Sunday, September 29, 2013

After church Kevin, age 4, sang the following line again and again,

Thank you, Lord Jesus, he laid down his life for the sheep.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Right Back

Annie, age 2, has her own Good shepherd (w/ 3 sheep) at home on the table next to her mother's desk. But the Good Shepherd became unglued, and so was away getting repair. As her mother worked at her desk, she over heard Annie saying to the sheep, "Right back, Good Shepherd be right back."
Here is a story of Ollie, who accompanied his mother one afternoon during a weekend of formation in the Catechesis. All afternoon Ollie had been happily occupied with his mom and a few nearby objects which she had provided. At the end of the day, the participants meditated together on the Good Shepherd. As I proclaimed this passage of Scripture, Ollie straightened his torso and focused his attention at the sheepfold. As the figures of the Shepherd and the sheep were brought out of the sheepfold during the reading he outstretched his arms, cried out "aaahhh" and strained toward them, his face alight. When the figure of the Shepherd was rotated (away from Ollie) to face the wooden sheep, Ollie's face fell and his arms sagged. Noticing this, I turned the Shepherd toward Ollie again. His glow returned and his arms returned to the upright and welcoming position until the end of the passage.

It was a wonderful moment, particularly as Ollie is our Godson.  I'd known in my heart that we would eventually be together in the atrium listening to the Good Shepherd. I didn't realize that moment would first arrive when he was 8 months old?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Samuel, age 3 1/2 was doing the Good Shepherd work. He asked me to join him. He talked for 10-15 minutes almost nonstop about the Good Shepherd. A sampling follows:

(Holding the sheep) This is me. This is me when I was a baby.
(Picking up another sheep) And this is my brother.
(Pointing to the flock) This is the Good Shepherd's family.
(Taking a sheep out of the fold.) This sheep is lost. He is not really lost. (Placed sheep on back side of sheepfold with nose through twine.) He's looking in the fold. He wants to come in.
Here I began reading the scripture booklet. "The Good shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out."
(We placed the Good shepherd and the sheep out in the pasture.) And then we walked. And we took a little trips. And then I climbed up. (Samuel placed his sheep up on the Good shepherd shoulders.) And then my dad did that too! (He had much joy in his voice.) And then we closed up our sheepfold so we could live in that.
And this is the watch out person and these are all the sheep.
He paused. I read, "When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them and his sheep follow him." (Samuel spoke) And then the leader comes along too. Some sheep are the leaders. Only  two sheep have to be the leaders.
I read, "The sheep follow him because they know his voice." Samuel spoke: Can you help me make it further so the other sheep get in? (He wanted me to help move the Good Shepherd and sheep around the sheepfold to make room for all the sheep to follow.)
The sheep are following the Good Shepherd and then some want to come in the fold. Then they lift up the gate.
I said, "And the Good Shepherd always makes sure that the sheep are safe."
Samuel: And no stranger comes along.

Sheep, do you know the road

Annie, age 2 is talking a lot about the sheep and shepherd these days. She sings, "Sheep, sheep, do you know the road." She also goes up to the rocking chair, gets out all the Scripture Booklets,  puts them on her lap and goes through them, page by page. She spent about thirty minutes on this one Sunday morning.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Now they are glad

Fiona, age 5, was working with Good Shepherd figures on her own She took one sheep away and hid it. "Now Jesus comes to find the lost sheep," she said. Her grandmother was also her catechist, and she said, "Grandma, bring the good Shepherd here." Fiona put the lost sheep with the Good Shepherd and brought them back to the fold. "Now they are glad," she said. She had never seen the lost sheep presentation nor heard the scripture I'm sure.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

See his heart...

Britta, age 4, was with her mother looking at a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and said, "That's the Good Shepherd."
Mother: How do you know?
Britta: That's Jesus and see his heart, that's where he keeps his sheep.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Jesus is Everywhere here!

Roberta practically danced outside of the Atrium, in the courtyard. It was finally her turn to come to the Atrium! She had been coming with her mother, watching her older brother Douglas enter the atrium, for three years. Finally, she would hear her own name called! Roberta was the first to offer to model a "quiet walk", to whisper her name using "quiet talking", and was very eager to name the items she saw on the prayer table. When I asked what she saw, she said, "I see Jesus, holding a lamb." How amazing to me that children intuitively know Jesus is our Good Shepherd. And as we walked through the environment, quietly taking in all that we could with just our eyes, she stopped before some artwork of the Good Shepherd, which hung on the walls near our Mass area. "Look! Jesus is everywhere here!"

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Kristopher and the Good Shepherd

Kristopher's mother is a catechist, but had never talked to him about the Good Shepherd. She wrote:
Saturday evening Kayla (5th grade), Kristopher (18 months) and I were sitting on her bed. Kristopher was holding a small icon picture of the Good Shepherd which had just fallen from where it had been hanging in our hallway. As far as I know Kristopher had never seen it before. Kayla pointed to the Good Shepherd and said, "Who is this, Kristopher?" To which he responded, "Mommy." I then pointed to the sheep, and asked, "Who is this?" "Baby," he answered.

A short while later our whole family was sitting together, and my husband wanted to show us all how well Kristopher knew all our names. He proceeded to ask him "Where's Kayla?" "Where's Eric...Erin...Mommy... Daddy?" To which Kristopher pointed appropriately in turn. When asked "Where is Kristopher?" he pointed to the sheep in the Good Shepherd picture he was still holding and said, "Me."

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

His face is beautiful

    I was presenting the Good Shepherd parable to Oliver, age 3.
   We reread the Scripture , with Oliver moving the figures of the shepherd and sheep. At the end, he chose not to move the sheep back to the Good Shepherd.  Then he took one sheep from the group and moved it away from the others, and then into the sheepfold, alone. I asked him, " ...this sheep is not with the others?"  He said, " The sheep doesn't want to be with the others right now."  He thought a moment and added, " But the Good Shepherd is keeping his eye on him anyway."  I asked "The Good Shepherd and these sheep may be very far away - can he see sheep still?"   He said " Yes."
   Later, he moved all the other sheep into the fold to join the one. He looked at the Good Shepherd and said, "His face is beautiful. The sheep like to look at him....he has a beautiful face."