- Who is God?
God is the supreme being.
- Why did God make me?
God made me to show forth his goodness, and to make me happy with Him in heaven.
- What must I do to be happy with God in heaven?
To be happy with God in heaven, I must know Him, love Him, and serve Him in this life.
These three questions are probably what I will be reciting on my deathbed after all other thoughts have decayed. Pretty much every thought I have ever had regarding faith and morals goes right back to these three questions and fits into this framework.
There’s a family legend that while my older sister was learning her catechism and mom asked her, “Who is God?”, little toddler me interrupted with, “God is a green bean!” My theology has gotten a bit better since then. By the time it was my turn to memorize catechism questions, I was already very familiar with the answers and some of the explanations as well.
In the last couple of months, I attended two funerals on my husband’s side of the family. We took the boys (thankfully, they behaved); in the middle of sorrow, sometimes it is a welcome reminder that life continues. Death never gets the last word.
One of these times, I am going to have to explain to my boys what is going on. Likely next year when we celebrate the upcoming All Souls, I’ll have an inquisitive 3-year old that wants to know what all the hoopla at the Requiem Mass is. (If you’ve never been to a solemn requiem, it is truly a majestic thing to behold!)
What do you tell a 3-year-old when he asks about death?
If I wait until I’m put on the spot, I think I will fail miserably. But I have come up with a battle plan for the next year, and I really the plan really is not half bad.
It starts with creating an understanding of who we are, and who God is. I was later down a long line of Catholic kids, so I can’t remember a time when God wasn’t talked about. He was always there, a loving Father who wanted to be with me forever. Melanie Jean Juneau is constantly writing about how her little ones come up with profound understandings of complex thoughts, simply by not over complicating things. They understand a lot more than we give them credit for, as long as they have the basic framework.
Now my oldest doesn’t have the luxury of listening to older siblings as a toddler, picking up snippets of the Faith as I teach them to older siblings, but I still can teach him even now about the nature of God and His plan for us.
I don’t intend to get into Aquinas style treatises on the Nature of God or anything, but just to read him stories and maybe show him a few old school CCC movies and Veggie Tales (old school ones only, none of this “In the House” foolishness) so he can become familiar with God our Father. I can get him used to talking to his Father in heaven and visiting his heavenly family at Church.
Hopefully, in the next few years, I will be able to teach him the first three classic questions from the Baltimore Catechism. Already, he get’s so excited when we get to go to “Jesus’ house” and visit “Mother Mary”. So I don’t think it will be too crazy of a plan.
My favorite thing about this plan is it reaches so far beyond All Souls 2018. Teaching my kiddos about God isn’t just a way to explain death, its a whole way to live. Once again, the Catholic Church is awesome. What we believe encompasses what we do in church, yeah, but also everything else too.
I remember the line from Bella, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans”, and that is probably how it will go. But even if I stick to my plan, and still get blank confused stares on November 2, 2018 (or beyond…), I’ll rest easy knowing my efforts have not been in vain, and that I am doing my best to help my children grow.
How did you explain death to your kids?
Today’s post is part of the CWBN Blog Hop. To see what other Catholic Women have to say on this topic, head on over to Reconciled to You