Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The Lentan prayers of a three year old.
As my oldest baby has started to talk more and more its been such a treat to hear what her little thoughts are on a daily basis. But what's even more amazing is hearing her small prayers.
For the last couple weeks every time we pray together, at meals, before bed, etc, Gemma chimes in at the end with "And help us get ready for EASTERTIME!" Its a pretty simple prayer, but its said with much excitement and enthusiasm, and of course, sweetness and pure innocence! I hadn't exactly been preaching the importance of Lent or the theological implications of Christ's Resurrection to the kids on a daily basis, just little snippets of Easter coming soon, so I thought the fact that she even thought about Easter so often was pretty impressive.
But as her dedication to her little prayer has continued each meal and bedtime I thought more and more about it. Its pretty succinct. It gets right to the point of Lent. We're getting ready for Easter. Thats what its all about, but how often does thinking about Lent and what we are/aren't doing really come from the goal of Easter? I know I've gone quite a few days in Lent without thinking twice about the actual meaning/fact of Easter. Also, when I compare the simple petition to my own mental prayer throughout Lent its like comparing a shooting arrow to puddle jumping. I feel as if my own lofty approaches to prayer in Lent have become vaguer and vaguer as Lent has gone on. Most importantly though, Gemma's prayer is filled with joy and enthusiasm. And even though Lent's a time for sacrifices, giving, fasting, it doesn't have to equal seriousness, or a morbid moroseness. We should always look to Easter with joy, Easter is the reason for our faith and joy. What better example of faith and Christianity than joy?
So I've found myself praying along with Gemma, asking for help getting ready for Easter, and thinking about her prayer often during the day. Her little brother has even started chiming in with the prayer, even though I'm not too sure if he even remembers much from his two past Easters! Now I wonder what prayers she'll teach me after Easter!