14 February 2011

LISS Day 32

Baptism and Confirmation

Matthew 3:16-17 and Acts 8:17

I love Baptisms. I love the reasons why we are baptised and I love the reasons we are confirmed. These sacraments are so special! Baptism is the true start of family life in the Catholic Church.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), article 1213 states 'Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua),4 and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word."5'
I truly love this. Of course I wouldn't remember my baby baptism. But I certainly remember my baptism as an adult! I will never ever forget it, because it remains very much alive in me by grace of the Holy Spirit. Today is Valentines day, a difficult day for me - it comes part of being human, and having this human soul. But I gain so much strength and comfort from Romans 5:3-5. God loves each and every one of us so much - and I have been blessed with being shown even just the tiniest spec of God's Love for me. Oh how unworthy I am to know it! It is said that He chooses the lowly to know His Love.... but what about all the Saints that have gone before - not all of them had histories like Saint Augustine. Were they also then poor in spirit?

Jesus loves us despite our rejection of Him - He was and is the unconditional Love of God made Incarnate. He sacrificed Himself for those that the Heavenly Father Loves so dearly. When I was still blind to the Truth of Life and Love, I did not realise how much I was rejecting Jesus. My ignorance was part of my blindness - my heart of stone - my closed heart. But then, my soul and spirit was awakened, reborn, freed from sin!!! Now with a heart of flesh, I can no longer reject Jesus. How could I, it would be like striking myself in the heart with the sharpest most poisoned knife of the devil. He has given me a clean slate which to re-order my life, and although I have already faltered in the most heartbreaking way possible to me, my sin doesn't change the Truth, or the mission of the Church. At our event of Christ the King, Emmet and Lucy Dooley put this in the context of relationships. Jesus can take away all the hurt and the sin, and give you new life with which to begin relationships again. This applies to our relationship with Jesus. Jesus always gives us a second chance, as long as we are willing to get up from the pain and hurt and try again... trusting and hoping in Him. In abandoning and surrendering ourselves in Baptism, we rise to a new life, victorious over death... "he cannot die again" [see below]!

How do I share this Love that God has made known to me the best that I can? How do I share the message that "Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised form the dead, he cannot die again: death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God." [Romans 6:8-10]. This is what baptism is all about. 

Saviour and Sacred Heart of Jesus, I love you dearly. You are my heart's desire! How can I ever repay You for showing me just the tiniest spec of Your magnificent Love? Despite my human heartbreak, I am so Loved by You, and I am so blessed to know it! Thank you, for showing me what true Love is - for I can continue in life knowing that I have spent at least one St. Valentine's day in love with someone who Loves me in return... You. I long for a heart like Yours, Jesus, so that whatever path you choose for me, I may love with the same sacrificial and unconditional Love that you call each of us to share with each other.

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..." [1 John 4:18] 

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