Monday, January 03, 2005
I am a "cradle Catholic", and have always treasured my faith. Recently, however, my husband and I formally switched from the Roman Rite to the Romanian Rite, which is an Eastern Rite Catholic Church. We have been attending the Romanian Church for 6 years, and were simply transported straight to heaven during the beautiful Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. After delving in to the spirituality of the East, the Liturgy, the iconography, and the veritable sensory explosion we experienced, we decided to "be a citizen, not just a tourist", as my husband said. Now our seven children will be getting Chrismated (confirmed), and recieve the Mystery (sacrament) of the Eucharist all at once on the feast of the Theophany, January 6th. This is very overwhelming to me, to have so many sacraments received at once. How to comprehend such generosity?? The Theophany is the feast celebrating the Baptism of Christ in the Jordon River, and is also the time when the water is made holy for the rest of the year. Ordinarily, in the Eastern Churches, an infant is baptised, confirmed and receives the Eucharist all at once. Since our children were previously baptised, now they will be catching up. And what a day to receive this precious gift. The baptism of Christ is the first revealing of the Triune God, the Holy Spirit making a personal appearance, and the Father revealing the identity of His Son. The thought of my sweet babies receiving our Lord, in all their innocence, is gratifying. Our baby, 7 months old, will never be more innocent than she is now. Our two year old delight is also the picture of joy and innocence. Our 4 and 3/4 year old is still innocent, yet has an understanding and total suspension of disbelief of the True Presence. Now, our 6 and 1/2 year old is old enough to understand the concept of sin, and will be recieving the Mystery of Pennance as well. This is the child who at 5 years old told me he wished there wasn't so much sin in him. He is exceptionally sweet, and tender-hearted, and grieves at the very thought of causing harm to anyone. The other 3 have been receiving the sacraments of Eucharist and Pennance for some time, and are prepared to be "Confirmed' in their faith. My 10 year old daughter said, "Now I can have my baptism completed." Theologically speaking, she hit it on the head. I hadn't stated it thus to her, but she got it just the same. The Holy Spirit is already at work here. God is Good!! Please keep our family in your prayers, as we encounter Our Lord so completely.