Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesdays with Words :: "And Is Subject to Them"

As I have mentioned before, we're reading Mother Mary Loyola's First Communion this year for our religion studies, and I continue to be impressed by its scope and depth.  Right now we're working through a section on the life of Our Lord, and we were all struck by this passage from her chapter on Nazareth:
We must not leave dear Nazareth till we have looked at the synagogue, where the Holy Family prayed so often, and the site of which is still shown to pilgrims.  The Holy Family went there on the Sabbath-day for public prayer, to hear the Law read and the Prophets.  Think of what passed in the Sacred Heart as Our Lord sat there.  Look at His upturned face as He follows the reader through type and prophesy--seeing clearly in Melchisedech, the Paschal Lamb, the Manna in the Desert, figures of Himself.  How the thought of the Bloody and Unbloody Sacrifice to come, of the Tabernacle and of First Communions is filling that dear Heart of His and making It beat fast with loving impatience.  He hears the glorious names the  Prophets give to the Messiah--the glorious things they say of Him.  He is the King of Glory, the Light of the Gentiles, Christ the Prince, the Prince of Peace, the Wonderful, the Mighty God, the Father of the world to come.  He is to redeem with a plentiful Redemption, to rise triumphantly from the dead, to take His seat at the right hand of the Father and to rule over an everlasting Kingdom.  He listens.  He understands.  And when the book is closed and the congregation disperses, He puts His hand again into St. Joseph's and rejoins His Mother and goes down the village street with them again to His poor Home--"And is subject to them."  And all this for me. (124-5)
These chapters on Jesus' early life have made me consider in a new way the many hidden moments in the life of the Holy Family.  I'm so appreciating this opportunity to explore these rich meditations with the children.


  1. Celeste, I am not a Catholic but I find this compelling, to think of Jesus seeing himself in the scriptures from a child.

  2. I think we are going to have to add this to this term's First Holy Communion prep. What beautiful thoughts. Thanks for sharing, Celeste.

    1. Hi there, Amanda! Just wanted to elaborate on my suggestion of this book for you. At the time this was written (in the 1890s), FHC was commonly not given until later, perhaps at 12. I think the language level of this book reflects that. I'm using it with my oldest two (both age 7) and they're following it just fine, but I would also consider them advanced in that area. All that to say that you might want to pre-read a bit and see what age you would find it fitting for when it comes to your kids. I had forgotten about it when my kids were actually doing their FHC prep last year (they did it young--at age 6), but when I finally remembered and pulled it out, I realized that it might even be better when they were a bit older anyway. Which is why I added it to our curriculum this year. ;)

      Also, it is quite long (very thorough!), and the second section of it was specifically written for "After Communion." So it is definitely perfectly suitable reading for the family--older kids and adults will get a lot out of it too--and for stretching over a long period of time. We're reading a half chapter a week which is plenty, so we'll be reading the whole book over about two years.