Babies, Stillness, and Jesus

Lily is quite the wriggly six month old these days.  The hour we spend at mass is spent attempting to keep her occupied so she doesn’t get too antsy and fussy.  So when we get to the Liturgy of the Eucharist, she tends to be pretty sick of sitting in the same spot.  Who would have thought that someone so interested in exploring could get bored?

So imagine my surprise this Sunday when the most beautiful thing happened.  It was my first Sunday mass alone with Lily, since RJ was home sick with the stomach flu.  So I was completely on my own.  She did well before mass started and through the Liturgy of the Word.  By then, we had read “Let’s Go to Mass” half a dozen times.  Right before the Consecration, she got really restless, looking around and arching her back, which are all signs of her becoming fussy.  Wrangling her while kneeling isn’t the easiest feat.

But just as the priest consecrates the bread into the Body of Christ, lifting it above his head, she pauses and turns towards the altar.  Utterly still, not blinking.  Then a few seconds later, she jerks her head and continues to look around the sanctuary.  I thought I imagined it.  But when the priest raised the Blood of Christ, the same thing happened.

Now I will admit that the bells may have helped gain her attention.  But the complete stillness in her eyes and body as she looked towards Jesus at the altar was the most amazing moment I’ve experienced with her during mass.  It makes me a proud Catholic mama.

She looked at the Body of Christ like she had seen it for the first time.  Like she was seeing Jesus for the first time.  She discovered the beauty of the mass without even understanding why it’s the center of our liturgy.  How awesome is that?

This little girl is teaching me a lot about appreciating these moments.  I’m constantly amazed by her uninhibited discovery and faith in this new world.  I wonder if she can see Jesus during consecration in a way we can’t.  Her innocence and ability to believe without inhibition is so powerful.  I want to be there, with that faith that doesn’t doubt yet.

I’ll remember this beautiful moment for a long time.  And I hope that her innocent faith continues for many years.  This Catholic mama is smiling because of it 🙂


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