Eugene De Blaas — The Love Letter
Every once in a while I like to go through the search terms people use to find this site to see what questions are being asked to lead people here. Funny enough sometimes I know that they won’t find the answer they are looking for in what I have written, even more humorous is when I actually know the answers anyhow. Here are some of the latest.
What is a child receiving communion called? Anyone who is entitled to receive communion can be called a communicant. For first communion it would be “first communicant”.
Where can I learn the catholic rosary? Not here, but The Rosary Center or Catholic Online both have the prayers. And you can use the same Rosary beads for a chaplet as well. My favorite is the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
What is the most important moment in my life? You are in it. Right now is the most important moment in your life. It is the only moment you have any control over. All choices are made in the now. All plans, all dreams depend on how we live the little moments of our lives. Who and what you are living this moment for makes all the difference.
Does the Grotto in Portland have the luminous mysteries? I don’t remember them having them. Their website is here and their Rosary page is here.
What does it mean to be living a Catholic life? For me it means you are working on forming yourself, your conscience, your habits and practices in the image God wants for you, that you are striving to be like Him within the structure, the tradition and the support of Catholic teaching. In short following the precepts of the Church.
As always the Catechism of the Church has a better answer than I could ever hope to form:
II. THE PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH
2041 The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor:2042 The first precept (“You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor.”) requires the faithful to sanctify the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord as well as the principal liturgical feasts honoring the Mysteries of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints; in the first place, by participating in the Eucharistic Celebration, in which the Christian community is gathered, and by resting from those works and activities which could impede such a sanctification of these days.82The second precept (“You shall confess your sins at least once a year.”) ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism’s work of conversion and forgiveness.83
The third precept (“You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season”) guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord’s Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian liturgy.84
2043 The fourth precept (“You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church”) ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.NT1The fifth precept (“You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church”) means that the faithful are obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability.NT2
III. MORAL LIFE AND MISSIONARY WITNESS
2044 The fidelity of the baptized is a primordial condition for the proclamation of the Gospel and for the Church’s mission in the world. In order that the message of salvation can show the power of its truth and radiance before men, it must be authenticated by the witness of the life of Christians. “The witness of a Christian life and good works done in a supernatural spirit have great power to draw men to the faith and to God.”88
2045 Because they are members of the Body whose Head is Christ,89 Christians contribute to building up the Church by the constancy of their convictions and their moral lives. The Church increases, grows, and develops through the holiness of her faithful, until “we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”90
2046 By living with the mind of Christ, Christians hasten the coming of the Reign of God, “a kingdom of justice, love, and peace.”91 They do not, for all that, abandon their earthly tasks; faithful to their master, they fulfill them with uprightness, patience, and love.
How do I prepare my autistic son for 1st Communion? A lot of that will depend on where on the autism spectrum your son is. I have written about First Communion and autism here. In the US the most important document on the topic is: Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities. Most pastors I have known have been very open to working with families dealing with disability issues. There are some out there who aren’t and that is very sad but we are all human and struggle with our own fears, discomforts and prejudices and I would hope that we always keep in mind the Proverb: A mild answer calms wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
As far as practical advice goes the two most helpful things in general I can say are: Practice with a few unconsecrated breads and wine before the actual sacrament so you can see if there are any taste or texture issues that might cause problems, and social stories are very helpful. Your child’s school probably has software to help create one or you can find images online and put one together yourself. One of these days I might get around to putting mine online.
Being a good wife means what? You might be looking for the “1950’s home economic textbook’s 10 step guide to being a good wife” here is it at snopes or you might want Aristotle’s work “On a good wife“. You might be looking for the Proverb 31 description or Titus 2 and in the end, even thoug one is a ‘joke’ they all have similar themes. If you were to condense them all down you get something like this:
A good wife is woman of worth in her own right. She is someone who is thoughtful, just, kind, modest, graceful, respectable, honorable and faithful. She takes good care of her home and household. She is wise with her family’s assets. She avoids any scandal. She takes excellent care of her children and her family and shows consideration and charity to her community, the poor and the needy. She loves her husband, showing him respect, support, devotion and affection. Above all she serves God.
I have written a little more on the topic of being a Good Wife here.
2 thoughts on “Funny questions from the past few weeks.”
Took me a week to catch up with your blog, Darcee, and this is only partially in response to this entry – it relates mostly to the one from June 6 but I put it here to make sure it was seen.
First, you are not alone. Although my own son is not autistic, I have worked with autistic children (and pre-teens, though not older teens) in the past and I can attest that other parents are out there, even if they seem difficult to find.
Autism is a condition that has only recently begun receiving the attention it so desperately deserves, and even then much of the attention it has received has not helped. Doctors eager to overprescribe medications to “calm” kids in the “normal” spectrum – making them easier to handle even when they have no disorder – have overdiagnosed and misdiagnosed both ADHD and autism for years. Mothers still find themselves blamed for the functioning or non-functioning of their autistic children even when they have done everything (and often more) that a parent can be expected to do.
I suspect that those who would demonize you for placing a child in residential care are those who have no disabled family members and no experience with disabilities. Speaking as someone with mentally disabled cousins and friends with severely disabled children, I firmly believe that the spectrum of appropriate parenting choices not only includes residential care but also mandates it where, as you describe, the child in question presents a danger to herself and others if not helped to live in a situation where her special needs can be properly and caringly met.
Our faith and our God requires us to remember that we cannot judge another man’s acts – only God is qualified to do that. While this does not mean we are unqualified to see -and obligated to recognize – the difference between sinful (i.e., wrong) behavior and “good” behavior, we do not always have the facts necessary to evaluate the decisions of others – and in those circumstances we must not do so. There are probably people in this world who would warehouse children for their own comfort or their own purposes. I like to think from even the little I know you that I know you well enough to say that is not the sort of behavior you would engage in.
It is reasonable to be afraid of aggressive behavior, particularly from a person who cannot fully understand the nature and consequences of her actions. It would be unreasonable to simply assume that “nothing could ever happen.” You know as well as I that things happen all the time, even to people who don’t live with disabilities. We all exercise bad judgment, and we do it more frequently when we don’t fully understand the situation. In this, your daughter is no different than the rest of us. Only her level of understanding differs.
Although I’d like to think CPS is a helpful organization, my experience with them (which, I admit, comes exclusively from what I have read and heard from friends who have had personal experiences with them) suggests they are the last people you want involved, as long as you have alternatives. With private assistance (therapists, doctors, counselors, priests, pastors…the list goes on) you can evaluate the worldview, experience and biases of the individuals involved and then choose the ones best suited to your needs and those of your daughter. With CPS, you get what you (don’t) pay for, and what they have the time and resources to give. CPS is set up as a reactionary organization – they react to perceived problems, often with assumptions that, at least in your case, are almost certainly invalid.
Long entry, but the summation comes to this: you are not alone, and if you keep looking and praying help will find you. CPS probably isn’t it, but other avenues exist. And if Christ doesn’t cast a stone at you, no one else has a right to either. Hold your head up and do your best for your daughter – and try not to have shame or sadness about not being able to do everything without help, or about the choice of residential care. “Doing your best” doesn’t always mean doing it all yourself.
This definition of a good wife is excellent. I need to tape it to my bedside table as a goal list. Blessings to you!