This week was one of the most important of my life. I found myself closing my eyes so hard trying to imprint visions and memories on my brain. You know those moments when you feel like the world is spinning too fast? Like your whole life has been bringing you here but here is moving so fast you are afraid you’ll miss it? Saturday night I was confirmed in the Catholic Church at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. And now its Monday. And the path I am on is forever changed.
I feel so blessed to have found RCIA at the Basilica. The director of the program has been such an incredible spiritual guide to us over the past 7 months. We became a family on a journey together, all 40 something of us… searching for a deeper home than we had ever known. We found it in one another, we found it in our meetings, and now we have found it in the church.
Saturday night’s Easter Vigil began with a huge bonfire on the front plaza at the Basilica. The fire was wild in the cool, windy night and our senses were heightened as we gathered around its warmth as a community so eagerly awaiting the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Holy week was full of darkness, reflection, and anticipation. The Passion is so dark and haunting. And in reflecting on the stations of the cross, and Christ’s strength as well as his human fears, we were brought to our knees with solemn gratitude and amazement. And now we could lift our heavy brows and celebrate defeating the darkness.
The entire congregation processed into the gorgeous church and listened to the history of our salvation through various readings, responses, and beautiful meditations. My heart was so full of longing, for the night had finally arrived. The night when I would walk forward and be sealed with the holy spirit. Confirmed in the church, and welcomed to the communion table. I trembled, and wept, and laughed. I nervously whispered to Joe and to Caitlin (my sponsor). I reflected silently on the past months. I craned my neck to look at every stone in the church, the beautiful stained glass, the intricate stone carving of Christ on the crucifix. I wanted every sense engaged, I wanted to be able to recall this visceral connection for the rest of my life.
And as I walked up to be confirmed, and again to take my first communion, I trembled. I have never felt so connected to the world, to God. I felt His presence in the Basilica, I felt HIm in those around me, in the music, in the insence, and in the oil on my forehead. I felt, and still feel as a type, a lifting of my spirit. A calmness and happiness and completion I have never known. And I am so grateful.
I will never forget this weekend, and it is my hope that I will inspire others through my service to the church to find their own path to such a wonderful feeling. A special thank you to everyone who has offered me guidance, support, or even just been curious about my conversion. I am forever changed, and forever grateful.