Here’s a nice story that happened at church on a recent Sunday. As we sat behind a lovely family of five, at 7:30 a.m. mass, we couldn’t help but admire the three beautiful children seated with their mom and dad in their pew. The little boy of about 2 ½ years old, his sister who looked to be about 4 and the older brother about 6, behaved beautifully for the first half of the mass. Mom and dad were obviously loving parents who showed much affection to the children in the way of hugs and kisses. However, as will happen with little kids in church, things started to change. As the little girl sat quietly and drew on a pad, the little guy decided that he wanted to do the same and began to carry on a bit. Well, the mood became contagious and before you could say “Hail Mary,” the parents were engaged in damage control, trying their best to calm things down and re-establish peace among the gang. Many of us, who have attended services with our small children can easily relate to situations like this and recall the anxiety they caused us as we tried to get our little angels under control.
Seeing this reminded me our “turn at bat” so to speak, many years ago, during a crowded 8 o’clock Sunday mass. As my wife tended to our newborn son, our little daughter of 3 wiggled into the aisle with a tissue to wipe the end of the pew, as if cleaning, declaring out loud, “This is a crap house,” horrifying her mother and causing me to laugh almost uncontrollably. She had picked up this phrase from me, I guess, as she heard me comment on the condition of my car’s interior while cleaning it just the day before as she “helped” her daddy.
As my thoughts returned to the present, I glanced at the corner of our pew and noticed a pamphlet unfamiliar to me at any stage of my over 70 years of attending mass. To me, it was the most thoughtful piece I have ever seen provided to the congregation and it seemed that the Holy Spirit himself dropped off this message in anticipation of this event and others that were both similar and plentiful in most if not all houses of worship. As I read the message, I acted upon an urge to help the dad out and handed him the pamphlet. Upon reading it, a calm engulfed him and soon spread to the rest of the family. All was peaceful again … a minor Easter miracle in real time! To our pastor, or whoever it was who came up with this idea, God bless them for caring and for their thoughtful anticipation.