Last year when my son received the sacrament of confession for the first time, my husband and I heard other parents talking about their plans to “make it special” with a dinner out, dessert or a gift.
My first thought was, “Of course! We want this day to make a really big impression! I should be doing more to make it stand out.” And I do think we ended up celebrating with dessert and a small, handmade gift. But what surprised me was the follow-up my son requested to his big day. As we walked out of the church, he said, “So, when are we going to confession again? Next week?”
As parents, we put so much effort into checking off the boxes necessary for our children to receive the sacraments that it’s easy to lose sight of what’s really happening. The sacraments are not a rite of passage, cultural ritual or graduation. They are the way God has arranged to infuse His very Life into ours. The sacraments give us the graces necessary to live the Christian life with greater courage, peace and union with the will of God. They open heaven for us. Isn’t that everything we want for our children?
Image source: JAMES CHARLES 1881 Oil Painting “RETURNING FROM FIRST COMMUNION” 1931