Saturday, December 6, 2014

Glory Cloud

This post links to Sunday Snippets

This year so far is the best year I've had catechizing 6th grade, which is saying a lot, since even the worst year (which I clearly remember) was still a good year. It takes a couple of months for the children to adjust to how class works, but lately we've become quite the little family, laughing, learning, anticipating, finishing each other's sentences. It's like sitting around the dinner table and the topic of lively conversation is always Jesus and his Church. The last two classes were like group flow-states, if that's possible. The kids believe in themselves, partly because they know I believe in them and love them like my own children. Every Wednesday night we hit the ground running, and they are fearless thinkers, knowing that even a fabulously wrong answer can still be a good answer.

Last class we were discussing this Annunciation, and how aspects of both Church and Temple are present in the building.

 Panel from the Isenheim Altarpiece

The kids can relate new stuff to old stuff on the fly, and one of them asked if there had been a Shekhinah cloud over the Temple, as there had been over the Meeting Tent. "Huh...maybe as long as it contained the Ark; y'all may remember that the Ark was gone by the time Mary was born. But there's a Glory Cloud in the painting. I see it! Yes! And in the cloud? The dove, the Holy Spirit! Yes! But is it overshadowing the Ark? No, Mary! Yes, because...Jesus is in her? Yes, as of that very moment when both Holy Spirit and Glory Cloud overshadow her. Yes, what? Is there a Shekhinah in church? Uhh...never thought about it. I guess not. Well, maybe it's there but we can't see it because of sin (being blinded or veiled by sin is a standard idea). Wow, you could be right! There's all sorts of glory and saints and angels at Mass with us, so I wouldn't be surprised if the whole church (arms waving around) might be lit like the sun with God's presence. It might be like visions Isaiah and Daniel had (they know them). Wow. We'll get to some of that later this year." And then we continued to discuss the painting.

I know this vignette is a small thing, but for that weekly hour of class we hover on the cusp of Heaven. This is my life. As the song says, God Has Been So Good to Me.

5 comments:

Joann Nelander said...

Your class is fortunate to have you. They'll take you with them as they grow, and be better prepared for the years ahead because you brought them Jesus, week after week.

RAnn said...

It is funny how you just click with certain groups of kids. I've got a group of Girl Scout Daisies (K-1) this year and I'm having a ball with them.

Christian LeBlanc said...

Ha! And I did not want to teach kids. Go figure.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

I love that painting. Sacred art from previous centuries showed us such depth from Scripture. When I was growing up we were not taught like this. It does have an important role to play in passing on the Faith. I'd like to have a program to teach the Faith integrating sacred art, the Bible, and the Mass to use with kids. Hmmm... now that's a big project.

Christian LeBlanc said...

That's what my book does.