This Saturday, my wife’s students will receive Holy Communion for the first time. Most of them are only seven or eight, some still have trouble tying their shoes, and most have the self-control of moths at a fluorescent light convention. Yet their command of the faith rivals, and at times surpasses that of their parents..

As with all good things, they started with the basics. The First Communion curriculum spanned the acts of faith, hope, and love, a unit on John chapter 6, the sacraments, and topics like sin, heaven, hell, virtue and vice. Between tantrums, loud sighs, and their many mutterings, these kids received real catechesis. They were taught to learn the virtues and, more importantly, to live them.

This is what’s so endearing about them. Yes they know plenty (most of them can stump their parents). Yet more impressive is the wonder and awe and burgeoning sense of what it means to love the Lord. Unlike adults, these kids lead a rather simple life. They know that Jesus is everything. And they know that when they receive him, they won’t need anything else.

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