Thursday, 11 August 2011

Sacramental Catechesis and Mint Toothpaste

Although there are all kind of flavours available nowadays for children's toothpaste, I've always insisted that they have some kind of mint. I don't believe the new flavours exist in adult toothpaste (although perhaps soon they will, for the 'kidults' among us), and even if they did, I suspect that most grown-ups would prefer the bracing taste of mint in their mouths as they approach slumber. It's just part of the bedtime routine.

Ritual is so much part of everyday life with small children, and without it, solid food will not be eaten, sleep will not be sound; chaos and misery will ensue. It's another area where we would do well to consider what Our Lord means when he tells us that we must become like these little ones to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

But we are also aiming for maturity, and early foundations are being laid through these rituals. The taste of mint will always be part of the sensual experience of bedtime for my children. Even if they stray from it in older years, it will be deeply based in their subconscious as a necessary part of preparing for sleep.

And I don't want them to have strawberry toothpaste at Mass either. I want them to have the sensual experience, the sights, sounds and smells of the ritual. What they do with their body and what they experience with their senses will build up into an intuitive sense of the sacred which will serve them well in the future. By the grace of God, I hope and pray that they will be at home in sacred ritual, in prayer and in reverence.

[Image from Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons License.]

Posted by Anthony Radice (A Tiny Son of Mary)

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