Christ is Risen! Alleluia!
While I love the Mass in general, there's nothing like the celebration of the Easter vigil. The darkness, the Paschal candle and then people lighting their candles from it and then from their neighbors, and the growing sea of tiny flames as they keep going until every person's candle is lit. And then the readings, starting from the creation account in Genesis, then the Exodus rescue, then from Isaiah and Ezekiel, until we reach the New Testament readings where it culminates in Jesus Christ, the Paschal Lamb, sacrificed, and then the Resurrection. Then we have baptisms and confirmations, the creed and then the Eucharist. It is beautiful! And powerful!
Yes, my wife and daughter are away on holiday, and yes, my sons were blowing out my candle when I wasn't looking. And yes, one of them decided to break up his remaining candle into tiny pieces and pull out the wick. And he dribbled a bit of wax on his pants and maybe the floor. And yes, he's too old to be fooling around with it like that (at 16), and yes he and his younger brother were sniggering at the size of the feet of the guy in front of us, for everyone to see his shoulders shaking uncontrollably. And yes, they also saw me trying to keep them quiet a number of times during the Mass.
But all my sons were with me and were fine. They weren't miserably begging off the Mass, nor miserably begging to go after an hour. They weren't grumpy at having to stand and kneel and sit and on and on. Mind you, I wish they'd been more prayerful throughout, as they should, but they were with me through more than two hours, and sang and chanted and prayed through some if not most of that. Grace doesn't come from us. As Lito would say, it's 'extra nos', outside of us, coming from God, unmerited. Our receptiveness depends on our disposition, of course, but not Grace. My sons are young. If they don't resist too much, they will mature, and I will pray for that all my life and after. God is patient, rich in kindness and mercy, slow to anger and abounding in love.
It's Easter. Christus Resurrexit! Alleluia!