Fonticulus Fides

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Second Sacrament for Zooey

Zooey was very relieved to make it to his First Penance last Saturday.

Okay, backing up. We've been helping him prepare to receive this Sacrament with a packet of information provided by his religion teacher, who has also been helping him prepare. For weeks, we'd been talking through the whole "examine your conscience" part.

Hmmm....that sounds like we were aMAZing parents. Truth was, we got the packet on the day we moved into the new house and I set it aside to read it later. Later was 3 weeks later and I found out we were supposed to be doing a little bit every night for all that time. Huh. So we crash-coursed it in a much shorter time period. And that was only when he was in the bathtub, because it was the only time quiet enough for him and one of us to go over the materials. So we didn't by any means spend WEEKS preparing him; it was more like a total of two hours spread out over two weeks time. Thank you, Lord, for our excellent Catholic school and religion class!

ANYway, we were helping him examine his conscience with questions like, "Do I ever disobey my parents?" and all that, and Zooey would consistently say things like, "Not lately" or "Not really" or even a flat out "No."

I started to worry that he wasn't getting it -- blaming myself, of course, because I hadn't read the packet for weeks and now it was too late. And then one day, the poor kid was lying in bed moaning, so I went to see what was wrong. His head hurt, his stomach hurt, his whole body hurt. He sobbed, "I think I'm dying, and I haven't had my First Penance yet!"

Bingo. The conscience must have kicked in somewhere between bathtime and sleepyville.

Naturally, I hugged him and talked to him for a long time about the whole thing and he did end up going to sleep after a whole bunch of Our Fathers and Hail Marys and at least two Acts of Contrition.

So by the time Saturday rolled around, Zooey was very, very eager to head into the confessional. And indeed, he came out with a BIG smile on his face and proudly returned to the pew to pray his penance. After that, he came to fetch his dad and together they went forward to pin his nametag on the "Lord is My Shepherd" banner and receive a lamb pendant as a keepsake.

Part of the service included three boys performing the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Zooey had been cast as the father, and Sister Mary had already told me she thought he was reading beautifully, so I wasn't nervous for him at all. Christian was to play the prodigal son and Tommy was the narrator. (The narrative stopped before the elder brother entered the scene.)

When the time came, I saw Zooey and Tommy exit their pews, approach the altar and move to the microphones. Where was Christian? I had no idea. My husband and I nervously looked around the church to see if we saw Christian or his family, but none of them were there.

Tommy started reading. Christian had the next line -- what would happen?

Then Zooey in a clear, strong voice said, "Father, can I have my money now?"

Tommy continued his narrative and got to the father's first line. Zooey read that, too. He went back and forth between the father's and son's parts without any trouble at all.

Afterwards, his religion told me that right before the service started, she had asked Zooey if he knew Christian's part well enough to read both of them. He said he could, and he did it, with no slips, even though he had never read Christian's lines aloud before. I was totally beaming with pride (can you tell?!??!). And Sister was right, Zooey did read the father's lines beautifully. I wanted to cry when he said, "My son was dead, but now he is alive again!"

Still do. Not because of my son's eloquence, but because Christ really made this possible for us, through the absolution of our sins.

Our Sacraments are so very beautiful. I wish I would remember to more often take advantage of the two I have the privilege of participating in any day of the week. Zooey wants to go to confession weekly, which may be a bit of overkill for such a well-behaved boy, but there's been plenty of times I would have benefitted from such attendance.

First Communion is next -- April 22. We have the suit and the tie...the shoes are a little big, but they'll do if thrifting and consignment shopping doesn't turn up a size smaller in the next few weeks.



***Edited to fix typos. THANKS, Alicia!****


  • That is so awesome!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:50 PM  

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