"We Give You the Greatest Gift We Have: The Gift of Faith"
By Elizabeth Foss
Dearest Patrick, today you will be baptized. Your godparents, family and
friends will gather to welcome you into the Church and to promise to walk
with you on your journey of faith. Father Bob will ask your father and me
what it is that we want for you and we will answer, "Baptism." One word,
simply said, but it is so much that we want.
When you were born you looked up at us with enormous, wide-open, wondering
eyes. Over the next few weeks, we were continually amazed and touched by
your eyes. It has been said that the eyes are a window to the soul. Today,
when we look into your eyes, we see trust. You seem to know that we will
always be there for you, always answer your call. Our hope is that you will
continue to trust us, but that you will also get to know and to trust your
Father in heaven. He is infinitely trustworthy and ever present in the way
no human parent can be.
As you grow, we hope to look into your eyes and see virtue reflected there.
Daddy and I know that you will be sorely tempted to stray from the fullness
of our faith as you journey towards adulthood. We have prayerfully chosen
godparents to help you navigate.
Your godfather, Kevin, has traveled the journey with Daddy and me. We were
children together. We grew together. He has supported our marriage and our
family with all his heart since the very beginning. Look to Kevin as an
example of a young man who lives his faith humbly in a secular world. By
his own admission, he is not perfect. But he knows God and those of us who
are his friends can readily see Christ in him.
In Donna, you will be blessed with a spiritual godmother who is holy and
wise. As you grow to know and love her, you, too, will appreciate the many
qualities of the Blessed Mother that we see in her. She is a gentle,
steadfast servant of the Lord who has prayed for you since we first
discovered you were on the way. Daddy and I will direct you to Donna for
wise counsel and heartfelt prayers.
The first time your eyes flash in anger, I am sure that you will be looking
at one of your brothers. God has graciously given you two loving brothers
with whom you will learn life's greatest lessons. You will learn to share,
to compromise, and to see Christ in each other. You will learn to bear one
another's burdens. You will learn to return an insult with a blessing. I
pray daily that the three of you will travel together the path of blessing
and that one day you will all be united as brothers in Christ.
You are being baptized into a community of faith. That community will be
represented by the family and dear friends gathered to celebrate your new
life in Christ. In the chapel will be men and women who live sacred, holy
lives as mothers and fathers, raising faithful children. They understand
God's call to live each day in His image. They and their children will be
present in your life to share the joys and the burdens of life in Christ.
Jesus knew how important fellowship was to His believers and He has blessed
you abundantly with Christian compatriots.
In your lifetime, you will receive the very special graces of the other
sacraments of the Church. As you grow in wisdom and stature, you will
become more aware of what it means to be Catholic. Your wide, wondering
eyes will see the splendor of God's world. They will also see the ugliness
of sin. Today, when we ask for baptism for you, we give you the greatest
gift we have: the gift of our faith.
Your father and I will endeavor to instruct you in the faith and to help
you to put on the full armor of God. Today, your bog brother will read
Deuteronomy 6:4-9. It is our family's creed, an instruction in devotional
living. That is, in everything we do, we will offer all that we have to the
Lord. We will take advantage of every opportunity to point out the treasure
of His goodness, from the small flowers as we walk in the woods to the
great gifts of siblings and cousins.
It is our most earnest prayer that your eyes will shine with the knowledge
and love of Christ. We pray that you will serve the Lord in this life and
share the joy of our salvation. Welcome, dear little son, to the family of
God. God bless you, Mommy.
Foss is a freelance writer and managing editor of Welcome Home, a magazine
for mothers at home.
This article appeared in the December 22, 1994 issue of "The Arlington
Courtesy of the "Arlington Catholic Herald" diocesan newspaper of the
Arlington (VA) diocese. For subscription information, call 1-800-377-0511
or write 200 North Glebe Road, Suite 607 Arlington, VA 22203.