Mrs Darwin directed my attention to several moving posts about a friend’s first sacraments. Otepoti made her first confession last week:
People say they loved their first confession, and some practical people advise taking a large handkerchief, but my problem is with the examination of conscience. Fifty-mumble years old, committing mortal sins on a regular basis: it’s Zeno’s Paradox. However fast I tally the sins, I’ll never catch up to the present. It’s dreary work, too. It consists largely of discovering that I am far from being the person I think I am (mostly moral) or the person I pretend to be (mostly harmless).
As to the wonder of the Eucharist: it’s an odd thing, being (as I often have told you) mumblety-one years old, to be so little again, to look up to see this Person. I fumble for words and fall silent.
The moment of taking communion, though, since that’s when grace meets nature, that I can speak about, at tedious length. Father gave me the Host and then watched with something like questioning as I consumed it. I realized where I knew that expression from, that mixture of absorbed love and concern – will you eat? Do you know how good this is for you?
I recognized it because I’ve had that look on my own face half-a-dozen times, when I’ve approached a baby with a spoonful of carefully confected solid food, his or her first, knowing that when and if the food goes down, life will be forever different.
Otepoti posts on Reading for Believers, and yes – as the posting name suggests – she’s a New Zealander.