My tongues is on fire!

The Coming of the Spirit.
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.cAnd they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues,* as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.   - Acts 2: 1-4

Praying with small children is crazy-town. Actually, this scene from scripture pretty much sums it up. Lots of people in a tiny space, loud noises, things flying everywhere, people running around like they're on fire all rambling on at the same time incoherently and incessantly. Mary gets it. "Peter, sit down. James, stop hitting your brother! No Simon, you cannot blow out Philip's tongue of fire!" Trying to get a room full of boys to pray is one of the most difficult things that my husband and I have been entrusted with. Most days it is done quickly while we eat breakfast and intercessions can be heard between bites of bacon and the baby screaming for more 'gogurt'. Some Most days we are very frustrated, some days it ends with someone being sent to time out. All in all we suck at it but we keep trying because we hope that one day they will get it. God sends us tiny breadcrumbs of grace to keep us hanging on from time to time. Today was one of those days in a big way. Instead of praying in the midst of everything I decided we should be 'set apart'. So near the table that houses all of our holy items in the dining room I cleared away the monopoly board and folded back the table cloth (because fire and table cloths and children are a diabolical equation.) We brought out the holy handle and the family crucifix and I (finally) opened the pack of Magnifikid issues for the month of May. By the time all of this happened they were already, of course, losing interest. The baby was crying and needed a diaper change and was banging our peg doll Sacred Heart of Jesus repeatedly on our 50 year old dining room table leaving bits of white paint behind with every ear shattering blow. My husband gave me the look that I know all too well. The "lets get this over with quickly" glare. So, we lit the candle and sang a verse of 'Come Holy Ghost" and I let the oldest read this weekends Gospel forgetting entirely the hilarity that inevitably ensues when small children have to read the words "tongues of fire". In a miracle second only to the actual coming of the Holy Spirit we made it through the reading with some reverence and zero giggling. We then spent a couple minutes talking about what led us to today; Jesus life, death and resurrection and last week the Ascension. Now that Jesus was gone the Apostles needed an advocate, someone to be with them and to help them; someone to guide the Church. "Here they were in this room, waiting for the spirit.." I explained. Then someone passed gas and we all received the gift of laughter. As is with boys. We brought the prayer to a close and I felt that once again, this had been a failure. We put the baby down for a nap and hubby went out to cut the grass. Then suddenly, the 5 year old asked me if he could have the book that "talks about Jesus' life when we pray all the Hail Mary's" and the 7 year old ran off to find his "Action Bible" (see picture above) and totally unprompted the 3 of us sat on the couch for the next 20 minutes and continued our pentecost discussion. This 7 year old actually sat and read from scripture to me (yes it was from the Action Bible but I'll take what I can get). Here are some things they found particularly interesting: 

1. People's heads being on fire. 
 5 yo: "The Holy Spirit is spicy!"
 Me: "Yes. Wait, what?"
 5yo: "It says their tongues is on fire!"
 Me: "No, TONGUES OF FIRE. They call them tongues because... well actually I don't know but it meant there was fire on their heads."
5yo & 7yo simultaneously running around in circles "We're on fire! We're on fire!"

2. The Birthday of the Church.
Me: "Did you know that Pentecost is the Birthday of the Church?"
7yo: "No way, thats Christmas."
Me: "Well, thats Jesus bday but since he knew we'd need some help to carry on His mission so He also founded a Church. Remember how he left Peter in charge?"
7yo: "Oh yeah, the first pope.Whats the new guys name again?"
Me: "Pope Francis"
7yo: "Oh yeah. Peter then Francis."
Me: "Well, there were a few in-between but basically, yes." .. and when He sent the Holy Spirit to guide him and the apostles we celebrate that as the birth of the Church! And the best part is, the Holy Spirit brings lots of gifts for this birthday party."
7yo: "I already know what you mean by this. (He's too smart for me.) It's not like MY kind of gifts, not like legos it's just knowledge and understanding and stuff, right?"
Me: "Right."
7yo: "Ok, I was just checking. I'm not really interested in that stuff." 
Me: "Well, Have you ever been afraid but been able to do something difficult even in the midst of your fear?"
7yo: "I guess."
Me: "Well, thats a gift of the Holy Spirit too."
7yo: "Can we keep reading?"

3. The exponential growth of the Church.
7yo: "Whoa mom, it says there were 120 followers gathered. That is a lot."
Me: "Turn the page."
7yo: (screaming) "3,000!!! How did that happen?"
Me: (taking out my calculator) "Look, here they are in this room and suddenly they receive the Holy Spirit who gives them the courage to be able to share all of the amazing things that had happened to them with Jesus. So those 12 go out and share this amazing news with others and they share the news with others  and they share it with others and before long..."
7yo: "3,000!"
Me: "And this is still what happens today when we tell other people about what Jesus has done in our life!"
5yo: "What is the biggest number ever made?"
7yo: "There is no biggest number. It just keeps going on forever."
5yo: "Until we get to God's age?!"
Me: "Sort of."
5yo: "Until God........dies?" (in the most dramatic voice he can muster)
Me: "Well, God doesn't die."
5yo: "Jesus died."
Me: "Yes but......Hey, lets look at the calculator again!"
7yo: "Mom, THIS IS MATH! There's math in the bible?" (He loves math.)
Me: "sure is"
7yo: "But you hate math! Why do you still love the Bible so much?'
Me: "Well, there's something for everyone."
and then he had to go and do some actual math work that he didn't finish this week. But before he did something amazing happened. This stubborn, rambunctious, too smart for his britches 7 year old looked at me and said, 

"Mom, can we read some more together later?"

"They were all astounded and bewildered, and said to one another, “What does this mean?”
But others said, scoffing, “They have had too much new wine" Acts 2: 12-13
Like I said, breadcrumbs... Tomorrow they will be back to their normal selves. But, I'll take what I can get. Have hope mamma, you are building the kingdom one pebble at a time.


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