Saturday, October 12, 2013

On Human Freedom: Our Son the Lector

Tonight at the 5 p.m. Mass, our high school freshman was trained by an older woman to become a lector. He sat beside her, a few pews in front of us, and listened as she whispered directions and instructions. In a few weeks, he will share the lectoring responsibilities with her and then, if all goes as hoped, he's at the ambo on his own. It was moving to witness her sit beside him during Mass, passing on the faith.

This lectoring was my idea. It's important to me and my husband that our sons serve the Church and the larger community. But Lucas, who is the family's lone extrovert and a gifted public speaker, is happy to do it. Tonight, however, was a chance for me to mull what it means to be a free person and to follow our own paths to our destinies.

Our sons are in high school now and they attend Mass every Sunday. They don't question it. It is part of the texture of their lives and it enriches them.  It's not because we are great parents or because our sons are especially wonderful. It is a certain kind of grace, an undeserved gift.  I know that many of their peers, much to their parents' distress, no longer  go to Mass. I went infrequently in my high school and college years, as did my husband.

While we have never discussed the possibility of any of us skipping Mass, we also don't coerce our sons into going with bribes or threats. They go willingly.

We  have told them that God gives humans freedom. The freedom to chose to cleave to Him or not. We are willing to risk their freedom and trust that they are going to follow the path to their destinies. We can't micromanage someone else's spiritual life or their understanding of what it means to be human.

During Mass, watching our son a few pews ahead in his button down shirt and khakis,  I turned to Greg and said "He looks so old!"

"No," he said with a smile. "We do."

At the end of the Mass, the trainer told me she had raised three sons and that at one point during high school, one son refused to go to Mass. "Don't make him do this if he doesn't want to," she told me. "He's a high school freshman."

We won't. We are thankful Lucas seems happy to take on this responsibility and we pray he will continue to mature in his faith. He watched his father lector for many years. His older brother took him to the mall to shop for the appropriate clothes. Tonight the young music director shook his hand and said he was happy to have him join in the ministries. So Lucas has a lot of support in this. I also know he might decide at some point he doesn't want to be a lector. He is free to make that decision.

Our Church instructs us:

"God willed that man should be left in the hand of his own counsel (cf. Sir 15:14), so that he might of his own accord seek his creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him" 

1 comment:

  1. wonderful !! - pray for your sons that they seek God's will in their lives.