Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ponderous Question: Has Anyone Had A Sacred Family Meal In This Century?

Retrieved from the circular file at the Vatican. More of this series here.

Dear Whoever Reads This At The Vatican:

My priest told us in our Generations of Faith that we are a Church of the Table, that partaking the Eucharistic meal together identifies us as children of God. That sounded really good, until he said that it formed us supernaturally, somewhat in the way the ordinary sacredness of the family dinner naturally forms us.

Has anyone had a sacred family dinner anytime this past century? I mean, really? My two year old just smeared spaghetti all over herself, the table, and floor. My seven year old sick son sat down (I use that phrase loosely, his backside was within an inch of some part of his chair) and promptly coughed all over the food. My five year old whined the entire time that the carrots were too spicy (nothing but butter, thank you). We ask for information about the day, and get "too much too tell" interspersed by demands for milk, no water, no spaghetti, not with meat on it I hate that, no more carrots, but take the spices off. And could you once put it in the form of a polite question? Or else you cannot go to gymnastics! I mean it! OK, up to your room!

I humbly and politely question the appropriateness of the analogy. Dinnertime with young children "forms" me into MommyMonster (TM), not a child of God. If you could put out a APB to the priests through a Papal Bull, telling them to tone down that analogy, it would be much appreciated. Otherwise I will have to lower the boom.

I will invite the priest to dinner.

Don't make me go there.

Your humble servant,
MommyMonster (TM)


suburbancorrespondent said...

Oooh, yeah - there's nothing less sacred than a dinner with children. There really was a reason why 19th-century parents had that "Don't speak unless spoken to" rule at the dinner table. I'm sure they didn't spend their entire dinnertime reprimanding, correcting, and punishing. It's time to bring it back. As we would like to tell the kids, "Just shut up and eat."

Ellyn said...

Our 'baby' is 13 and I still haven't mustered the nerve to have any of our priests to dinner. The kids may be older...but with a lot of young people, three dogs, ringing phones, various hangers-on...there just isn't a good time. And no matter how much we vacuum our place is just too dreadful a venue for men dressed in clerical black. ("Hi Father - It's lovely you could join us. Here's a lint roller - our idea of a party favor!")

I*Crusade said...

.... Hmm, can one have a sacred meal at McDonalds. Yikes! Being unmarried this is a wonderful moment I had not considered and not the image won't leave my consciousness, add to the noted complications above the text messagin and the possible intrustion of Hand held games such as Poke'mon. I do not envy your work as "MommyMonster"

Intrepid Mother of the Front Pew Crew said...

Two years aog, I liked our new priest so much I invited him to dinner with my family (three sons) and another parish family (who at the time had seven sons and a daughter). So many years of sleep depriation must have made me a bit ditzy. I mean, what was I thinking? I still laugh about the priest receiving a phone call after dinner and having to leave. Now I just give him gift certificates to his favorite restaurants.

Ma Beck said...

What Ellyn said.
Father would leave looking like he had a fur coat.

(By the way, IC, I still haven't gotten "Help Me Jesus Hair Salon", but my husband was kind enough to take two photos of a church he passes in the course of his work. I have blogged them. You are welcome to them, if you'd like. Fo shizzle.)

KaleJ said...

Sacred family meal. I think we have had one(1). We spent the entire day working on a Seder meal. It actually turned out.

The rest...yeah. 6 picky kids (paybacks are ...) so our meals are either bland or filled with complaints about "picy". One very slow eater, he is blind so he doesn't visually see how much food is left or how little he has eaten.

I must say "Eat!" about forty times a meal. I sometimes find myself saying "eat!" when I mean other things like "do your homework" or "hurry up."

So, yeah, sacred mealtimes happen about once a decade for us. But this is supposed to make us holy, right? Perhaps that is why I find my wife un-responsive when I get home from work.

Anonymous said...

I think it would do some priests a LOT of good to see how families really are. Let them make excuses and run out quickly - it'll give them an idea of what families are dealing with on a daily basis!