do want them to know!).
For teachers, parents, and any who educate our young children, we pray:
*Teach us, O my Lord Jesus,
instruct us that we may learn from Thee
what we ought to teach concerning Thee.
For the children themselves, under God's care, we pray:
**Father of all mercies
We ask that you would bless
the youngest and littlest of learners,
the most helpless and powerless of persons,
with Your infinite and loving mercy,
granting them the strength to learn, concentrate,
and act in love towards
their teachers and fellow students.
We also ask that You would watch over them,
at home and at school
and give them proper direction
so that they may learn
of Your wonderful virtues.
We ask this in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
*This prayer is a prayer for wisdom and understanding by Anglican Archbishop William Laud. I made it plural. The original prayer was for an individual.
**This is a prayer for school children by David Bennett.