This past Sunday I had the opportunity to witness my daughter, Mary, receive her first Holy Communion. She is the third child that I’ve witnessed receive this Sacrament, but for some reason this experience touched me more profoundly than ever before.
Perhaps it’s due to knowing the One whom she received more deeply now, or maybe it was seeing my only daughter dressed in a beautiful white gown like a bride in order to give herself to Jesus that moved me. It was a delightful occasion in which family and friends gathered to witness and celebrate Mary’s next stage of the Christian life.
I wanted to share with you a letter that I wrote to her as I tried to articulate the great adventure He has in store for her… and for you and me!
First off, I want to congratulate you and tell you how proud I am of your desire to receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. On your own, you expressed how you wanted to receive Him and I pray that this heart felt desire will never grow tired or weary.
You have reached a point in your life when you are ready to begin a great adventure which has been hand-picked for you by God. This adventure will involve danger, temptation, and unexpected turns as well as untold joy and peace. If you choose to go on this adventure you will need a light to lead you through the darkness. That light is the Holy Eucharist.
God loves you so much that he has chosen a hand crafted journey just for you, but you must choose to go on it. Jesus is the consummate gentlemen, he never makes you do anything that you don’t want to do. Instead, He wants you to freely allow Him to guide you on your adventure. While the Holy Eucharist is like a lantern which will provide light along the path, it is not magic, you must freely choose each day to allow Jesus into your heart so that He can work through you on your great adventure.
Until my last breath I will always protect you and be there when you get hurt, but sometimes I can fall short. There are times when I don’t hug you enough, or express how much I love you in the ways that you need. Mary, whatever I lack, Jesus makes up. He desires to be your best friend and will always listen to you. He always has something to tell you if you will listen. He never grows tired and is always seeking to be close to you.
Even if you choose to not to go on the adventure and to try and make up your own, Jesus is waiting for you to come back and can’t wait for your return.
Mommy and Daddy will always help you on your adventure, but you must also know that you have great friends in heaven who are watching and cheering you on during your journey.
Imagine a stadium full of great Saints like St. Rose of Lima or St. Faustina screaming at the top of their lungs as they watch your adventure on the field. With their cheers they want to change the outcome of the game, they want to help you do things you didn’t think were possible by yourself.
You are ready for this exciting journey. The best thing about this adventure is that you are guaranteed victory! Jesus has gone before you and won, but you play an important part in allowing others to see this victory through your great adventure.
I love you Mary!