As I was getting my son, Matthew, ready for PSR Sunday morning, we were arguing about what pants he was going to wear. Our normal routine was to attend Mass as a family after PSR class. In our family, we do not wear jeans to church, so Sunday morning usually means nice pants and a shirt. I had put out jeans for him to wear, explaining that Mommy and Daddy had gone to Mass last night, so we would be coming home after class. He did not want to hear it, and insisted on wearing his “good pants.” I gave up and pulled a clean pair from the laundry.
Some quick background info: On a typical Sunday in our household, my husband takes Matthew to PSR at a nearby parish, then drives about 12 miles to our parish where he teaches seventh grade PSR. When Matthew’s class is over, my daughter and I pick him up and drive to our parish, where our whole family goes to Mass together.
This particular Sunday, we were not planning to go to Mass at our parish, since my husband and I went to Mass at the Cathedral the night before. When I picked Matthew up from class, he asked where we were going.
“Home,” I replied.
“No! I want to go to church. I want to see Grandma.”
“How about we see Grandma afterwards?” I asked, trying to avoid responding to the other part of what he said.
“No. First, I go to school. Then, I go to church,” he said as if I wasn’t already aware of the normal routine.
“We don’t have to go to church. Daddy and I went last night.”
“But I didn’t,” he said in a pleading tone. “I want to go to church.”
“But, we’re not dressed for church,” I tried to reason.
“I am,” was his reply.
I was caught. How do I refuse to take my five-year-old to church, when he is asking to go? Even though I know he likes to play with his cars in the pew and amuse the people behind him, he’s still asking me to take him to God’s house. What could I say? “Let me call Daddy. We’ll have to stop at home so Ellie and I can change clothes.”
I called my husband to tell him we were on our way. Matthew wanted to go to church, and I just couldn’t say no. We were a few minutes late, since I hadn’t prepared for this change in plans. But, we went anyway. I am certain that God was glad we came, and maybe even smiled as we took our seats.
What gets you to church?
****Photo of St. James of the Valley, taken by my uncle, Rick Human