This past Saturday was my youngest daughter’s First Communion. It was a beautiful day, and it was such a joy to see her receive Jesus for the first time.
(Related story: last night we were putting away her First Communion dress, and she was very sad: “I don’t want to put it away, I’m never going to wear it again.” My oldest daughter, always the pragmatist, then responded, “Well, you’ll be able to wear one like it on your wedding day.”)
One of the things we try to impress upon our children is the intrinsic connection between communion and confession. Our daughter’s first confession was back in January, and we have made sure to take her to confession each month since then, including the week before her First Communion. The Church encourages us to live a “sacramental life,” and in practice this primarily means frequent reception of both communion and confession. Most spiritual directors suggest going to confession once a month, although many saints went even more frequently. So each month we make sure our entire family goes to confession; fortunately for my family, confession is regularly available at my parish as well as some surrounding parishes.