Sunday, May 3, 2009

First Holy Communion and moments of grace and laughter

On Saturday, we went to a First Communion Mass at another parish in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

During the drive home, my husband and I talked about how sincere and dedicated the priest was and how much we like the way he had the children come forward to receive their First Holy Communion with their parents.

Now, my husband finds a unique piece of humor and joy in many things, and I had to laugh at what struck him about that very holy, very special moment.

My husband described how nice it was that the parents went forward, but he noted that a couple of the dads were obviously not Catholic and weren't able to receive Holy Communion. They couldn't get back to their pews fast enough, my husband chuckled.

Then he recalled how the priest had thrown a quick blessing at the retreating fathers (who had no idea that their backsides had just received a priestly blessing).

I suppose it struck him as funny because John is fully aware of how powerful this moment is. A child receives the Eucharist. A father watches - and he can't help himself. He has to think about things of faith.

You see, John wasn't Catholic when our daughter received her First Holy Communion. But, within two years, he was well on his way.

Yes, I suppose those priestly blessings can produce a harvest of holy dads. And that's what made John laugh.

He knows all too well how it feels to be the non-Catholic dad. . . and how it feels to have a child's "First Communion" blessing reap a harvest in the soul.

John had to be thinking. . . dads, look out. The ride has only just begun! With enough grace, we'll be seeing you at the altar very soon.


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