Sunday, January 17, 2010

Little theologians

So today we had our home GIFT session, and since we had already covered a lot of the material (on the concept of the human soul and the imago dei), we opened it up for questions. Boy, they ask tough questions! Bear asked, "How can Jesus be so Godly and so Manly at the same time?" Basically, how can Jesus have two natures, human and divine. Mouse jumped on that: "Yeah, because there can only be one human being inside a person, right? And how could Jesus change the water to wine if he was wholly human?"

And then Bear asked, "If God is everywhere and can do anything, then how come bad things happen like the earthquake in Haiti?" So we talked about theodicy for a while. And then Mouse asked, "If Jesus lived forever, then was he the one single thing at the beginning of the universe, before the Big Boom?" So we talked a little about Jesus as the Word of God, and how God also created through his word.

People tell us, "Well, look at their parents" when we relate these stories. While that is definitely part of the mix here, I think a big part is the fact that we have been very intentional about their catechesis, and we haven't shied away from the big topics or fancy terminology. They certainly don't understand a lot of this at a deep level, but I think (and hope) that we are giving them a solid foundation -- a toolkit or vocabulary that they can draw on when they are older. Down the road, hopefully they will be able to draw on their Catholic tradition in a way that helps them grow into mature faith. It's not something that we can control -- we might be raising the next Richard Dawkins, for all we know -- but we can give them what they need for a strong spiritual foundation, if they choose to develop it.

We told them they were asking really hard, good questions that even the wisest adults struggle with -- but that it's good to ask questions. Now if Starling could only get her college students to ask questions on this level!