The Beloved

One of my seminary classmates told me of a nice tradition his religious community maintained. Each priest had his own copy of The Rite of Baptism of Children. Written on the front inside cover was the name of the priest and the first child that he baptized. The simple notation in the Rite book was the start of two stories: a priestly vocation and a story of Christian beginning.  Stories that unfold as the weeks become months become years. Continue reading

The Significance of Baptism

One of the habits I hope we all have (or will incorporate into our lives) is to continue to read so as to enhance our spiritual lives. These days there are all kinds of sources: books, podcasts, video, blogs, and more. We do not lack for differing source materials and perspectives. Of course, there is no much, it is hard to know what might be the best mix for you. A good place to start is to try the recommendations of friends, spiritual advisors, folks at church, or links within links within links on what you are currently perusing online. A great way to develop the habit is to sign up for daily/weekly emails or text messages from sources.  Continue reading

What reason for Hope?

The celebration of the Baptism of the Lord marks the end of the Christmas Season. But I have to say, once we get past Christmas it is the life of Jesus on fast forward: Nativity, presentation in the Temple, magi, fleeing to Egypt, return to Nazareth, lost in the Temple and now we’re standing in a long line of people by the banks of the Jordan River.  Ahead of us, waist-deep in the water, John the Baptist makes a no-nonsense, unrelenting call to repentance.  Behind us, at the very end of the long line, stands that once-upon-a-time baby — all grown up.  Thirty years have gone by, and the promised child is about to come into his promise. Continue reading