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We just had First Reconciliation in our church this evening, from four until five. It was just lovely! One family brought their three month old baby all dressed up in a velvet waistcoat and bowtie LOL! I was just thrilled people took some trouble to look neat and tidy, and were there on time. We had fifteen families, and a little service. I focused on the lost (selfish/prodigal) son, and used some great pics I found on the net for the time of reflection.

And it really was a time of reflection. A time to decide, have I been a loving person? Have I been caring? Have I been selfish? Have I hurt my friends? Have I shared and helped out? JC jnr put it to the children that reconciliation is like getting a hug from God! It's so far from the confessions of my youth it's quite extraordinary. We were petrified, shoved by nuns into broom closets at the back of the church to mutter to hidden priests, quavering in the pitch blackness. I recall the first time patting the floor, knowing somewhere in the blackness was a kneeler I was supposed to use. Hearing the priest whisper to the person on the other side. And waiting for that little grill to slide open with a fearful thump, indicating it was your turn. I hated that moment more than anything. Nothing about God's love was evident in those dark times. I'm so glad I don't have to subject the children to such horrors these days!

I don't have a child in the group, haven't for a couple of years now, but I still like being involved. The children's teacher came along, and he whispered to me, 'you do something different every year' - I whispered back that I wouldn't want to get bored! I think this is another challenge and I'm enjoying this one too, with all its work and stresses. You look at the proud parents, a few wiping away a tear or two, you look at the happy priests (we had two) and you look at the keen, nervous children doing their absolute best, and you see them achieve this sacrament by themselves, a first moment of growing up in the church, and you just have to feel blessed to have the chance to be involved. Children are amazing.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
greenpizzazz6
May. 12th, 2007 02:08 pm (UTC)
Confessions of your youth sound creepy!

A time to decide, have I been a loving person?
Yes
Have I been caring?
Yes
Have I been selfish?
No
Have I hurt my friends?
If you have, it was unintentionally
Have I shared and helped out?
Good Lord, yes!
natesmountain
May. 13th, 2007 12:07 am (UTC)
Thank you!!! I think you can answer all the same, too.

-Have I hurt my friends?
If you have, it was unintentionally

I guess that one stings, because unintentional doesn't seem to matter with some people I have encountered. Maybe they're too wrapped up in self to see beyond their own hurt. Or, more often on the net, too influenced by another person to see the real thing. Too bad. Unintentional it all is and that's the way it's going to stay. *shrug*

You, too, are a kind and thoughtful person. I always appreciate that.
vivh
May. 12th, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
It sounds as though it was a lovely evening, a very special time for all involved... both children and parents - a time to be treasured!
natesmountain
May. 13th, 2007 12:03 am (UTC)
It was nice. Without the usual practice of the actual reconciliation the day before, I wasn't sure the children would pull it off, but they were remarkably good. It was a relief!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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