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.
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.