Monday, November 24, 2003

Peace, all. Just back from First Reconciliation. I like the enthusiasm of second graders. I love having the whole family come. Long ago, I used to question the validity of catechizing for reconciliation at such an early age, but I think I've reformed my opinion. However, my ideal plan would be much more demanding of catechists. I think there are three, and possibly four times when reconciliation needs to be seriously catechized. Those people in the 70's and 80's who said we should teach 5th graders about penance? They were right, too. I think early high school would be a good third time. Maybe adults need a refresher. The reality is that as we mature our awareness, approach, and responsiveness to sin and grace changes. What good does it do to catechize a Catholic on a second grade level for a sacrament and leave it there? What good does it do to emphasize the communal celebration at school or RE and neglect the rest of the family? The only time, generally, Reconciliation is celebrated in a family group is at the first one -- unless parents bring their kids to parish services or to individual confession times. And the latter? That's hardly a liturgical celebration. Don't get me started on that. Reconciliation, if it is to be a fruitful sacrament, needs a serious overhaul. We should consider lay confessors. We need to rethink catechesis at different ages. We need to engage the whole family more often. We need use of Form III more regularly. Any thoughts?

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