Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Little White Martyrs

Mary complains that she doesn’t have any friends and nobody will play with her at recess. Some of the third grade girls tease in a sneering tone: “Why do you go to Mass, Mary?” Mary tries to sneer back: “Because I’m Cath-o-lic!” Walking away, all alone, she shakes her head and wonders why her classmates at a Catholic School would even ask her that question.

Thirteen-year-old Joe stretches out on his parents bed as mom sorts through mail at the end of the day. “I hate to tell you this Mom, but it happened again today. Please don’t feel bad, but almost every day, someone teases me because I go to daily Mass. If I don’t behave perfectly, if I say something mean, or get in trouble with the teacher, it always comes out… “Nice Christian witness, Joe! Is that what you learn at daily Mass? What would your holy Mom say? And by the way, did she used to be a nun?” Joe grimaces at the snide remarks and holds his temper in check until I come home and he tries to release it without hurting his sensitive mother.

Wondering if Jack was getting the same treatment, I questioned my quiet son. Unsure of the details, all he remembers is a question from his teacher at the beginning of the year… “Do you really go to Mass every day Jack? Who else is there, any other students?” Jack replied in the negative, “The only other people there all have grey hair.”

Gentle Jesus,

We love You and try to serve You in all we say and do. Our time with You each day at Mass is a treasure beyond cost, even the cost of painful remarks. Let the power of our daily reception of Your precious Body and Blood soothe the hurts of these humble believers who choose to begin our days in Your Holy Presence. Amen.


  1. Anne-I know you like your parish, but that wouldn't happen at St. John's. Just some food for thought...Your kids are in my prayers.

  2. I know as a mother that their pain is your pain, also. We truly live in an upside-down world when even little children are persecuted for their faith. They are in my prayers. Do you know what? Jack is right, most of the people who attend weekday Mass at my parish have gray hair, too. I see very few young people.

  3. Anne,
    Unfortunately this cruel behavior is learned. I don't believe that children are born cruel.
    I know that they may not see it now, but they truly have "the better part".
    My prayers for them and you.

  4. Anne, I am so sorry your children have to deal with this! And I am sorry for yours and their pain! I will keep you all in my prayers.

  5. Persecution of Christ's followers...even children...will come and as time goes on will get worse. God warns us of this in the Scriptures. This peer pressure to "fit in" and not stand out by being different...especially spiritually...can really take a toll on anyone. How much more so on a child! I will keep you and your children lifted up in prayer for strength in the face of opposition and to remain steadfast in the Truth. With such a faithful witness and loving mom they have more going for them than most children.

  6. I've always believed that if the Devil feels like he's not making much headway with the parents, he'll go after the parents through their children. MORE PRAYER (St. Michael and Memorare). And, just be there for them. It's difficult to grow up and experience this hardship even w/in the confines of the Faith, but that is the nature of what is going on in our times: there is a division in the Church. Many are blind and do not see it. We are fortunate that we can see it - it's God's way of making us get on our knees . . . He is entrusting the world to our prayers now. So, never give up! God bless you!

  7. Anne, I am sorry your kids are being challenged about their faith practices by others. But I would like to share with you that I know your family is a roll model for some. I wish you could here some of the conversations we have had in our family about your families faith. One time touched me in particular...When Kelly was preparing for her First Eucharist she wrote a note. In it she mentioned your Mary and her attendance to daily mass with her family. She wrote how she wished her family would go everyday. I think I kept that note. I have to find it and make you a copy. Maybe it could serve as some reassurance to you and your kids of what an example you are to some of us. That one child had something right when he said you are a holy mom! xo

  8. It's very very hurtful when persecution by society comes through our children :(
    You do well to talk about all this openly with you children - they understand more than we think! And the example your family is giving is extraordinary.

    I feel more and more upset when I hear these things coming from a Catholic School!? Where are the teachers? Jesus continues to be persecuted in his schools, in his churches ...

    Your family is always in my prayers.

  9. God gives some of us the gift of children.

    Our gift back to God is to raise them in the Faith.

    Hold on to that. You and your family are in my prayers.

    Tell your children that the reason you all go to Mass daily is to thank God for the gift He gave you of them ... each one of them a special treasure; to be thankful for.

    Tell them that in your family Thanksgiving is every day not once a year.

    God bless.

  10. Ann- imagine the kind of adults they will be! Ask your children how they think their adult life will be different because they share Christ in their heart EVERYDAY! I imagine that there will be tough times, including these, that they will get through because He is so present fully with them each day! God Bless you, Anne for teaching them. God please Bless Anne, Paul, Mary, Jack, Joey, Justin and John every day!

  11. You have brought tears to my eyes. What witnesses you and your children are to be attending Daily Mass. They obviously are affecting a lot of people, and making them question their own excuses not to go. I would focus on the lives of the saints who were prayer warriors and disliked/made fun of because of it. But in the end, they are the ones who win eternity with God. Give your kids big hugs from me :)