Friday, May 25, 2007

Learn by Heart

10 years ago, my dh was finishing his fourth year at CTSFW, while I was learning how to be a mother of two, having given birth to our second daughter in April. Pr. Bender came to give an evening class on catechetical instruction. I attended with the nursing babe while the oldest stayed with dad.

It really is quite simple. Speak the words of the catechism daily, repeating one section/week and over time those words become part of you. So much so that you can't help but say those words when you hear part being spoken. The same goes with hymns and Bible verses.

During that class 10 years ago, Pr. Bender at one point used my weeks old infant daughter as the example. How was she going to learn to talk? Of course by her father and I talking to her. So how else will she learn the language of faith if we don't also speak that to her. I will never forget that moment; of course he was right.

That fall, having moved to my husband's first call, we began following the Learn By Heart Schedule, Pr. Bender set up for his school. Our oldest was only 2, but we kept at it. In the evenings for bedtime prayers, we would sing a favorite hymn. We were simply amazed at how these two young girls were complete sponges and soaking up the words of Christ through the catechism, hymns, and Bible verses. By the time they were 5 and 3, they would often know it by heart before their parents.

Now we are the parents of 5 lovely children. We have been fairly consistent with the daily Learn By Heart. We use the Congregation at Prayer, but the one my husband writes for his flock here. I have noticed something. The younger set doesn't seem to know as many verses or catechism sections or hymns by heart. Granted two are boys and I do see the difference with learning, but there is still not the recollection like it was with the older two.

I'm not sure why, but we'll keep plugging away because I do know they are still listening by some of the questions they ask. This is another reason I love attending this conference. It renews me into seeing just how important this is. It isn't just another "thing." It is *the* thing. These are the words of Christ, the words given to us to cling to, believe, cherish and treasure. These are treasures that I simply can't not give to my children. So even though I'm tired, dh has visits to make, the children are squirrely, there's a million things to do, "No children you can't be excused from the table, we will first say our prayers." "Yes we will say prayers before bedtime." Why? Because hearing Christ and His Word is what Life is.

1 comment:

Favorite Apron said...

It is hard to do all the things with the youngers that we did with the olders. Makes me feel awful guilty sometimes........
But the youngers are getting some benefits too - growing up with older siblings. Instead of just mom and dad to love and take care of them, there are these other people too.