Sunday, April 15, 2012

First Communion Day

It pains me to say that the only thing I remember about my first communion is that I got to wear open-toed shoes for the first time and that I did NOT want to walk down the aisle with Phillip, another boy in the group, for fear it would appear we were getting married.

It was after reading St. Thérèse of Lisieux's "Story of a Soul" in her account of her first communion, that I realized it is possible for a child to understand the magnitude of this great gift (to a certain degree) and make ready their heart to receive Him with great reverence, excited anticipation, and joy.

I have since apologized to the Lord profusely for my lack of all of the above in my own childhood experience, and he has given me ample opportunity so far to do it right the next time around. I have had the great privilege of preparing my 1st, 2nd, and now 3rd child to receive Jesus for the first time in Holy Communion. Today was her day, and also happened to be her patron Saint's special feast day, Divine Mercy Sunday.

People were barefoot, pillows were being thrown (well not in this picture), and diapers needed changing about the time we needed to be in the car, but I did get to read this to her from St. Thérèse on her first communion:

"Ah, how sweet was that first kiss of Jesus! It was a kiss of love; I felt that I was loved and I said 'I love you, and I give myself to you forever!' There were no demands made, no struggles, no sacrifices; for a long time now Jesus and poor little Thérèse looked at and understood each other. That day, it was no longer simply a look, it was a fusion; they were no longer two, Thérèse had vanished as a drop of water is lost in the immensity of the ocean. Jesus alone remained; He was the Master, the King....She felt so feeble and fragile that she wanted to be united forever to the Divine Strength! Her joy was too great, too deep for her to contain, and tears of consolation soon flowed..."

I also asked my husband to find some first communion quotes from one of her patron saints, and we included these from the Diary of St. Faustina on a note to her from us with her gift:

"Today after Holy Communion, the Lord told me, My daughter, My delight is to unite myself with you. It is when you submit yourself to My will that you give Me the greatest glory and draw down upon yourself a sea of blessings. I would not take such special delight in you if you were not living by my will." 

"Today, I am preparing myself for Your coming as a bride does for the coming of her bridegroom. He is great Lord, this Bridegroom of mine. The heavens cannot contain Him. The Seraphim who stand closest to Him cover their faces and repeat unceasingly: Holy Holy, Holy."

After a week of skipping around with "I can't WAIT for my First Communion!", I was surprised by her behavior all day. She was quiet, solemn, and introspective. But, when asked if she was ok she answered in a bit of a dreamy far off response, "Yes." with a sweet smile.

She was so grateful for every little moment. My children teach me so much.

 You are my inheritance, O Lord.
First Communion Day

                         You will show me the path to life,

fullness of joys in your presence,

the delights at your right hand forever.
You are my inheritance, O Lord.   

Psalm 16


  1. How good is the Lord,taste and see!

  2. May your daughter grow closer to the Lord Jesus each day. In the late 1960s when, as a young priest from Ireland, I was studying near New York. I got to know a large Italian-American family. One of the younger ones, I'll call her Gina, made her First Holy Communion in the spring of 1969. I had dinner at her home that evening along with another Columban priest. Gina had received more than $100 that day from relatives and friends, a huge amont of moeny for her. Her mother happened to say that we two priests were missionaries and that missionaries needed money. Immediately, 'Gina' offered all of her money to us. This was an act of pure love. We made an excuse that we didn't need the money right then. But I've never forgotten the incident.

    In Ireland First Holy Communion seems to have become largely a rite of passage. Poorer families often insist on spending money they don't have. It's interesting that any time bishops, school principals and such ask for simplicity at First Holy Communion and Confirmation many parents respond with outrage. The 'sensus fidelium'?

    St Therese was still six when she made her first confession in 1879 but didn't make her First Holy Communion till May 1884, when she was 11, and was confirmed the following month. [ ]

    1. Thank you so much. What a beautiful story about the girl Gina. I knew Therese was older than the typical age now, just not sure what age so thanks for info! :)

  3. What a beautiful post! My daughter's first communion is May 5th and we are very excited.

    I tagged you!