In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In Good Faith.”
This is a newly revised blog post I made from 2010 on Jackie’s Bookbytes
I made my first communion during Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at the age of 6 with my sister and another girl we knew, in Good Faith. It was an extraordinarily long Christmas celebration.
We lived in a town called Zeralda in Algiers. I can remember I wore a white communion dress that my mother made with white tights. My mother is a staunch Catholic, and she helped my sister, and I memorize our Act of Contrition. Reciting it wasn’t as hard as meaning it. That was a problem. Since I didn’t know a lot about my Catholic faith the idea, I was reciting words like ‘I deserve the pains of hell’ scared me a lot. It’s not like a confession, where I’d have to repent of some terrible sin. Holy Communion isn’t something to be sorry about either; that would just be weird right? I was only a little nervous and scared, though.
In preparing for my first communion and since it was the Christmas season, I was invited to go near the crib/Manger to say hello and talk to the Baby Jesus and ask him into my heart. I didn’t fully grasp the meaning of Jesus’ birth for the salvation of the world, but I knew I was about to receive him in my heart in holy communion that Christmas. I had no words to say. I felt totally inadequate, like a filthy rag. I didn’t know Jesus as I ought, but I trusted and hoped He would show me.
Looking back, I should have asked Jesus’ Mother and Our Mother for help. What made that stable in Bethlehem so desirable that He would choose to be born there was the presence of Mary. I like the term “To Jesus through Mary.” I believe God loves me and that I belong to Him.
That year Jesus was born in me.
“Be a womb. Be a dwelling for God. Be surprised.”
The Act of Contrition is the prayer that I memorized for my First Communion, and I always say it this way.
O My God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You.
because of my sins, I deserve the pains of hell
but most of all because they have offended you O God
who art all good and deserving of all my Love.
I firmly resolve with the help of Your Grace
To confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life.