We can expand because of our actions and reflections, or we can use them to contract.The teaching and guidance that is needed early on is about process more than content. How can I see and use my action and my reflections to expand and not to contract? How can I listen for God and learn God's voice more than God's precise name and plan. How can I keep my heart, mind, and soul open "in hell"?
This should be the early form of spiritual teaching: not what to see, nearly as much as how to see. I am afraid this cannot usually be taught in book or catechism form; it is picked up largely by "rubbing off" parents and significant others. Could this be the real laying on of hands, the deepest meaning of "apostolic succession"? Could this be the way the Spirit is passed from vessel to vessel? I personally think so.
~ Richard Rohr in A Lever and a Place to Stand (viii)
As I read this quote I was reminded of a service at Belmont Mennonite Church in Elkhart, Indiana in which all the children gathered around the pastor, the parents, and a new baby in the church, all laying hands on the child. The children were invited to commit themselves to being a model for the child just as the adults in the church were invited to be a part of the life and nurture of this family. Together we sang and prayed this new life into our church family. It is these moments, I believe, when the entire multigenerational body of Christ comes together in Holy Space that faith is shared and grown.