Teaching Children a Language of Mystery—Resource for Catechists and Parents

If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you know that I have previously talked about the concept of a language of mystery. What is a language of mystery? It is a language that transcends words and relies on sign, symbol, ritual, song and music, silence, gesture, and movement. It is the language that God uses to communicate with his people. Think of how, in Scripture, God’s presence is manifested through a burning bush, a mighty […]

Sacramental Preparation Should Rely on a Language of Mystery

When my mom was 13 years old and unbaptized, she hung around with her best friend Ramona who, like the rest of her family, was a practicing Catholic. Once, when my mom went with Ramona’s family to Sunday Mass, she observed them all go up to receive Communion and come back to their places to kneel in prayer with a look of joyful contentment on their faces. After Mass, my mom asked Ramona’s mother, “What […]

Explaining the Holy Trinity

“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”—these are words we use every time we pray the Sign of the Cross. Even young children know them. The prayer expresses the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, that God reveals himself in Three Persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is difficult for anyone to understand, especially young children. St. Patrick famously explained the Trinity by relating God in Three […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 2, Day 2: Learning the Language Spoken in the Kingdom of God (Mystery and Sacramentality)

WEEK TWO: Sacraments (Celebrating the Christian Mystery) DAY 2: Learning the Language Spoken in the Kingdom of God (Mystery and Sacramentality) Recently, I did some research into my ancestry, uncovering stories of forefathers and foremothers who came to the shores of the United States from Poland in the late 19th century. In particular, I was impressed with the story of my great, great grandmother (on my mother’s side), Julia, who, as it turns out, spoke 7 languages […]

Joseph Shows the Way for this Last Week of Advent

Sometimes, our head is telling us one thing but our heart and our gut are telling us something else. This past Sunday’s Gospel tells us that St. Joseph was experiencing this inner turmoil. His betrothed, Mary, is pregnant…and he’s not the father. According to Jewish Law, she should be stoned. At the very least, he decides to quietly divorce her…it would be the righteous thing to do. And yet, something within him continues to question […]

A Language of Mystery

Funny how a segue I had planned for my class this past Monday turned out to be one of the most significant moments of the entire session, thanks to one of my students and the Holy Spirit. I was seeking to introduce the concept of SIGNS and how we encounter Jesus through the signs we call the Sacraments. I invited 3 volunteers to come forward for a “contest.” I had 3 clear plastic cups on a […]