Life is full. I miss blogging, but I often feel as if I don't have the time unless I steal it from another place. I feel as if I'm taking something from my family when I walk up the stairs to my little half-storey office and sit down at the computer. At least when I watch TV, I watch it with others - perhaps we're only a group of isolated people in front of the TV, but it still feels more communal to me than the computer. Presence is important. Being present is not everything, but it is something more than absence.
That being said, I woke early this morning and would like to share a few items.
Cate was baptized, in a somewhat private affair, on February 28. The other children were baptized quite publicly, during Sunday Mass, but this was a quiet affair on a Saturday morning. It was lovely, as are all baptisms. And tears, though not shed, were heavy in my eyes. As I get older, I get weepier - rather, I am more easily brought to tears. All the same, sacraments and tears seem ready companions, for how can one be brought into the presence of such grace, the presence of God, without tears? It is at such times that joy or sorrow or repentance or comfort or peace swells into salty sacramentals. Glory to Jesus Christ!
Anna will be receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation (Conversion, Confession, Forgiveness, Penance) tomorrow morning. The children will be singing two songs and doing some readings and meditations before going before Christ to receive peace and pardon. It is a wonderful introduction to their life in Christ, and a sacrament that needs a better exemplar in their father. I hope to make Penance a more regularly sought grace in my own life. This sacrament is too often misunderstood by me, too often pushed away. I imagine because I need it so desperately.
We went to a St. Patrick's Day feast at our parish last weekend (Guinness stew - yum!) and simply had a ball. The kids did some Irish dancing, and I can't remember the last time all of us had so much fun. I was flushed with joy, drunk. During one of their dances, Fr. Al got up and was swinging from partner to partner by his elbow and when he got to Will, the raccoon couldn't do it - the thought of dancing with Father sent him into hysterics. What joy! What fun! It's good being Catholic. It reminded me of the Simpsons clip, if I can be so irreverent, of Homer and Bart's conversion to Catholicism and Marge's vision of heaven - of what Catholic heaven is like. What a great memory (the dinner); what wonderful fellowship.