Friday, October 09, 2009

Friday Five: Personal Holy Days

Today on her way to her church's yearly Synod, to be welcomed and conditionally re-consecrated to episcopal ministry Sophia is "...thinking of the special rites of passage in our lives which we participate for ourselves or in which we support and bless others: baptism, confirmation, marriage, ordination, graduation, funerals, etc. Such important days, so exciting and joyous, but also sometimes anxiety provoking or deeply painful...." She asks in this Friday five that we share five memories of such sacred moments with God and her holy people from your life and the lives of those you love.
  • If I go waaaaaay back in time, one would be my first Communion. The night before, I had suffered a close call with my overdeveloped little Catholic conscience. While playing "Spy" in the back yard I had said what I thought to be a "terrible bad word" (naked) and I was quite sure I had had committed a mortal sin. Yes, really. Since it was after seven o'clock I knew Father was no longer hearing confessions, and the moment it was out of my mouth, I nearly became hysterical with guilt and fear, quite convinced that I had just eliminated the chance that I would be able to receive my First Communion with the rest of my class. I ran to my mom, who bless her, did not laugh at my silly self, but took me seriously. She told me that I should just go in my room and ask God to forgive me, "say a good Act of Contrition" and it would be ok. I did and it was and by the next morning when the priest placed the wafer on my tongue....I knew that in that moment something special had happened for me, that Jesus was really present in a different way. I have loved the Eucharist ever since. And looking back, I think the night before and her tenderness and care as my "Mother confessor" was every bit as holy and sacramental as the day itself.
  • The day my mother died. Thinking about how she dealt with my little crisis before First Communion reminds of her and her faith. She died as she lived, calmly, sure that God loved her and was simply going to take care things for her. I was there when her soul left her body and it was so....gentle....there was no doubt in my mind she was no longer there in that shell that could no longer support her life. But there was also no doubt that she lived on and does still.
  • Baptising L. When I looked into his dark eyes and drew the cross on his head and "marked him as Christ's own forever" he had the most incredible smile on his face. When he had to go back to jail he told me he took strength from remembering that he belonged to Jesus in that way, really held onto it sometimes like a lifeline. Life has taken its turns for him again lately, and I don't know where he will end up. But he knows he is God's own beloved and for that I am grateful
  • My ordination to the priesthood. . They tell me I radiated. They tell me my feet barely touched the ground. I cannot argue the point. My memory is pretty spotty for most of it. I remember kneeling, and promising "with God's help I will" and the weight of the hands of my Bishop and many priests on my head and tears and feeling incredibly humbled and grateful and....somehow changed in a way that I cannot explain.
  • Falling and being in love with my sweet and wonderful R. He cringes when I say it....but I understand the love of God better because of him. He loves me well, he cares for me deeply, he is my nurturing presence, he has my back. Pretty holy stuff, I'd say.

Ok, gotta go get my tissues now.

6 comments:

Jan said...

So beautiful. I wish my mother could have died in the faith your mother did. And your ordination and wedding sound superlative. Thanks.

Rev. Pink Dragon said...

Your sacrament of confession with your mother brought tears to my eyes. What a gift of faith, grace and love she shared with you! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Mompriest said...

Wonderful, sweet stories of love and faith...

Muthah+ said...

Ordination is so awesome--that exalted and yet humbling at the same time.

zorra said...

These are wonderful. Tearing up here too...

Sophia said...

Just now reading what people said--very powerful sharing. Thank you.