Friday, April 20, 2012

Confirmation Is Conformation

Tonight was RCIA, our first official "meeting" as neophytes. We will be called as such for the next year. It simply means we are new Catholics.

This evening we gathered in the church to partake of a special Mass just for us. Father talked about the chrism oil (olive oil & balsam) & had the director pass the flask so we could smell it. It was the oil we were anointed with at confirmation. He wanted us to remember what happened at the Easter Vigil... that it was real. For the rest of our lives, every time we smell this oil, we will be reminded of our confirmation. And that's intentional. He said the Catholic faith is very sensual in that all the senses are engaged- sight, sound, smell, taste & touch- encompassing the fullness of our humanity. That's definitely true. Maybe that's why I feel so alive as a Catholic... all my senses are drawn up together & handed to God in the Mass.

Afterwards, he invited us up to the altar. We stood around him as he went through his prayers & consecrated the bread & wine. He said he wanted to give us a closer look at what he does up there. I forgot parts of the responses we usually say, but stumbled through it (now I know why priests always read their lines from the missal!). After he had consecrated the elements, we partook together. I couldn't tell whether I wanted to laugh or cry. I felt overwhelmed inside. It was my third Eucharist.

When the Mass was ended, we went back to the meeting room & talked about what it meant to be confirmed. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we were confirmed as a royal priesthood, a chosen people, a holy nation. We are called to be servants, spreading the good news of Christ with the gifts God has given us. "So the laity, like the ordained, share in the priestly or prayerful, prophetic or teaching & royal or servant office of Christ." (From the Decree On the Apostolate of the Laity)

Wow.

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