I actually had no intention of blogging tonight. "Too much to do," I thought to myself today. "Maybe later in the week I will have the opportunity." But here I am.
Tonight (ok Monday night since it is now Tuesday morning) I went to Mass, the first Monday of Holy Week. It was being offered for the repose of the soul of my memere and, as I've said, praying for her is something I want to make a priority. I have prayed for her already during private prayer but I was appreciative of the mass being offered for her and wanted to be there with the family. So after getting Alicia to take a nap, picking up the house, waking Hannah to eat, then waking Alicia to head out the door, I made it to my parent's house. We ate supper and off we went to church.
Both of the girls are really good in church, so, knowing that my aunts and uncles would probably want to sit up front, we headed up to the second pew, walking by our parish priest and one of the five seminarians (YES THAT'S RIGHT FIVE) from our parish who happens to be home for Holy Week. My whole family, parents included, pretty much always sit in the last pew in church in case we need to make a quick exit to the "cry room." So anyway, after a quick prayer, worried that Hannah would start fussing, I took Hannah out of the car seat and we sat there in the silence as people trickled in.
Since the church was fairly empty, Hannah's cooing sounded louder than usual. I smiled and did try to hush her a few times, but it wasn't so bad really. There was a young couple behind me that she was smiling at, and another parishioner she grinned at a few rows back that we know from the Coming Home program my husband and I are a part of. When Mass started she started looking around during the singing, then during the readings she seemed to want to face forward. Usually, maybe because we are in the back, she has no interest really in seeing what is going on. "Well that's funny, " I thought. Then Alicia came over and snuggled up next to me during the homily. "Maybe going to Mass just the three of us wouldn't be so bad," I thought to myself. "I guess I should have at least tried it once during Lent."
After the gifts were brought up, I sent Alicia down to sit with her memere and pepere and headed to the cry room with Hannah to change her and give her the last bottle of the night since she was starting to show signs of becoming fussy. I wasn't sure if the timing would allow me to go up to receive communion, but I thought I had a shot at it. But as I was feeding her, I realized that I wouldn't be going and I felt a weird pang in my heart, a dull ache if you will. "Well, this is something that I have never felt before." It dawned on me as I sat alone in the "cry room" with Hannah, that I was sad that I wasn't going to communion. Could it be that suddenly I realized what I was truly missing by not going for communion? After all this time of not being sure that I truly "get" transubstantiation, that I actually do realize that it IS in fact Jesus that we receive?
I've been thinking about trying to get to the Triduum with my little ones: mass on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil. The only thing is, if I do go to mass on Holy Thursday, this may be the first time I head to mass with just my girls. As I said above, it may not be as bad as I've imagined it to be. Good Friday my husband will not be working so I'm pretty sure he'll be there and I think that for now the Easter Vigil will be too long for our littles ones, so we'll probably all be together at church on Sunday morning as usual.
But just maybe, I will head to Holy Thursday, even if it is just myself and the girls. I wonder if it happens again that I cannot go up for communion, will I once again feel that weird pang? What was once something I knew in my head, now seems to be transmitting to my heart. God is certainly revealing His mysteries to me in marvelous ways.