My mother regularly taught religion classes at her church. I actually came to find out after her services that it was a friendship she developed teaching religion classes in her South Dakota hometown that played a role in her eventually moving to Iowa.
In this story, she relates a discussion she had in her third grade religion class. The story is undated, but it was found next to a letter she wrote related to her 2008 trip. The photo below is of Mom teaching one of her classes.
The discussion in this story deals with what happens after people die.
Today I was teaching my third grade religion class with my helper. We have ten students. We were talking about the Paschal Mystery. We read each page and explained the different points. We prayed the Apostles Creed. In the lesson was this quote, "If you believe in ME you will never die." This girl was elated. She said, "I'm not going to die." Everyone laughed.
Wait a minute, your body as we know it will die. But our Spirit or soul will never die. Then the questions really started, "How will we look? Will we know each other?" We don't know as none of us has died. We can only use our imagination. We have heard of people dying and they appear to have gone someplace. One girl said "that when my grandma died, it was very peaceful and they were sure they saw an angel."
Yes, I said "when my mother died, all the family was in the room. We prayed the rosary, and it became very still. There were only our prayers and Mom's breathing growing so quiet. It was as if someone else was there with us... I TRULY think it helped us to heal and face the loss."
The kids were still concerned about what they will look like. I told them that since (I wear leg braces and walk with crutches); I hope that I will walk normal, if we walk at all. Again, I don't know.
We started learning the Creed. The discussion got serious again. One little girl said, "Why did Pontius Pilate have to have Jesus crucified?" I said what would the world be like if Jesus had not died. God sent Jesus to live with His people. He came to save us all and to start Christianity. I used to think why did he come down from the cross when the guard teased him. We knew that he can.
One girl said "Why did God say Jesus is on his right when the in the Sign of the Cross Jesus is in front?" I don't know where she got that.
What a class discussion.