"You will always have this…"


A Puffy-Eye’d Crybaby with Monkey Face

Inside Catholic is reposting something I’d forgotten that I’d written, and upon re-reading, I think it’s worth recommending to you:

I knelt at my seat, thanking and welcoming Jesus, as I’d been taught, and suddenly I was in the grip of something I had never felt before — an indescribable sweetness, an overwhelming sense of . . . what, exactly? I could not have then articulated the ringing sense, deep within myself, of “holy, holy, holy” like the peal of a bell. It vibrated up from my core, powerful enough to bring tears, and I did not hide them. I was not alone; beside me a pretty strawberry-blonde named Aileen also wept. Hearing her sniffles, I turned my head and we exchanged soggy smiles in perfect understanding. Something beautiful had happened, and everything leading up to it within the preceding hour — the music, the reverence, the bowed heads of our parents, the precision of the altar boys and the seriousness of the priests — had contributed to this singular moment, and had reinforced it, too.

Afterwards, still sobbing, I was led away from my classmates by Sr. Mary Alice, my second-grade teacher, who knelt before me and asked what was wrong.

“Sister, you have to make me repeat the second grade!” I told her.

“But why, dear?” She asked.

“Because I want to do that again!” I wailed. “And I can only make first Holy Communion in the second grade!”

I hope you like the piece.

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