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Expert Answer Forum

by Catherine Frakas 20 Nov 2001

Kneeling through Eucharistic Prayer QUESTION from Mr. Jeff Campbell September 3, 1999
I hope that this finds you better than before, and am very sorry to hear of your illness. Since I have heard of the exception granted to the Bishops of the United States, I have tried to remember to kneel for the entire Eucharistic Prayer (old habits are sometimes hard to break oneself of). However, I have found a certain dilemma at this point: my five year old is now admonishing me that it is time to stand up when everyone else does so. Of course, I cannot really make a full response during the mass, and the subject is often dropped by the time we leave-I have not brought it back up, since I do not know what to say. Although this may be somewhat out of your line, do you or any of your readers have any idea how to explain this to a five year old, without breaking the charity he feels for the rest of the congregation (he is at that stage when he places a great deal of emphasis on the good (or obedient) and bad (or disobedient) people, and has a difficult time understanding that many people who are disobedient are not really bad)? As I said, child psychology may not be your area, but I would appreciate any input you or your readers may have. Thank you. ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on September 3, 1999
Dear Jeff, Thank you, both for your kind words and for your interesting question. Yikes! You bring up an interesting dilemma and I'm sure there will be many different opinions about how to handle it. All I could tell you is how I handled it with my children who are now, 19, 14, and 12 years old.. First I thought it important to point out to my sons that the people of the parish are generally good and decent folks who desire the same things that we all do. The vast majority are not consciously disobedient and would never openly defy the Church . The problem is that they are led to believe that certain things are okay by people whom they trust. Many clergy have also been victimized by liberal seminaries and individual educators who misinterpreted (sometimes intentionally) what Vatican II intended to accomplish. Many of the liturgical abuses and disobedient attitudes that we see today are left-overs from the 60's and 70's and old habits die hard. The good news is that for the most part, the crop of seminarians out there today are dynamic, loyal Catholics and most of the ultra liberal seminaries are closed. These new priests along with the loyal priests who make up the majority of clergy already in the parishes will guide the Church in America and Canada into the next century. I believe the pendulum is swinging the other way and the liberal (modernist) minority will have much less influence than they have had in the past. I told my sons that I must lead by example and follow the words of St. James; Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. [James 4:17,RSV] They follow my lead and haven't had to endure any ridicule over it. In fact whenever someone asks us why we do what we do we often gain a convert. I would be interested to hear what other readers and forum experts have to say on the topic. God bless you and your child. In Christ, John Miskell Back to Index Page

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