St. Michael Prayer

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do, thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Glory to God in the Highest!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Memories of First Communion, Confession, Catholic School, and the Nuns! (Part 2)

We left the classroom to receive the sacrament of confession.  The sun was shining as we walked across the parking lot to the church.  I don’t remember much about the walk except that we were all vert quiet.  We walked into church.  The lights at the top of the confessionals were not lit, so we all sat and waited, quietly.  There was no sound in the church.  Then, two priests came out and each one walked into the confessional.  The rest was a blur until Sister Mary Claudia touched my shoulder and said it was my turn.  My legs felt like jelly.  I folded my hands praying that I make a good confession.  I wanted to make my First Communion on Sunday.

The door opened, and my best friend came out of the confessional.  Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Sister Mary Claudia raise her finger to her mouth.  Sister seemed as surprised as I was, but this time, we looked at each other, and something was different.  We didn’t laugh.  She had been forgiven and was going to say her penance. 

I stepped into the darkened confessional.  The door opened.  I could see someone there, and I knew it was time for me to begin.  My. mind. went. blank.  I started to whimper.   Father was very kind.  He could hear me crying.  He said, “Is something wrong?”  All I could do was nod my head.  He asked again, “You have to tell me.  I can’t see you very well.” 

I managed to choke out, “I for-for-got what I’m supposed to say.” 

“Oh,I see,” he said.  “Should I help you?”

“Ye-yes.” I replied.

With the kindness of Jesus, Father, gave me the first few words, “Bless, me, Father,” he said.

The words came back to me.  “Father, aren’t I supposed to say that?”  I heard him laugh softly.
That was all it took.  Tears of fear became tears of joy.  “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.”

I don’t remember what I confessed that day, but as I was finishing up my confession, Father asked me a question, “Isn’t there something else you have to confess?”  I gasped!  Was I in the state of Mortal Sin?  How did he know?  What did I do? 

I stuttered out anything I could think of.  I was mean to my mother 6 times.  I hid the candy bar she was taking to work and ate it, 3 times. 

Father stopped me, “Stop and think, “ he said.  Why do you sit with Sister? 

I was stunned.  How did he know?  “Yes,” I replied.  Why do I sit with Sister? 

“I laugh a lot during Mass, Father.”

“Yes,” he said.  “Do you think it hurts Jesus to know that you are paying attention to something else during Mass?”

I started to sob.  I had hurt Jesus, and I didn’t even know it.  “Father, I’m so sorry.  I’ll never do it again!”

I could hear him smile.  “Well, Jesus knows that you will try.  That’s all that matters.  Say your Act of Contrition.

I said my Act of Contrition.  Father gave me my penance.  I had received forgiveness for my sins!  I was speechless.  I felt peace pouring into my soul.  I left the confessional, and I didn’t feel the ground under my feet.  Sister directed me to my pew.  She had a puzzled look on her face.  I had changed, and she knew it.  I prayed my penance, and I was now in the state of grace!

I tried so hard to remain in the state of grace.  My mother said I was unusually quiet.  I prayed a lot in preparation for First Communion.  I did what I was told.  On Sunday, my mother dropped me off at my classroom.  She spoke with Sister Mary Claudia.  I saw Sister raise her shoulders as if to say, “I don’t know.”  I was almost time for Mass and to receive Jesus.

We lined up at the back of the church.  When the organ began to play we walked in, boys on one side and girls on the other.  We filled the pews.  All went as we had rehearsed.  The Mass began.  The time for our First Holy Communion came.  We walked up to the altar rail and knelt down.  The priest and a server with a patten came to me.  I looked at the pure white host knowing it was Jesus.  I closed my eyes and opened my mouth to receive Him on my tongue.  He was there.  I knew it.  I felt His Unending Love pour into me.  I cried.  I knew then that I would never be the same, I couldn't be the same.  I looked at my best friend, and she looked at me.  She had tears in her eyes, too. 

We walked out of church.  My mother found me.  She gave me that long awaited candy bar.  I realized I was hungry.  I ate it quickly.  The odd thing was Sister Mary Claudia came over to where I was with the rest of my family.  She knelt down so that she could look me in the eye.  She put her hands on my shoulders.  “You know, now, don’t you.”  I could only nod.  I knew.  I really knew. 

The school year ended with only a few more calls home.  I tried not to hurt Jesus, but I was at confession almost every week. 

To Read Part 1:  Click HERE