I guess most converts are really affected by their first Triduum. I had found all of my RCIA experience to be extraordinary and open my heart spiritually in ways I never expected. I was surprised in myself how much I loved to pray. After the Holy Thursday Mass, Father had set up the Exposition in the Narthex. I believe he did this so that the church could be stripped and the statues covered without disturbing the Adoration, and staff could go home early and we could stay and pray until midnight.
In my parish, where we had so many charismatic people, there was a lot of openness to spiritual expression. I often felt kind of overwhelmed in the Presence of the Eucharist, and in this parish I didn't hesitate to abandon the folding chair and kneel. My arms went up of their own accord and I was, as very common for me, shedding tears. I wasn't sad, it was just like there was so much feeling, it came out in tears. I think one of the staff members wondered about me, and my sponsor came over and knelt beside me and asked if I was okay, and I gave her a big smile and nodded. I guess she went off to assure the staff I was fine and so, people left me alone.
Without going into a lot of unnecessary detail, I had recently discovered a medical problem that would require surgery to correct an internal defect. I wasn't thinking about that then, at all, I wasn't thinking about anything. It was just joy, that's the only way I have to describe how I felt on the floor that night. Just joy. Mindless total immersion in the Light of Christ. I guess, now that I look back. At the time I was just there, happy, on the floor.
After a while, I felt something. (If you read Experience II, you are familiar with the "electric fog" feeling I talked about there. This happened between the 2nd and 3rd of those experiences.) Inside my body, in the place I felt my pain where I needed the surgery, there was a feeling of pinpoints of warm energy. It came, grew in intensity, and then was gone. It got my attention. What was that, I thought. I... I could hardly let myself think the thought - could I be healed? No. Wait. I think I was. Then I remembered my sponsor once saying that no defect or sin can survive in the Presence of the Holy Spirit.
Can't be, you're being ridiculous. Why would you get healed? But I thought, was actually sure, that I had been. I hadn't asked, I hadn't really "prayed" in any way I was yet familiar with. I was just there. I was afraid to believe it, in a way. But I figured that it would be obvious soon enough. I never had another symptom. I never went back to the doctor. I never had any surgery. I suppose in the rational world I can't say I can "prove" I was healed. But I was.
It just occurred to me, writing this fifteen or so years later, that after my first confession, I realized there was something more I wanted to say, something that made my sin worse. I was so worried that I should have said more. But I also learned that no one can say everything and that being absolved in that first confession was for all your sins up to that time. I had to accept that in faith. I was having a hard time doing so.
It now seems to me a that the warm rush of "energy," that I felt in Reconciliation and that brought the healing on Holy Thursday, assures me that in that moment of forgiveness something happened. It wasn't just a Presence, it was a healing and if Father didn't know the extent of my sin, God certainly did. More than I could, even. Which reminds me of some Scripture (natch):
One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing. And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set (him) in his presence. But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, "As for you, your sins are forgiven." Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, "Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?" Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, "What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins''--he said to the man who was paralyzed, "I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home." He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God.