I feel ten again.
Fr. Jack says that he would like me to go through the HOSEA class (Hope Of Seeing Everyone Again - Protestants don't have a corner on goofy acronyms) before my confirmation. So here I am, a 35-year-old man with four children taking communion as a child of the Church.
"Have you been baptized?"'
"Yes, I was baptized as a Catholic."
"Have you received the sacrament of Reconciliation?"
I stand with the others in my pew and make my way toward the altar, with a silly grin on my face. Self-conscious, I know that my wife is watching me as I stand in my second line of the weekend. The first line in which I stood, I waited patiently to tell a man things about myself that I hoped no one would ever know. My sins urged me to turn and run out the door. But I didn't. So now I stand in this line to receive Christ, to participate in his life.
I try to look Catholic. The body of Christ. Amen. I receive the Body, and I cross myself. The blood of Christ. (I forget the second Amen, though I mean it.) I receive the Blood, and I cross myself. I walk back to my family. And in the nervousness of the moment, of trying to do it right, I have forgotten what I am doing, I have forgotten Whom I have received. And as I remember, joy pours into my desperate heart. I am both needy and filled, like a newborn at her mother's breast.
"Do you believe the Eucharist is the real body and blood of Christ?"
I pause for a minute, smile, and say, "I do."
Celebration, clarity, and peace - I wish the feeling would last, but I know that it will not. There is pain outside those doors. Messes and noise and brokenness await me. But I am washed, graced, and Christed. I am a child of the Church. And at ten, the world is full of wonder.