Nearing the Altar

Tomorrow begins the Triduum, the three days leading up to Easter: Holy Thursday (or Maundy Thursday), Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. And then, the Easter Vigil — at which I will be initiated into the Church through Confirmation and receive my first Holy Communion.

It seems surreal that this moment has come. All of the long years that have brought me to this point have been a blessed romance, in which God has slowly shown me more and more pieces of the puzzle. These months that I have actively been seeking have been a long engagement, as the picture finally began to come into focus. And now, I am nearing the altar. This week has felt so much like the long-awaited arrival of a wedding — my wedding, at which I’ll be introduced into the most holy mysteries of Christ; at which I’ll partake most intimately in the Body and Blood of my Lord, my Creator, my Savior.

And yes, like any blushing bride, I have cold feet. I’ve had nagging thoughts over the last few days that I’m not ready, that I’m not feeling it, that I need to back out, put this off another year. All of the things that I’ve had a difficult time grasping — Mary, the saints, Purgatory — I realize that I still haven’t fully embraced; I still haven’t warmed up to them.

My feelings haven’t warmed up. But this journey has been about more than feeling; it’s been about conviction, intellectual and spiritual. A faith based on and bound by emotion is what I’m leaving. And I am here. I have arrived. The Communion I have been longing for so long is a few breaths away.

My Lord Jesus, guide me into Your Church; make me ready to receive You. Holy Mother, pray for me; embrace me; guide me.

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