As a child raised in the Catholic Church, I was trained to “prepare for Communion” by going to confession on Saturday whether I had sinned or not. It was embarrassing to go out into the pews and say prayers in penance, especially, if they involved a whole rosary. There were a lot of jokes about who finished praying first. The longer the penance, the more sins you must have confessed! My family also got good at figuring out which priest doled out the most or least prayers at confession.
Preparing in the wilderness:
My first deeply felt “preparation” for the Creator was experienced in a mini vision quest in the wilderness. We met as a group after sunset and participated in a Sacred Native American Pipe Ceremony in silence. We then walked in silence to a Sacred Hill and found a private spot to sit and pray.
We had been instructed to “open our hearts, and allow the Creator to see all of us, and to understand nothing would be hidden. We were b...