Monday, March 24, 2014

My Baptism Day

To know the date of our Baptism is to know a blessed day. --Pope Francis

This is a wonderful day. A happy day! On this date in 1991, I became baptized into Christ Jesus (Rom 6:3-4). I was 13 years old and wanted to become a a fully-functioning, decision-making part of our Presbyterian church and that would involve my being confirmed; that couldn't happen, though, until I was baptized. My parents had left it up to each of us to decide for ourselves if we wanted to be baptized, so when I got old enough to decide I asked the church to baptize me.

It is an untrue perception that once a person enters full communion with the Catholic Church that they reject or condemn the Christian life they held in the past - on the contrary, we often build upon our former lives and often look towards those essential days with fondness. During these days we were first exposed to the wonder and glory of the Gospel and to the fantastic mysteries of the faith. Our Sundays were filled with countless wonderful hymns of the past and our lives were filled with devouring the Scriptures. I smile whenever I think of those early days of Christmas Eve candlelight services, Christmas pageants, and my first exposure to Lent and Advent. I can't thank enough my family and all the countless wonderful people from my Presbyterian and Episcopalian days who loved me and helped guide me in the Christian life, since their efforts helped put me on the path towards the fullness of the Catholic faith. So, on a date like today's, where I was born of water and the Spirit (Jn 3:5-6), it all started in the bosom of the Presbyterian church and I couldn't be more thankful.

"Through Baptism each child is inserted into a gathering of friends who never abandon him in life or in death...This group of friends, this family of God, into which the child is now admitted, will always accompany him, even on days of suffering and in life’s dark nights; it will give him consolation, comfort and light." --Benedict XVI