My children were baptized in the '80s. I didn't understand the great gift we had been given. I drifted.
When our oldest son was nine, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. On the plane from Ohio to Texas to meet the surgeon who would perform the surgery on his highly functioning brain, I begged God to spare my son. I heard clearly, " He never was yours. He is mine." I've wrestled with those words ever since.
It is so easy to fall into the trap of believing that because we have given birth to or raised a child, that child belongs to us. But they don't.. We were not there when their soul came into being. We may have participated, but there is no way we can give the spark that animates a living soul. God alone is responsible for life.
In a special way, a person baptized by water and the Spirit into the life of the Triune God is a member of the household of God and becomes a supernatural being, a new creation.. Their natural parents, chosen by God, are gifted with these persons, but they do not possess them. And the person is gifted by God with their natural parents, no matter how uncomfortable that may seem in the natural world.
After our son's healing, our family slowly returned to the Church. The boys and my husband had only received baptism and were in need of the rest of the initiation Sacraments. As they went through RCIA, I was asked about the boys' baptismal dates. Huh? That matters? I remembered candles that had melted and warped from storage and military moves in hot climates, but actual dates and church names escaped me.
After the boys moved on to college, I joined them in their academic adventure to study theology and grew more deeply in my appreciation for the great Sacrament of Baptism. Is studied the Church Fathers and St. Thomas Aquinas.
As Director of RCIA, every year, I meet individuals who do not even know if they were baptized, much less of their baptismal date and location. This always brings sadness to me. And I want to remedy this problem. Let's not have another child who does not know that they are truly a child of the great High King! I was already asked by our pastor, Fr. Michael Mary Dosch, OP, to make the Paschal candles so decided to make personalized, gold foiled candles with an Irish cross (we are St. Patrick parish afterall) for each of our catechumens.