He’s the “Church Man”

November 2, 2011

Lion King tops my list of all-time favorite Disney cartoons.  Sharing this movie with Brady (my 4 year old), though, makes it even more special.  For starters, Brady belts the songs out at the top of his lungs constantly–while playing, while getting dressed, while riding his bike, etc.    There is no choice, but to jump in and sing along to the newly down-loaded soundtrack, especially while in the car.

Two weeks ago, we were jamming out to the Lion King heading home after school, and the Circle of Life came on.  There is a pause in this song, where there are no lyrics, and as this part played, Brady said,

“This is the Church man’s part.”

         I asked him, “What do you mean, the Church man’s part?”

He said, “You know, mom, the part where the monkey lifts Simba up like Fr. Tom and Fr. Dave do at church.  It’s really special!”

       I asked him, “Do you mean after a baby gets baptized?”

“Yes,” he said, “The monkey is the church man because he marks on simba’s fore-head like Fr. Tom and Fr. Dave do and he raises Simba up like they do.  Then everyone celebrates.”

Chris and I turned to each other with our mouths open in shock at the connections Brady made between the ritual of Rafiki’s blessing and the Sacrament of Baptism.  In that moment, I received all the affirmation I ever needed to know that it is worth bringing my two kiddos to mass (even on days they are rather squirmy).  Our Catholic rituals and Sacraments, celebrated within our church community, taught Brady more than we could verbally teach him.

This sacred moment with my son based on a Lion King song opened a door for us to talk about the specialness of Baptism, the symbols of Baptism, and the meaning and importance of Baptism. It was, yet again, a moment that I know he taught me more than I taught him. 

Have you had a moment when you are in awe at your own children’s wisdom?

P.S. If you do not know the scene I am talking about, watch it here….

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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