Saturday, April 07, 2007

Coming Home to Stay

As I continue to pray today for Jen, Amber, Mark, Matt and Angie, (as well as Maralee and her husband, Jennifer, Martha, C., another Amber, Elizabeth and Hailey) I'm recalling the days just before I was received into the Church.

Considering my first Communion, I wrote in my journal back then:

I still feel humbled when I have to sit back while everyone else goes forward for the Eucharist, but it’s a different feeling than I had several months ago when I began RCIA.

Then, I felt left out, conspicuously different. But I’m on a journey in and I’ve come to see it that way. Or, I should say, God has allowed me to see it that way. It’s been a fast (as Jack once described it), a fast that’s strengthened me and sharpened my beliefs. It’s a fast I can’t wait to break. Which will I be craving more by the time Easter arrives: the chocolate I’ve given up or the Body of the Lord?

These preparations make this a very different Lent than I’ve ever had. The things I’m giving up (and I don’t just mean chocolate here) seem like nothing in comparison to what I’m preparing to receive. My efforts seem very small, very tiny and weak. They are strengthened only by God’s goodness and mercy and love for me. I am overwhelmed by what He has done for me and to me.

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. My spirit rejoices in God my Savior... The Almighty One has done great things for me and Holy is His Name.”
-- Luke 1:46-47, 49

I’m happy to report that when I was received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil of 1995, I was craving the Eucharist much more than the chocolate (though there was plenty of chocolate on hand to celebrate.) I anticipated that first true Holy Communion with a hunger that had become an ache.

May all catechumens and candidates coming into the Church experience the same profound joy that I felt on that night, and may you continue to experience it in the years to come.

And, although this precise feeling of joy won't last forever -- we all know that isn't realistic -- life will henceforth be different. There will be mountain tops and valleys, deserts and oases in the years to come, but the foundation will remain. My foundation -- my faith in Jesus Christ, as taught and passed on to me through His One, Holy,Catholic and Apostolic Church -- has seen and will continue to see me through every struggle and cross in my life.

"Behold, I make all things new."
~~ Revelation 21:5

To Jen, Amber, Mark, Matt, Angie, Maralee and her husband, Jennifer, Martha, C., another Amber, Elizabeth and Hailey and every other catechumen and candidate ...

Welcome Home. All things are new.


Angie said...

Thank you so much for the prayers! My husband (Eric) and I are getting to the point of being absolutely giddy as the day goes on.

And, also exciting for us is that we will be asked tonight to make a profession of faith on behalf of our three children.

Thank you again for the prayers!!!

Jennifer said...

My sister-in-law will recieve tonight. I pray that she feels it as profoundly as you did. Lovely thoughts.

Alice said...

I love hearing about your conversion, Karen, and thank God for you every day.

Amber said...

Thank you so much for your prayers and your warm welcome. I find myself thinking at various moments throughout my day "I'm actually and finally Catholic!" and then I get a huge smile on my face. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Karen!

Actually, Chocolate doesn't taste the same now... ;)