Monday, 31 May 2010

The most beautiful thing on earth

I am not an unalloyed fan of the liturgical reforms of Pope St Pius X, for all sorts of reasons. And, liturgically speaking, I am not that happy about the giving of Communion before Confirmation.

Pastorally speaking, on the other hand, I am a huge fan. We have just had two splendid ceremonies: last weekend, Bishop Kieran came to our parish and confirmed seventeen young people (fifteen teenagers and two in their twenties); yesterday I gave first Holy Communion to twenty-six children. Both occasions were deeply moving.

After the Communions yesterday, returning to the house, I saw a nice neighbour sitting in her car, and I went across to apologize for the fact that parking had been so difficult in the streets around.
'We had first Communions this morning', I explained.
'I know', she said. 'I was watching all those happy families, and the children all dressed up and so excited'.
She turned towards me, and I could see tears in her eyes.
'I long to be able to believe like that', she said.
And we had a little chat about this and that.

Our church, though pretty vile as a building, has the advantage of being in the middle of a town; so many churches now have been rebuilt outside, like shopping malls. All our neighbours could not but be aware of the exciting events in the church, watching the boys in their first suits and the girls dressed like brides, their faces shining with uncomplicated faith and excitement, running to their first encounter with the Lord, to know him in the breaking of bread…

There are few things more beautiful on earth.

6 comments:

Dominic Mary said...

And that, presumably, Father is why the reception of Holy Communion is allowed whilst children are still young enough to bring innocent joyfulness to it.

Hestor said...

I have to say the lowering of the first communion age limit by St. Pius X was a disaster. I know other saints like Padre Pio applauded it but they could not have forsaw our times when the Blessed Sacrament is treated with such contempt, the earth should have divinely chastised long ago.

Laurence England said...

Lovely post, Father.

gemoftheocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gemoftheocean said...

But Hestor "Let the little children come unto me...."

Just because some people disrespect the Eucharist, by no means does that mean everyone does.
Children tend to be more pure of heart and without guile.

Anonymous said...

Keep it up Padre!
From an Orthodox Christian in the US.

Rdr James