Sunday, February 10, 2008

Number 1's Unite!

A dear friend of mine (I'm sure she will comment on this article!) has certain rules to live by. Rule #1, especially applying to her son: You are not normal!

Ok, I know it sounds strange and rather like the normal pride that a mother feels towards her son, but let me explain.

He is used to priests coming over for meals, he knows them by name (but is still to call them 'Father'), he knows the rubrics at Mass, the six precepts of the Church, goes to Mass while they are on vacation! (NOT a negotiable). To sum up, #1's are people who 'get it.' Perhaps they are converts, perhaps they are cradle Catholics who did extra reading, praying, converting, growing up.

Last night I had dinner with a couple from Dayton who are supporters of the Vocation Office, and I had to call my friend on the way back to mom and dad's to say: "I've met two more #1's!"

What did this very nice couple do to earn them such a dubious distinction?

When they didn't like their sex education program that was offered at the parish grade school, they took it over. They didn't just complain and make noise, they did something about it. They laughed that the principal called them her friendly agitator to get the idea of vocations in the school (one of the reasons for our dinner meeting), before she enrolled her children in the school, the mother interviewed the principal: "How many of your teachers are Catholic?" plus many other questions I can't quite remember at this point....

They both stated that they wanted the best for their children, whether that be a doctor, lawyer, bomber pilot, or a priest. They want their children to have that option.

The lesson for the rest of us: it is easy to complain about things that we don't like. What do we do to fix it? Pastors and/or principals often hear the complaints, which we learn to deal with (hoepfully). What's greater to hear is: "Father, we don't like this and this is what we are going to do about it (with your permission, of course!)"

One line that sticks out to me from the Fishers of Men DVD: "Where the faith is important, the kids pick it up, just like they do with the language." Make the faith important in your lives, a priority, and it will pass down to your children, whether biological or spiritual.


Jackie said...

Father Kyle,

YOU'VE LET IT OUT!! No National Secrets for you!!

Yes - I have a numbering system to describe certain things that my friends and I use to save a little time.

#1 is 'I am not normal'. This developed when my friend came into the Church about 6 years ago. After she found the beauty and truth (and goodness) of the Church - she just couldn't understand the Catholics that didn't do or get that.

I told her that when she got to asking that question and being just confused - she needed to chant to herself - 'I am not normal. I am not normal.' Otherwise, she would beat her head against a wall.

We shortend that to #1 - as in rule number 1. Then, we would use it as an object of a sentence - 'Well, because I'm number #1, I ...'

Yes, my 19 year old son knows the numbering system and THINKS he's not #1 - but he really is - we just don't tell him so. Don't let the cat out of the bag - it's beginning to dawn on him! I chuckle inside.

The rest of the system you ask - ok here it is:

#1 I am not normal - ie I really love being Catholic, He is the most important person in my life AND I believe everything the Catholic Church teaches.

#2 This is going to be really hard (at my house - this is going to suck - but that may not be ok in some peoples houses)

#3 Offer it up (often goes with # 2)

#4 He meant well. (Often used by my friends about their husbands and ALWAYS goes with #3)

Before you ask - yes, I have an engineering degree.

Yes, I can list some other #1's

Fr. Kyle, Fr. Anthony, Fr. Watkins, Fr. Bertke, Fr. Fox, Rich Leonardi, Dan and Jenn Giroux, and the list goes on.

Clearly this couple is #1.

Have a great time on your trip, Fr. Kyle. Be careful of the gypsies!

Adoro te Devote said...

Boy, I hope I'm categorized as a #1. I"m trying...I really am.

And also, if you happen to check in between now and tomorrow, I'm giving a talk on First Communion to the parents. I plan to discuss the fact that they are responsible to get their children into Heaven, which means making God a priority, over Hockey, over other sports, over Hunting, everything. Which means going to Mass, every week. Because as Jesus said, woe to those who lead one of these little ones into sin. And by not taking them to Mass, they lead not only their children, but themselves, into sin.

I suspect the first part of my talk is going to be very unpopular.

And then I'm going to discuss the fact that the Eucharist really is Jesus, back it up with John 6, Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, and today in my reading for class I found some beautiful quotes from St. Ignatius.

"Love crucified." And he doesn't mince words.

And I'll finish by discussing Eucharistic miracles, and 2 child saints...Bl. Imelda and Nellie of Holy God.

So...if you have something you think needs to be said, by all means send it my way so I can educate. And please, please, pray for me because my opening paragraph may get me martyred.

Jackie said...


Oh yes, you are definitely #1!! Sounds to me like you have the talk covered. We'll just keep you and them in our prayers - you to say what is needed with love (no really worried here) and that they are open to the grace - even if it means facing some difficult conclusions about their own lives and how they are raising their children.

God Bless!

Adoro te Devote said...

Thanks, Jackie.

The talk went well tonight, they didn't martyr me, although we can always hope for tomorrow evening! But I think tonight was my "tough" crowd so tomorrow should be OK.

I had a couple of real holy parents in that room tonight, and a rosary group and adoration group remembering us in their intentions, and Father, too. :-) Nuthin' like prayer to make things go well!

And the Guardian Angels...they are key!