Spiritual reflections, family, home educating typical and special needs children ~
Dedicated to: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Unborn.
"Rejoice in hope, persevere in tribulations, be constant in prayer." Romans 12:12
Certe bonum certanem! Fight the good fight!
St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Finding Joy...First Reconciliation
Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!
From my view, it's a sunny lovely day for February in Ohio. It marks the 18th Reconciliation service I've prepared a class for and the fourth child of my own that will make the sacrament today with their classmates. This is a monumental moment for me today personally for many reasons, and not mostly because of my longevity at teaching the first sacraments' class, but because of my last child making the sacrament and his special challenges of autism.
With God all things are possible.
This could not be more true as I reflect back to where my autistic son was a year ago, in regard to eye contact, communication, mixing up genders, pronouns, glitchy frustrating language expression, lack of retaining, recalling, retelling...and my doubts that he could understand enough, or have the endurance enough to follow through with presenting himself in the reconciliation room, nonetheless expressing his sins. I did not think it would be possible this year, but with therapies and a very focused year directing our efforts toward him, and doing lots of homework it is possible and is happening this very day. So many prayers....so many difficult moments....and now, a glimmer of hope and light that this 8 yr old dear little person - who has tried with all his might and worked so hard is going to do something tremendous today.
I'm not sure how I will contain myself - pure joy.
God has a plan for sure, and I know now that 20 years of experience and preparing children for the sacraments was necessary to prepare me to work with my own special needs child. God additionally blessed us with a smaller class this year which was very helpful, and the most understanding little classmates in the world...additional blessings. They are patient with Mark and seem to understand him and are helpful to him. I don't know if he can quite understand what a blessing that is at this young point in his life.......but someday he will appreciate it.
So...I'll report back later on how this wonderful day unfolded and all God had in store for us.
God bless you this beautiful Sunday wherever you are!
Update:The day remained beautiful; a little on the cool side, but no rain or snow, and filled with sunshine. Our pastor was 30 mins late to the service due to giving the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick to an elderly parishioner who collapsed today during our earlier mass. The fire alarm went off as we were beginning to gather.....a problem we've been having lately at our church -- once that was under control, and our pastor was in place, we began and all went smoothly. Well, the fire alarm went off AGAIN toward the end of confessions .....lol! However, Mark did PERFECT -- he was focused and enjoyed it, and I'm told he did really, really well. He is happy and pleased with himself. The children made Lambs to place under the Icon of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and once the came out of the confessional they did so. On the way home Mark announced: "I'm going to put my Lamb on the back on my bed as an indication that I made my first confession and now I can make it any time I want." ...so cute. After the ceremony the families went to the church hall for dinner. Again, Mark did great and he was pleasant with the other classmates. He especially likes his friend Corey and starts conversations with him, which is always a good thing....autistic children initiating conversation. Mark has come a long ways, he never use to do that. Praise God.