Hey there! It’s the day before Easter, aka Holy Saturday and Easter Vigil. Grab a cuppa something and find a comfy spot to take a breather from all the prep. It’s a massive amount of work to host a dinner, so take 5. Already this morning (this is a miracle- it’s not even 9 am!) I’ve unloaded the dishwasher, reloaded it, baked a loaf of English Muffin bread and have a pineapple casserole in the oven. Last night I made potato salad. Tonight, I will officially enter the Catholic Church. Lots of thoughts going around in my head…
I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!! People around me have been shaking their heads and laughing with delight for weeks. I’ve been counting the months since August, counting weeks since January, counting days since February (I put an app on my phone) and counting the hours since Thursday. Have I shared yet how excited I am?
We all know I’m totally crazy, so I’ll just put some musings out there. First things first. The first thing after 7 months of ‘first things’ and preparation is our first Confession. Then we rehearse the Easter Vigil Mass until we have it right. Then we rest, and then… we begin outside, in the dark, light a candle, process into the church and we hear the Gloria as the lights come on! At least that’s what they’re telling me, lol.
I woke up literally singing the chant from the Our Father (the Lord’s Prayer) – “for the kingdom and the power and the glory are Yours, now and forever… Amen.” I woke up energized – and that would seem very strange, considering the schedule I’ve kept for the past week – including a night of prayer on Thursday into Friday morning – I love Him so much! The metaphor isn’t perfect, but it was sort of like a bachelorette party before a sort of wedding tonight. Hence all the pomp and ceremony. Now, all my Protestant friends out there, don’t get upset! As Christians, we are all part of the Bride of Christ. Tonight is an ‘official ceremony’ in the Catholic tradition. I believe with all my heart that the Lord has something special for me, personally, in this journey. But I am NOT saying that other Christians are inferior in any way! Jesus died for all of us. He makes us all clean. He is the way to Heaven. We are the Bride of Christ. Period.
I’ve spent so much time at church lately that my kids are making bets about when (not if) I enter a convent. As I was baking the bread and the pineapple casserole for tomorrow’s dinner, I was dancing around the kitchen so excited. I didn’t realize how important my first Sacramental Confession was to me until I got here. It’s something I wanted, something I needed. This morning’s musings were about how we don’t have to do the Christian life alone. We shouldn’t do it alone! We are a family, a body, a community of faith. This is no different. I can take all the mess of my life and share it with the priest, (Jesus with skin on!) who can give me advice on how to avoid the mess going forward. He can give me advice on repairing the damage I’ve done to myself and other people. Then he can reassure me with the Absolution that my sins are truly forgiven forever. It’s like putting a stake in the ground to mark something permanent and real. That’s not something I could accomplish on my own with mental prayers.
I’ve known the Lord for over 40 years. I count that from my ‘born again’ experience in the Southern Baptist tradition on April 8, 1974. I was ‘baptized in the Holy Ghost’ in the Charismatic tradition around 1975. We get the Holy Spirit in every tradition. But when the Priest lays his hands on my head in Confirmation and prays for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to come, God is going to do something new and deeper. And like St. Therese of Lisieux, “I choose all”. I want everything God possibly can give me, so I can be more like Jesus and show Him to the world around me. This is my personal journey of faith.
Finally, GRATITUDE. Gratitude to God, of course- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Gratitude to Denise and Pinterest, gratitude to Ceci and a Pilgrimage to Israel. Gratitude to two exceptional Priests. Gratitude to my kids who don’t understand, but love me anyway. Gratitude to a few dozen folks from various Traditions, who are cheering me on in this journey. Different Tradition, but the same God. Gratitude for anybody who may be reading my musings and meanderings since August.
GRATITUDE to Jesus. He willingly took up a cross, willingly laid down His life and willingly rose again so I can have life with Him for eternity!