Thursday, January 06, 2005

Come, Holy Spirit!

We had the all our children confirmed at the vesperal liturgy for the feast of the Theophany. We also had the youngest 4 recieve communion. I was unable to truly grasp the enormity of the event. Words are almost impossible to describe the intimate encounter with the Triune God that we had as a family. To see all seven of them, standing around the baptismal font, barefoot, and oh so serious and pensive. Yes, even the two year old. They were still, quiet, and very reverent.

Something interesting. Originally, when we decided to change rites, and had received the approval of both the Romanian and Roman Catholic Bishops, my hearts desire was to have the reception of all these sacraments an intimate, private family affair. I didn't want it to be a production, a show, or at all about the externals. I wanted to not be the hostess, but the mother. So many times when my children were baptized, I was distracted by the practical matters of hostessing, and didn't fully engage in the actual Baptism. Anyway, after reality struck me, I knew I couldn't exclude all my extended family, as they are the God-parents. And I love them, and they would revel in sharing the day with us. Not fair.

Fast forward, after months of planning, scheduling etc, a major snow storm is predicted for the evening of the ceremony. My husband swings into gear, calling everyone he knows to pray, asking St. Scholasica to help us with the weather. Privately, I wondered if maybe ...

I called all my relatives, who live on average 45 minutes away, mostly rural driving. They all have large families, and were not comfortable taking them out in a snow storm. Could we postpone? Meanwhile, my faithful husband is convinced there will be no snow storm, because St. Scholastica has never failed us. We will not postpne. Privately, I wondered if maybe....

A dear old friend, now a priest with the Society of St. Peter, called, and while catching up I confided the desire of my heart, to have a private ceremony for the confirmations. He said that it would work out the way it should, and quite possibly, while the kids and the husband would be disappointed if no one was there, maybe it would help them all focus on the sacrament, and then attend to the party a different day. A few hours before the Vesperal Liturgy began, the snow continued to fly, my husband was quite certain, even still, somehow St. Scholastica would come through. Finally I let him in on my certainty that indeed, she had come through, and this was as it should be.

As it turned out, my parents were able to make it (another post will cover this, and why it is significant), and the God-mother of the baby, and a few parishoners. And it was perfect. The Mystical Body of Christ was there, represented by the people able to brave the storm. It was quiet, it was focused, it was able to be soaked in by my heart. Everything I could have wanted!!

I want to add one more thing - the kids all had to take off their socks and shoes, as they were to have their feet annointed as part of the confirmation. After the blessing of the water, Father indicated it was time to approach the front. No one had yet finished getting barefoot. So they went up front, and all took off their socks and shoes. Funny thing, seeing the big pile of socks and shoes up there warmed my heart, unlike when the very same thing is in my living room. After the confirmations were complete, we all walked around the baptismal font 3 times with lit candles, singing, "To all those who are baptized in Christ, put on Christ, Alleluia". Meanwhile, with each pass I am scooting scattered socks and shoes out of the way. I see Father with a real twinkle in his eye, later I tell him, "Now we have a real spiritual home, even to the point of having to kick the sock and shoes out of the way." Now doesn't God go to great lengths to make His children feel at home? Why do I ever doubt His tender care of me? Even in these very small ways, in the uncertain private desires of a mothers heart, He answers, with love.


Blogger veronica said...

What a precious memory! A memory that will truly bring sanctity into the home.

January 07, 2005  
Blogger Philothea Rose said...


January 09, 2005  
Blogger Nancy said...

A friend of mine sent me a link to your blog. Just wanted to let you know that there are more of us Eastern Catholics out here! When I was 12 my family changed over from the Latin Rite to the Eastern Rite. My husband "came over" when we started dating, and all of our kids have been raised Byzantine (Ruthenian). We are currently in a Ukranian Church which is a little hard on the kids because we are all used to English! We still have 8 kids at home, 3 out of the house, and 1 due in March. Never have been brave enough to home school though! (I have a friend with 9 kids who has home schooled all of hers and does a wonderful job).

If you'd like to keep in touch you can email me or

I'm not so good at blog watching!

Congratulations to all of you.

January 12, 2005  

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