Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Trifecta of Blessings on a First Communicant

Our godson, John Paul is making his first Holy Communion today.  Imagine that:

  • His namesake is beatified today.
  • His namesake created the feast of Divine Mercy for today.
  • He makes his First Communion to complete the trifecta.
You have to know Johnny to know how special, how beloved, how cherished he is in a family that  has 34 grandchildren for my parents.  He is unique.  A little nutty, but in a really good way.

A few 'Johnny' stories:  When Johnny was about 5, on Christmas day, he came up to the circle of Aunts who were deep in conversation.  The mere fact that he approached his Aunts in conversation shows a fearlessness that is surely a heroic virtue.  He joined the conversation saying, "I'm not really happy with the way my life is going right now."  He was 5.  He was in tune with the greater purpose of existence.  His Aunt Monica responded, "Johnny, you're five.  Go play with your cousins." He did.

Again with Aunt Monica in carpool a few months later.  Johnny says from the back seat, "This song is completely inappropriate."  Monica suddenly pays attention to the radio.  The day was Valentines Day.  The song was 'Love Stinks' by the J. Giles Band.  Johnny says, "I am going to school to celebrate love with my classmates.  This song is completely inappropriate for me to be listening to today."

Finally, with me.  I was watching all of my sister Amy's children one day, and told Johnny I would make whatever treat he wanted while he was at my house.  (He is my Godson after all.)  He wanted Chocolate chip cookies.  I made them.  I brought out the first cookies to him as a special gesture.  He looked at them, but didn't eat them.  I asked why.  He said, "Aunt Suzanne, your cookies are creeping me out."  I don't know why.  Apparently I make creepy cookies.  Johnny is also annoyed by my husband's singing, but that's another story.

He knows today is special. He received the usual First Communion gifts, but he received a few special ones as well.  As his Godparents, we found a medal of Blessed John Paul II with all of the documentation to show that it had been blessed by Pope Benedict XVI.  His cousin Katherine had just returned from a pilgrimage to Rome with what she called, "A very special action figure." It was a statue of JPII that had also been blessed by Benedict XVI.

As I was saying goodbye to Johnny today.  I gave him a hug.  He gives really good hugs back.   We held each other close.  I kissed his head.  I said, "You have two Popes praying for you today."  He looked at me with tears in his eyes and hugged a little closer.  I think he felt the weight of responsibility.

Thank God for John Paul II.  Thank God for Johnny and all of the namesakes our Blessed Pope has across the globe.  Thank God for the Eucharist and all good priests.  That is the trifecta of blessings.
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