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Sunday, April 16, 2006

I'm Home

What a blessing last night was, in all sorts of ways. The weather was absolutely beautiful, and the yard work several of us did around the church last week made a lovely backdrop for the Service of Light (even though it was still daylight at that point). Those dearest to me all made the trek up here to soybean country (with the exception of my Granddaddy, who is an accountant and understandably could not take yesterday off--St. Matthew, pray for him!).

We were blessed to have a baptism (a surprise to me--I'd heard earlier that there weren't going to be any this year). Jennifer is a high school student here in Martin. I had never seen a baptism in the Church before, so it was especially exciting. The Renewal of Baptismal Promises was really amazing (being that I am a girl, I reserve the right to cry upon feeling pretty much any emotion at all. I invoked this right for the first of several times last night as I reaffirmed both my rejection of sin and my belief in that which is mentioned in the Apostles' Creed).

The Rite of Reception was a remarkably powerful moment for me. Cry #2 came when I said, "I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God." Stout words, those, but so very true. Immediately following this rite, of course, was that of Confirmation.

My Confirmation was a little bit...off. I wasn't really upset by the mistake, though (which, I'll have to say, kind of surprises me). The Holy Spirit knows my name, even if Fr. Joe doesn't, quite. Between my sponsor trying (repeatedly but unsuccessfully) to give Father my Confirmation name and a favorite professor (who was an altar server) grinning at me over the mispronunciation of my given name, I was more than mildly distracted. In spite of my distraction, though, by God's grace I was indelibly sealed to the Holy Spirit. Wow.

And then came my first Holy Communion. Receiving the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord was so intensely joyful that it was almost surreal. I don't know how to begin to describe it. Truly Awesome. I expected waterworks, and I did cry a little bit, but the physical manifestation of my reaction to eating the Flesh of the Son of Man was primarily a great trembling that came after I got back to my spot on the kneeler. It was sort of weird, because I couldn't keep from shaking and that's an odd sensation, but it was nice, in a way. It was like even whatever subconscious mechanism was making me tremble like that recognized that Something very Real and very Powerful had just happened.

After the Mass ended, there was a nice reception (with cake!!) in the social hall, where lots of people I don't know (and some I do) told me congratulations and welcome. The well-wishes from other folks (even those who I've never actually seen before, here in the blogworld) have been really overwhelming. Yay for the Church being a family.

Thanks again to everyone who was praying for me as I crossed the Tiber. It's been a long, sometimes difficult, trip, and you've all been a very real help.

It's good to be home.
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6 Comments:

Blogger Fred Deaton said...

Congratulations!

Martin has had a lot of priests assigned there ove the years since its start as a mission in the late 1960's.. It has come a long way from the rundown house on Hwy 22 in front of the Convocation Center/Basketball Arena.

There have been at least two students of UTM to be ordained priests: Fr James Martell and Fr Joel Schultz.

Now that was the easy part. you now start your full christian journey in life. Keeping your faith is a lout tougher with all the temptations and tools of sin (anger, envy, hate) out there.

5:43 AM  
Blogger Der Tommissar said...

This is why it's important to know the Latin form of your name.

True Story:

When my second was being baptised, the Old Italian priest couldn't pronounce the name. He kept saying, "Xian". Then he'd look at us like, "you're not Asian".

Finally, I said, "Joannes, Father. Joannes." Then he brightened and was able to figure out the name.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

From one convert to another, welcome home!!!

4:45 PM  
Blogger Layla said...

Thanks, everybody!

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats!!!

10:17 PM  
Blogger pyrosapien2819 said...

Unless one is themselves a convert, it is difficult for them to truely understand what you have described. I left the Church and married an evangelical Christian '92. In January of 2001, after belonging to many different Protestant churches, I informed my wife that I was returning to the Catholic Church and that I intended to rear our three (8,4,2) children as Catholics. To her credit she handled it well. Our marriage was convalidated in June (I cried so don't feel lonely). Over the next 6-7 months my wife came to believe in the Church and she was received in to the Church at the Easter Vigil in April of 2002 along with my oldest daughter. God bless you. I KNOW how you feel.

1:13 PM  

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