This is the Day

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We had been “waking up”, since 5:00 A.M.  “Son go back to bed, it’s too early to get up”…. 5:30…5:59, ok I give up.”  He climbed into my bed, and I wrapped my arms around him.  He said in a quiet voice, “This is the day!”  My thoughts went to Easter Vigil, “This is the night.”  I laughed and squeezed him a little tighter and said, “It sure is!”

My dear boy was receiving Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity for the first time in Holy Communion that day.  This is his Holy Thursday. He then said, “I’ve been waiting, since kindergarten for this.”  Not his whole life, but a specific time.  There was a moment as a five year old that he understood, and longed for Jesus in the Eucharist. That is so cool!!!  

On his First Holy Communion Day, I again, brought my son to the altar.  The first time was to give him to his Father, to mark him as His own in Baptism. Now, I entrusted Our son to his God once more.  I returned him to His Creator and Church.  I presented my little boy to Jesus, and asked Him, to place His very Self in my son.    This is my vocation, my inner calling, my soul’s ardent desire and inmost objective, to bring my child to Christ, in fact all of my children.  I am unable to adequately express the magnitude of this day, as his mother.

I know it will come so fast, but also in perfect timing, I will be bringing him to the altar again, on his Confirmation Day.  Our Creator will be offering Himself as Spirit to my future, not so little boy.  I am grateful for this day.  I am delighted in our Catholic Church that in her Wisdom she offers the Trinity to her children in these Sacraments.  

Dear boy, your Mother is full of tears this day, tears of pure joy!

“Peter Do You Love Me.”

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One day at Mass, I had an occasion to correct my son.  Before I said a word, I could see the remorse on his face, and was moved from disgruntled to compassion.  I drew him into an embrace.  I held him close to me, and told him that I loved him, and he needed to correct his behavior.  He sheepishly asked me what he had done.  I assured him that he could figure that part out.  I felt good about it. I wasn’t angry, I didn’t feel weighed down about it. It felt positive, constructive and effective. It felt like he was left with his dignity and autonomy. It made me think of Confession, and of St. Peter.  

When I go to confession, it too is in loving embrace. I take inventory, and come to God with my short comings.  I admit things about myself that I may be able to hide from the world, but God already knows.   When I leave confession, I feel happy, reinstated in grace, forgiven and not just with an empty slate, but a clean one without residue. I am told you are not only forgiven, but loved and  not starting over,  but starting anew, like Peter.

Jesus knew Peter’s remorse for denying Him.  Our Lord’s encounter with him, on the shore, after the resurrection, was all of this. He knew Peter’s heart.  His words were love, forgiveness and empowerment.  “Do you love Me?” are words of healing.  When Peter experienced his own answer, what perspective must have flooded Him. Jesus knew Peter loved him, hence it must have been Peter’s vision, that was muddled. Jesus provided clarity.  I believe “Feed My sheep” were words of total forgiveness, but not only that, they were a reinstatement. To Peter’s ears, our beautiful Jesus said to him again. “Peter you are rock, and upon this rock I will build My Church.”  It makes me think of my favorite line from from “Dr Who”, “Do you think that I care for you so little that betraying me, would make a difference?”.  Jesus said to him this doesn’t change that I’m entrusting you with what is Mine, what is precious.  Peter, you are still “rock” to Me.  Just like Peter, when I’m leaving the confessional, I don’t only feel forgiven, but restored to who God calls me to be.

I will try to respond to my son more like this.  That’s not to say a mother’s look and tone of voice aren’t effective tools, but my hope is to correct with a gentle spirit,  I want my son to feel love, forgiveness and restoration.  I want my son to know that his mistakes don’t change who he is to me.  I want him to experience from me the forgiveness I get in Confession.

Anointed Fiats

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Recently I was told that a priest, who was very helpful to me in my youth, died.  I thought back to my younger years, before marriage and children, when I was barely an adult, and he was fresh out of the seminary, a newly ordained priest, and I thanked God for his anointed hands, and for his life dedicated to the priesthood. Although A young man, he spoke to me with inspiration, wisdom, and the dedication of God’s appointed shepherd, a spiritual guide, a priestly father.

This is the time of year for Ordinations, and anniversaries of the same. Celebrating these men, God’s Anointed, for their fiats.

Many holy people have touched my life that is certain.  So, what’s so special about a priest?  Here it is, in my opinion… because God is the Creator , and He said we need priests.  He should know, right?

I change the oil in my car, when the the maintenance indicator tells me to, because the manufacturer says that’s what it needs to run efficiently.  Well I kind of think of a priest as the mechanic of my soul.  Our Creator set up a maintenance plan, Baptism, Confession, Eucharist, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, then gave our priests special hands capable of keeping us spiritually in tune.  We though, are very precious to our Father, so He ordained  that these “mechanics” had to be holy, compassionate and faithful. They had to love us as He does, like children.  It is their gift and burden.  It’s not a burden forced upon them.  On the contrary, it is a grace, very tenderly offered, and selectively given. It is the fiat of a man, lovingly requested.  Thus the birth of a Priest, forever, in the line of Melchizedek.