Tuesday, April 22, 2014

One Person's Personal Decision to Carry the Gift of Light

Last year, Hudson's mommy went to her first Easter vigil with our family. It was a long, foreign and complex ceremony to her.
I'm not sure I explained it well. I wanted her to get close and see the Easter fire lit. The wind kept blowing the Easter fire out and the people were swirling everywhere. I wanted her to watch as they traced the year and touch the sacred wounds upon the new Paschal (Easter) candle. The church where we were was under renovation and the Easter Vigil Mass was held inside the church hall.

One cannot adequately explain the Catholic faith, it must be observed and learned.

I tried to explain, as simply as I could, the age-old traditions of our faith and how all the sights, smells, and bells are meant to transport us into a timeless realm, a sphere that takes us back in time: carries us through the Old Testament, lifts us into the New Testament and leaves us fully present in the here and now.

The Mass is actually the past and future of Christianity joined to the here and now.

"O truly blessed night,
when things of heaven are wed to those of earth,
and divine to the human."

Yes, kinda.
Think of it like a time capsule vehicle for the transportation of the soul, if you like.

When I failed in explaining, I  made an intentional decision to sit back and let Holy Mother the Church show her and let the Holy Spirit lead her.

This year, as the sun set on a world void of salvation and lost in darkness, my son's future bride entered the church with the light of Christ leading the way into a darkened church and then a slow yet steady ripple of light swept throughout the dark church as she (along with all the other faithful) lit smaller candles inflamed by the light Christ until the darkened church was filled with many other souls promising to carry the light of Christ from the safe confines of this holy building out into a dark and hostile world.

She probably still doesn't realize the immenseness of her decision to enter our faith and to follow that light.

But, this year, it was the night she reached out and touched at a cloak, a presence, a being that could offer her something that nothing on this earth can give her.
* * * * *

"This is the night, when once you led our forebears, Israel’s children, from slavery in Egypt and made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea.
"This is the night that with a pillar of fire banished the darkness of sin.
"This is the night that even now, throughout the world, sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices and from the gloom of sin, leading them to grace and joining them to his holy ones.
"This is the night, when Christ broke the prison-bars of death and rose victorious from the underworld.

This is the night, of which it is written:
The night shall be as bright as day,
dazzling is the night for me,
and full of gladness.
The sanctifying power of this night
dispels wickedness, washes faults away,
restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners,
drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty."
~ From the Easter Proclamation (Exsultet)
* * * * *
This daughter (as our daughter-in-love did two years ago) walked in the footsteps of countless catechumens before her, accepted the mark and seal of every Christian, and believed that one small light could conquer darkness. We pray she uses this gift of faith wisely and lives it with joy.

"Therefore, O Lord, we pray you that this candle,
hallowed to the honor of your name,
may persevere undimmed,
to overcome the darkness of this night."

When I asked her in one of our many discussions, why she desired baptism into the Catholic faith, she told me it was something she had always desired and she most especially wants it to be part of a faith her baby's daddy and she can pass on to their child and any future children.

This is part of how we pass on the Faith of Our Fathers. We cannot give our children anything else, anything less. We leave them with a tremendous host of prayer warriors in the communion of saints and we trust in God's mercy.

Please pray to her patron guardian St. Frances of Rome to grant her wisdom and discernment and joy in the Lord always. Prayers as they prepare for their up-coming wedding this September.

As I wrote two years ago with our other daughter-in-love, I write today about Tavyn...

"That our whole family is blessed because of one girl's personal decision, that our family lineage is blessed because of a choice made, is a Paschal bonus, part of the Paschal Mystery. Some mysteries cannot be solved no matter how hard we analyze them, inspect them, and turn them over and over in our heads, hands, and heart.

Sometimes, in order to fully appreciate a gift, we have to let go of the mystery, place it back in God's hands and ...

Be Still!

For me, this has been a part of God's business and I am hesitant to question His business.
Afterall, gifts should leave our hearts full of thanksgiving, not questions."



1 comment:

  1. Praying thanksgiving and blessings for your family.


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