Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I am Catholic
On Sunday, my wife, my four daughters and I were received into the Church. My wife and I received the gift of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation (something I could never achieve as a Pentecostal), and I received my first holy Communion. I was shaking like a leaf up there (literally) because of the importance of the occasion and what I knew was about to happen and was embarrassed for that, but when Father Dufner raised his hand to bless us before our confirmation I felt immediately and physically calmed down. I'm not saying it was supernatural or whatever, but it felt like it to me. Anyway that was strange and very cool. A strange salty liquid came from my eyes during the consecration which my wife later told me were tears. ;-) I pulled myself together until it was time to go forward to receive Christ. The amazing full choir started "let all mortal flesh keep silent" and I had to will my body to move like in a fog. One of those moments when time did really and actually slow down. I tried not to think too much about the gift I was receiving in the Eucharist because I thought I might not make it through. My two oldest girls who were in front of me got a blessing and walked the wrong way away from our pew and I didn't even notice! (my wife told me later) What an amazing thing to receive a gift like that! I thought I knew the way God loved us before... as in "A lot". Now I don't think I would dare try to explain the extent of it. Seeing His Body layed on an altar for me and then being invited to partake of His sacrifice was the most... sacred... thing I have ever experienced in my life. I am convinced that God's love can never be explained now. It can begin to be understood by participating in a mass, but words words will just fail. It as if every sermon on God's love I ever heard was saying "I just told you about God's love, now go to a mass and let Christ show you!" As I walked weakly back to my pew and knelt down I thought to myself that this is more than just me partaking of His sacrifice. I realized that what I was in the process of eating was going to become part of my body. (Me becoming part of His Body more properly I think) This thought drove home forcefully the idea that I was being set aside for the same sacrifice I had just witnessed, again, no words necessary, it was all there to witness. The sacrifice of the mass explains these things in what is said, but even more in what happens. Absolutely beautiful!