A conversation I had with a protestant friend has been bothering me all day...and I couldn't stop thinking about it at mass just now.
She was sheepishly admitting that they hadn't been to services in the 6 weeks since her baby was born. It's her 3rd child so I knew it couldn't be that she was overwhelmed at getting out the door or worried about germs - the typical new mommy things that keep us holed up at home! She went on to say that they pushed them so much to put the babies in the nursery. My eyes must have popped wide open at that! "One that small - in a nursery??" is what I exclaimed. She said yes, or if you want to take the baby to the service, there is a section in the balcony where they would "let" you sit! Whoa!!!! I told her she needed to come and visit my church sometime where you almost feel awkward if you don't have a baby either in your arms or in your belly! Our pastor, Fr. John, has often been heard to suggest to moms that they sit right down in the front pew with their babies and little children. And his famous quote is that he'd rather hear a baby cry than a cell phone ring during mass!
It makes me sad that this mother, who is at that hard newborn time when fellowship with other moms, normalcy of schedule, and the need to hear the Word of God (unfortunately in that church she is not able to be fed by the Eucharist which is the saddest of all) at a time when the world is temporarily turned upside down by this new little blessing, is being kept away from all of this because her church will not let the little children come unto Him.