LIVABLE LEARNING - Preparing the Home and the Heart
Emmaus Moments


One of our most profound moments in homeschooling occurred as my daughter and I had finished reading the story from the Bible about the “Road to Emmaus.” I asked her why the disciples had not recognized Jesus, when He was walking with them and talking to them. (Luke 24:13-16). We thought about it for a while and then it hit me! They didn’t know Him, because they didn’t recognize his Spiritual Body…But then why did they recognize Him when he broke the Bread at the Meal? (Luke 24: 25-32) And then it hit!!! They recognized His Physical Body in the breaking of the bread. They recognized His Physical Body in the Eucharist!!! WOW!! For several moments all I could say was “WOW, how awesome.” It was such solid evidence for our Catholic belief in the True Presence of Christ’s body in the Eucharist. What a profound discovery to share with my daughter…. What an Emmaus Moment! It was a personal revelation of the Truth of the Catholic Church and its teachings.

I then began to think of the many Emmaus Moments I have experienced with my children over the past five years of homeschooling. The first one I can remember is when I finally realized that there were no Protestant Churches before the 1500’s. I learned that it all started with Martin Luther, a protesting Catholic priest, who started the heresy of Protestantism. Now you would have thought that I should have known that, especially since I had attended Catholic schools for 12 years. But somewhere along the line it was either not presented or more likely, I had not received it in a way that I came to own it. I do remember learning in High School that our Catholic Church was the only church that could trace its roots directly back to Jesus, but that’s all I remember.

The next Emmaus Moment came when my son and I were studying the Ten Commandments in the St. Joseph’s Baltimore Catechism. He noticed a plaque on our wall of the Ten Commandments and pointed out that they were not the same Commandments as the ones we were studying. Sure enough, we discovered that the Protestants teach a different set of Commandments than we do. Their first four Commandments pertain to God, because they split the 1st  Commandment up into two separate Commandments… an added emphasis for their argument about not worshipping false gods (our statues). They then combine the 9th and 10th Commandments into one Commandment. Well, after that Emmaus Moment I got rid of the plaque. It was a beautiful plaque received as a wedding gift, but it was not true to Catholic teaching so it did not belong in our home.

Another Emmaus Moment came as I was reading an 8th grade history textbook, “The Story of the Church,” when I discovered that the very first universities, founded in the Middle Ages, had grown out of the Catholic cathedral schools and schools connected with the monasteries. I began to see that the Catholic Church is responsible for more than just Religion. We, as a Church have played a major part in the foundations of classical education and its related subjects: Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric, Arithmetic, Music, Geometry and Astronomy.

Oh, the Emmaus Moments I have been led to! While doing Astronomy research online I “accidentally” discovered that the Vatican owns two observatories for astronomical research. The first one is located in Italy at the papal summer residence and was built in 1891 to aid in reforming the Julian calendar. The second research center is in Tucson, Arizona and has been in operation since 1981. One of the world’s largest and most sophisticated telescopes, called the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) was constructed on Mt. Graham in Arizona in 1993. Today the Vatican observatories serve an apologetic purpose, to defend the Catholic Church’s support of true and solid science.

It is amazing when you think of how much there is for us to learn. The Catholic Church truly holds the keys to Truth in education. From the universal Catholic Church comes the foundation of the knowledge of the universe itself. The greatest benefit I have found in educating my own children is that my knowledge of the Catholic faith has increased with each lesson. And my love of the Catholic Church continues to deepen with each Emmaus Moment.

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