Monday, February 20, 2012

Evidence of Faith.

We had The Monkey baptized Sunday.

Yes, finally.

Catholic guilt is a mother.
It’s mystifying to me how something like that kept getting pushed to the backburner. All I can really attest to is that I was in no shape to deal with any more life-altering decisions at t he time in which she should have been baptized four years ago, and that by the time she turned four, I was so embarrassed to even admit to anyone that we hadn’t had her baptized yet, that I kept finding convenient excuses not to do so…


Regardless, it was beautiful.

I find such comfort in my faith. In leaving my worries in the oh-so-capable hands of someone greater than myself. I find comfort in the community of church. In the presence of strangers in faith. In The Catholic Family.

There’s a portion of the baptismal ceremony (not the rites themselves, but more the introduction of the new member to the church) that happens at Holy Cross that I’ve not been witness to in any other church, and I love it. Father offers an introduction at the beginning of mass, asking each of the child’s parents and then godparents to make the sign of the cross on the child’s head. He then invites any other member of the parish who would care to do so, to come forward and also make the sign of the cross on the child’s head.

In addition to Sophie’s immediate and extended family in attendance all coming forward, there were a slew of other parishioners that lined the aisle to come pay small homage to The Monkey’s initiation. Each sweet, creased, careworn face bent down to her level, signed the cross upon her hairline and murmured something to her… They called her beautiful and wonderful. They wished her luck and bestowed blessings upon her.

And let’s recall, for a moment, that for the first year or so of The Monkey’s life she wouldn’t let anyone so much as touch her. But I’ve never seen a more beautific smile on that kid’s face than when perfect strangers came up to mark her with the sign of our faith and whisper welcome into her ear. It brought tears to my eyes to see how those people loved her without even knowing her. That, in my mind? Is the definition of church. And faith. And everyone good and right about my faith. Acceptance and love, right there, plain as day, for everyone to see.

And afterwards? We had donuts.
The Monkey was in hog heaven. And somehow we fit 24+ people into my tiny little apartment. I'm still not even sure how that happened. But The Munchkins were surrounded by their family. By those they hold most dear.

And The Monkey was showered with gifts on her big day.
I had NO IDEA there existed so many different Catholic-related coloring books.

It was a day to be surrounded by those you love. It was perfect.

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