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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Confirmations, Bat Mitzvahs and more

Last night I had the great pleasure of sponsoring a young man for confirmation. I have been great  friends with his family for many many years and think of them as close as family. I know that I can count on them and I know that they care for my family in a very loving manner.  They truly want the best for all of us as I feel the same in return for their entire family. Their challenges as well as celebrations are equally mine. It truly was an honor for me that is incredibly meaningful.

I love religious rituals that are brimming with tradition and history.  I enjoyed listening to the archbishop address the children and quiz them about catholicism in the gentlest of manner.  I love the richness in the dress of each of these church figures. The robes and hats that are adorned in gold and tassels with a splash of red. They are designed to the tune of leaders of a kingdom and immediately serve to differentiate the status of archbishop and common man. The look is intimidating until you see and fell the warmth that permeates from the soul of this man.

The archbishop spoke of the importance of confirmation and reminded all of those who had been confirmed to evaluate their own spiritual behavior. Have we been living as we promised on that day when we were confirmed so long ago. He invited each of us to rethink our behavior and blessed us if we had lived up to our promises as a young person. Thankfully for my sake, he encouraged those who have been deficient to start again.  He asked that we renew our own confirmation promises and to move forward with the knowledge that the Holy Spirit is a powerful entity and resides in each of us. His words were powerful to me and caused immediate introspection.

I know for a fact that I have not been to Mass every sunday since I was confirmed.  I do try but often fail and he emphasized the importance of this practice. On a positive note, this is the third year that Im teaching Religious education so I gained some footing with that- at least in my own mind. I do try to help people and not be self- centered which I think has been successful for me.  I admit that Im a work in progress just like everyone else and I do have the daily goal of self-improvement and awareness.

It was a beautiful ceremony and the importance of it will no doubt be imprinted on all 64 of the young people that were confirmed last night. It makes a meaningful difference to have faith in a religion. It gives us hope and faith that we can persevere and deal with the many challenges that we are all faced with.  It gives us a place to go and something to believe in and we all need that. It just needs attention and practice and I think this may be where some of us fall short.

This morning I have to go to a Bat Mitzvah of another special family friend. Despite the fact that I am not Jewish, I will absorb the importance of the spiritual message and Im happy that my children will experience a different religious ritual. The depth of these ceremonies and the beauty of them enrich our lives in so many ways.  I feel blessed to be included in all of them and enjoy the diversity that each one brings. xo

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