“You should pick up these books when you have a chance,” the priest said. “No rush,” he said.
I would like to thank God, the unquenchable thirst for knowledge that He provides, and my good friends at Thrift Books.
In other news, I’ve officially begun RCIA and I fear I’m the most vocal of my class. But that just means they’ll spend the next six months listening to me ramble about how awesome God is.
Six months? Indeed. My confirmation date is already on the calendar. Not that it has to be this coming year, but it’s most likely since I’m already a baptized Christian. It doesn’t seem possible. But when God says to get moving, you get moving. When He pushes you toward His intentions, you let yourself be pushed.
He’s provided glimpses of my role in the Church. He’s eager for me to get moving, to be a part of this, because He has so many plans for me. For years I’ve wondered what I’m supposed to be doing, and how I can help Him. But it wasn’t until I was in the right place—not even there yet, but still moving toward it—that His plans could be revealed. I don’t know details. I laugh when I consider the possibilities, because they’re nothing like what I’d planned for myself. But my plans are nothing. He laughs at my plans. His are so much grander, and they can only be fulfilled through His church.
The other day, I asked my cousin if he remembered what church I was baptized in.
(I realize I could ask my parents, but I’m not ready to tell them why this is relevant…)
He didn’t know, which I suspected, since he was in high school at the time. But what he remembered instead surprised me, because for a moment I’d forgotten who my godmother was—his mother.
I can picture so clearly my mother holding you at the altar.
After you were born, the conversation of godmother came up and your grandmother and mother just said, “well, it’s got to be Aunt E!” My mom was already in her late 50s and I remember her just beaming at the church!
We weren’t close to that side of the family growing up, and regrettably I couldn’t make the funeral when she passed away during my college years. But Aunt Edith was a good, honest soul. I may not have been raised in the Church. I may be doing this much, much later than most. But I still feel like she’s guiding me through it. She very well may be.
One day I’ll discover what church it was, and I’ll visit again. And I’ll picture Aunt Edith up there with my parents, and with me, beginning this journey long before I even knew I’d be taking it.
It was awe-inspiring enough to learn that today’s traditions are the same practiced in the early church. But it’s something else entirely to read of those early church traditions. I’m going to throw a bunch of quotes at you from the aforementioned Story of Christianity, of worship in the second century.
there were two main parts in a communion service. First there were commented readings of Scripture, with prayers and hymn singing… then came the second part of the service, communion proper, which opened with the kiss of peace. After the kiss, the bread and wine were brought forth and presented to the one presiding, who then offered a prayer over the elements… then the bread was broken and shared, the common cup was passed, and the meeting ended with a benediction.
Every Sunday was a sort of Easter, and a day of joy; and every Friday was a day of penance, fasting, and sorrow.
Once a year there was a very special Sunday, the day of resurrection the greatest of Christian celebrations… part of what took place at Easter was the baptism of new converts, and the renewal of the vows of baptism by those who were already Christian. In preparation of these events, there was a time of fasting and penance.
Our traditions aren’t just “based on” the early church. This is it. This hasn’t changed. And it’s beautiful.