Monday, August 19, 2013

Just. Get. Over. Yourself!

For those of us who are able to live past infancy and early childhood, we eventually reach the age of reason. Normally this is around seven years old, and we can more fully distinguish right and wrong. No longer do we solely have to be informed that something is wrong, but we can intuitively sense it. Basically our natural law radar is up and running.

This also means that we can receive Holy Communion, as it is administered in the Latin Rite to children only if "they have sufficient knowledge and careful preparation so that they understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity and are able to receive the Body of Christ with faith and devotion," according to the Code of Canon Law, canon 913 (1983, of course).

This post really isn't about lowering the age for Confirmation, or having a more full understanding of the fluidity of the age at which the age of reason occurs in a particular child, so that they might make First Holy Communion earlier. Those are both important topics...but not for now.

Rather, it's a call to get it together. Don't waste your time. Stay in the state of grace, so frequent the sacrament of Confession. Receive with fervent devotion Our Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Pray the Rosary, so that Our Lady will keep you close to her Son, present in the Eucharist and the source of the graces present in all seven sacraments, especially at the hour of our death.

Get over yourself. Love like those little children who I see at Holy Mass with their families, who are probably more worthy to receive the Eucharist than I am. Love totally, even to those who can mostly only ask of us, like children with Down Syndrome or children like baby Thomas Joseph Butler (the latter example is particularly commendable, since all he knew was love, as Father Beach noted!).

We are all sinners, even priests. In the traditional form, the priest speaks loudly at "Nobis quoque peccatoribus," "for us and for all sinners." We need to pray for our own constant conversion and the conversion of everybody else too. But only you can take steps to eliminate sin from your own life, and to love.

And, we neither know the hour nor the day. Death and the end of time can strike at any moment. Will you be ready?

Work towards perfection, and seek first the Kingdom.

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