It's spring here in North Carolina: My oldest daughter went to her first Reconciliation, receiving forgiveness for her dark and sordid eight years. My wife went to hers the same day.
Then, on Easter Vigil, Laura was received into full communion with the Catholic Church. I was confirmed. Our parish was crowded, the liturgy bi-lingual. It was noisy. And the Easter Vigil liturgy is not a short one, with reading after reading. But the children survived and now, thanks be to God, my wife also smells of balsam. She smells like the Holy Spirit.
The change in her is interesting to me - and it makes me happier than you can know. It surprised me. But the grace given to us through the sacraments shouted to her, I suspect. It moved her profoundly. She felt as if she were being married. As if she were being born again, again.
And I understand the feeling, the beauty and joy of it: The strangeness; being staggered into newness so unexpectedly; being elementally embraced by water and Spirit, and with oil and candlelight. And how, so immediately, your mind and heart turns toward family and friends, wishing they could, at the very least, participate in your reception. (In deep sadness, knowing that some would not.) Fervidly hoping that they might participate in their own - not because they are without Christ or anything necessary to their joy or salvation, because that is nonsense. But because they are not in full communion with the Church and miss the grace (the life, the nearness of God) that God gives so gratuitously within her sacramental life.
But it is difficult to describe, perhaps impossible, without offending those who are still where you were. And I will stop so that I am not guilty again of being overzealous. Perhaps I am already too late. (I do such a poor job - wanting to share my joy, but in the end only injuring those dear to me.) My heart is full. My wife's heart is full. And we are happy. Indeed.
May the Lord bless each of you. May his grace (his life, his nearness) pour out upon you. May you ever be more united to his love, which never fails, which has never been dependent upon you - that rushes forward without interruption, a mighty river from the side of Christ.
Christ is risen! He is truly risen!