It’s been a rough 2 weeks. I’m not looking for pity, and I know that others’ have crosses that are a lot bigger than mine, but the past few weeks have been one thing after another going wrong. I feel like God’s putting me through a second Lent – a season of penance – but I don’t know why. Didn’t I do Lent well enough the first time? When do I get my Easter, damn it?
That’s just part of an email I sent to a friend yesterday morning. I was cranky and mildly depressed wondering why all of these little things kept going wrong. Then, yesterday, I was reading through the letters to the Bishop written by the high school Juniors who will be receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation on May 19. They write these letters to the bishop requesting the sacrament and telling him why they want it. Even through they’re addressed to the bishop, I read each one.
This screening helps me discover who has slipped through the cracks in our Confirmation process and maybe isn’t ready for this Sacrament quite yet: “I’m really a practicing Buddhist, but my parents are making me do this. I don’t believe in Jesus at all – but whatever. Better safe than sorry, I guess.” (Direct quote from a letter 3 years ago).
It also saves me the embarrassment of revealing the catechetical confusion that occasionally results from our faith formation classes: “I picked the name Jacob for my Confirmation name because he was Joseph’s dad. If Jacob done even one thing differently when he raised Joseph, Joseph might not have married Mary and become a father figure to Jesus.” (sigh)
It’s not all weeping and banging my head on my desk though. Often, I am privy to some deeply faithful insights. Usually those make me beam with no small amount of pride, but I’m working on eradicating pride right now, so this year I read them asking God to reveal to me, through these teenagers, what I needed most to hear. And then I read this:
“God plays a big role in everyone’s life. You just have to open your eyes to see how. Sometimes He speaks in ways that seem little, but are really the most important.”