Thursday, May 15, 2014

First Holy Communion

On this day in 1960 I made my First Holy Communion.  I must admit that I don't remember much about the day. I was probably too distracted by the ceremony of over 60 second graders lined up according to height and posing afterwards in the sanctuary of St. Paul's Church in St. Francis, WI.  I still have a picture of me, dressed in my blue suit and sitting in a large living chair at our next-door neighbors, the Fogarty's.  And then, later in the day, there was a reception at the Polish Falcon's Hall.  My Aunt Helen had a catering business across the street.  I wish I could say more about how I felt as I knelt in the pew right after received the Body of Christ for the first time. 

I recently ran across something that St. John Paul II said to a group of children with whom he communicated as he flew over the Outback of Australia on November 29, 1986.  The first question was:  Very soon I will be making my first Holy Communion. Please, Holy Father, could you suggest something I could tell or ask Jesus on that day?

Here is his reply:

On the day of your First Holy Communion, I suggest that you speak to Jesus as to your best friend, for that is what he really is. He is the greatest friend you will ever have, and he wishes to be your special companion every day of your life. So talk to him as a friend who knows your name and loves you dearly. Tell him your secrets. Tell him your joys and the things that make you sad. Tell him about the people whom you love, especially your parents and your brothers and sisters. Ask him to bless your families and all the families of the world. Above all tell him how much you love him. Speaking about her First Communion Day, Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus said that she felt loved by Jesus. It was then that she said to Jesus: "I love you, I give myself to you for ever". You can tell Jesus that too.

After reading that, I couldn't help thinking that while I may not have responded in that way at my First Holy Communion, it's not too late to do so now.

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