Wow! Never underestimate the faith of a child

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April 5, 2021

There is a particular article in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that states the desire for God is written in the human heart. [1] If we take the time to extrapolate this powerful statement it provides an introduction to the intimate relationship that exists between God and man. This means that God desires a relationship with us, always. Our very own dignity involves an active conversation with God the Father.

The season of Easter reveals the power of Christ over sin and death. It brings to fruition the gift of the Crucifixion in conquering sin and death and the Resurrection in paving the way toward life eternal with Christ in Heaven. These significant pillars of the Paschal Mystery reveal a love that is unbound and unfailing because it demonstrates the power of God revealed through His Son Jesus Christ anchoring a perpetual relationship with Him.

The journey toward Christ

A visible and lasting spiritual fruit of the Easter Vigil is the witness of God’s children who desire to be in full communion with Him. The journey home to the Catholic Church by way of the administration and free and cooperative reception of the sacrament of initiation-baptism, confirmation and Holy Eucharist demonstrate the intimate love and care the Church expresses to all of God’s children who desire a loving and lasting relationship with him.

In the early Church the structure of initiating the faithful followed the example of St. Hippolytus around 215 a.d. where catechumens went through an examination of faith and morals to determine their willingness to make a profession of faith to Christ and His Church. It is also involved several years of doctrinal instruction in the kerygma and the creed. The aim was to assure that the Catechumen and understood the Gospel and thus proclaim it faithfully with rigor and vigor. Toward the end of the catechumenate the recitation of the Apostles Creed was the final step prior to initiation. What is remarkable about the catechumenal process then and now is that the aim is a lasting an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.   

Awe and Wonder

As I began to briefly reintroduce the story of salvation history to my six-year-old daughter during the Easter Vigil and explain what was about to happen to a young man preparing to receive the sacraments of initiation her eyes immediately opened wide as she expressed a desire to witness for herself what was about to happen. As I hoisted her on the side of my shoulder for a better view of the sanctuary and baptismal font, her eyes were gazed at the young man who began to make his profession of faith and publicly proclaim his desire to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.

The time finally arrived as the young man began to receive the waters of baptism in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. My daughter witnessed the joy of the young man and with her eyes firmly gazed at him she proclaimed: “Wow!” She immediately began to smile with an expression of awe and wonder realizing what had just occurred. Her face was fixed on what just happened and when the Pastor asked the congregation for a big round of applause, of course my daughter was ready to oblige with a transition from awe and wonder to pure joy.

The faith of a child

Our identity with God the Father is first and foremost as son or daughter. This is our given character both physically and spiritually. Equal to our identity as son or daughter is our faith as His children. My daughter was fortunate to encounter the joy of a child of God coming home to the Catholic Church through her young yet unfiltered Catholic lens. We are reminded that Christ asks for childlike abandonment to the providence of God the Father who takes care of our needs.[2] Likewise, my daughter reminded me of the importance to approach the Catholic faith with a profound sense of awe and wonder because there is no greater joy than to be at home with our Father in heaven.      

 

 

[1] CCC 27

[2] CCC 305

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